Have you heard about the recent snake infestation in a home near Annapolis? The couple who purchased the property in December had to abandon it a few months later when they realized the home was infested with black rat snakes. Apparently, the snakes have been living and reproducing inside walls and ceiling for years, claiming the house as their own. Although the above scenario is extreme, in general it’s not unusual for a snake to wander into a home by accident or on purpose. In summer, snakes may follow prey, such as mice, inside your home. And as the temperatures drop, snakes will be looking for a warm place to overwinter. If you want to avoid an unpleasant encounter with a snake inside your home on in your yard, follow these tips from our Maryland snake removal experts.
Install Door Thresholds and Weather Stripping
One of the easiest ways for a snake to get into your home is underneath a door. And if your doors, especially those in the basement, leave a gap underneath, that’s an open invitation to all sorts of critters. Use a combination of door thresholds and weather stripping to eliminate any gaps underneath your doors. If your home is old, consider replacing dated doors with something more secure and better fitting.
Repair Foundation Cracks
Inspect your basement inside and out to identify any cracks that are ¼ inch in diameter or larger. They don’t have to be see-through, but large enough for a snake to fit in. If you find evidence of a wall leak, track it to its origin and patch the crack that’s causing it. In addition to the foundation cracks, check insulation around window and door frames, as well as any pipes and wires going through the walls.
Install Vent Screens
Your home has more vents than you realize. The attic has a vent to help the home breathe. Plumbing vents typically exit on the roof and help provide adequate pressure. Even some appliances such as your drier require vents in order to properly operate. If these vents aren’t screened, a snake can get in and eventually find its way into your living quarters. Some homeowners also like to open up doors and windows in spring and summer for a fresh breeze. Be careful doing this if you don’t have screens installed on your doors and windows–a snake can easily climb in when you are not looking.
Clean Your Yard
Snakes are not seeking contact with humans. Quite the opposite—they do their best to stay out of sight and out of mind. They prefer to hide in tall grass and den in piles of wood or backyard clutter. The more snake-friendly your yard is, the more likely the snakes are to stick around in summer and seek winter shelter in your home. Keep your yard neat and free of clutter if you want to discourage snakes from living nearby.
Eliminate the Snake’s Prey
Snakes gravitate toward properties that provide ample food. This could be small rodents like mice and chipmunks, bird eggs in the spring, frogs and chicken eggs. If you know your lot offers a steady supply of any of the above, consider if and how you could eliminate these critters. It may be difficult and unproductive to try to get rid of frogs if you have a pond. However, you can address your mouse problem and see if it makes a difference.
If your property is already fully fenced in, consider adding an extra layer of snake-proof fencing. It can be made of plastic, steel mesh or fabric mesh, and is often installed at an angle to prevent the snakes from climbing. Snakes don’t dig, so if they can’t fit under or climb over, they won’t be able to get on your property. If the whole-property fence sounds unreasonable, consider creating a fenced area for your garden or your children’s playground. This will ensure your family members can enjoy their favorite outdoor activities without worrying about snakes. And if you keep finding snakes in your home or yard, give Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control a call and we’ll be there as soon as possible to remove the unwelcome critters. Our trained techs will help you understand how the snake got in and what else you can do to keep this from happening in the future.