Winning the war on garden snakes

Garter_Snake-how to keep snakes out of you garden
A Gater Snake

When it comes to snakes many people are hung up or have mixed feelings about these slithery creatures that are feared by so many. I have had many days of running into snakes and to be honest with you they were not pleasant experiences.

I remembered one time I stepped on one and man I began to peddle in the air just like those cartoon characters, well I might be stretching the truth a bit but stepping on that snake had my heart racing as my blood was rushing. I must admit though and I am not ashamed to say, that snake had me doing the 100-yard dash I would have put Michael Johnson and Usain Bolt to shame.

I guess I can now look back on that day and have a good laugh but going through that experience at the time was really not funny it was a really shocking life-changing experience.

The eco-system

let’s face it there will always be snakes as much I hate to admit it. Snakes make up the eco-system just like other animals, they have a part to play and do make their contribution. For example, rats are rodents that carry and spread diseases and are also a menace by invading our homes causing destruction.

Besides the many attempts, we make to eliminate rats, snakes come to the rescue by making a meal out of them. That’s all good and well but I am still not a fan of snakes.

How to keep snakes out of your garden

Our dream garden

Whether we have a garden or not there will always be snakes that will seek to pay us an unfriendly, unexpected visit because just like other animals snakes seek out food, shelter, and a water source for their survival. The unfortunate thing, however, is that some of them end up in our yards and gardens.

Having a garden with plants of all shape and sizes attracts and increase activities of these creatures. Some of these snakes are venomous and are a threat to humans and pets.  The question is how do we keep these snakes out of our gardens to make our garden experience more enjoyable?

Here are some steps to follow that will minimize the number of unexpected visits you get from these creatures.

How to get rid of snakes

  • Keep your yard and garden clutter-free, piles of leaves should be raked up. Boxes, bags, cut logs, lumber, and other material should be kept off the ground because snakes love these areas to hid and rest
  • Food sources such as roaches, rats, mice, etc… are favorites of snakes. By keeping these food sources at bay will lessen the chance of snake invasion. Using traps, repellents, Insects sprays, etc..can help to keep these rodents away
  • Laying snake traps is an effective way to control snakes.
  • If you have a lawn keep it cut low because snakes love to hide and rest in overgrown lawns
  • Snake away is a product that can be used to keep snakes at bay
  • Soak rags in ammonia and place in open plastic bags, place bags where snakes are seen the smell will keep them away
  • Low growing plants and shrubs that grow dense is a good hiding place for snakes. Thin shrubs and remove lower limbs of shrubs and low garden plants to control snakes in these areas
  • Using mothball flakes and cat liter sprinkle in areas where you saw snakes will cause them not to return
  • Install snake fence proofing
  • Keep your garden and other areas weed-free
  • Unfortunately, bird feeds and baths will attract birds which will, in turn, attract snakes. I think you get my point.
  • Placing sulfur near entryways and around the perimeter of your yard will keep snakes away

Doing the snake tango another funny story

Another funny story was a few years ago the place where I was employed tamed with snakes. I remember one day raking a pile of leaves but did not realize that a brown snake was in that pile of leaves resting.

As I raked those leaves it was fine until I got to the section where this snake was resting what happened next was the snake actually flew in the air I guess from being surprised I was also surprised and the next thing I knew both me and this snake was dancing. The snake was in front of me dangling in the air while I was jumping and kicking my legs it looked like that snake was my dance partner but the truth was both of us were so startled trying to get away from each other. Now just picture that in slow motion. What do you think? Yeah, I know, me and snakes just can’t seem to get along or like each other.

The final word

Snakes can be a plus and a minus depending on the situation. Following these steps can go a long way in helping you to win the way on snakes. Remember they are attracted to our environment because of food, water, and shelter. By removing or making these sources unavailable will minimize or even stop them from entering our gardens and yards.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.


  1. Ouch, those creatures give me the scare. The Cayman Islands is my second home and a lot of garden snakes are there. I never know exactly how to deal with them in my garden. These tips are invaluable. I would like to try the “snake traps” and the “snake away.” Are these sold online? Where can I purchase these?

    • Hello Carol so good to see you and I agree with you ouch is correct. You can check your local garden center or order them from amazon. Hope this help, thanks again and please let me know how it goes. Have a good day.

  2. I grew up with snakes, and for the most part, they don’t bother me. But when I am out gardening and I run across one, I do get the woolies. I don’t want them around where I am working. This brings up two questions. I have a pile of leaves in my backyard that has been sitting there for a few days now. Could there be snakes in there? I have seen snakes in my bushes, so I know there are some around. Second question is that you mentioned they like rats, so maybe it is a good thing to have them to keep other rodents away?

    • I know what you mean, nothing  like being out in your garden and running into them. Well you can either follow some of the steps tthat I layed out in this post or I guess keep them around for the rats it is a decision you will have to make so I wish you all the best with that. Please let me know how it goes. Have a good day.

  3. Ok, I live in the country now but, I was raised in the city. We did not have snakes there. So I must have looked so silly when I found one in the house. I went to my husband to tell him and all I could do was hiss and point, he finally figured it out.
    I had heard about moth balls and sulphur but not ammonia.
    We live in an old farm house made totally out of wood. It is almost impossible to keep mice out. We do set traps for them but it is difficult to stay ahead of them. That is why a snake came visiting. If a mouse can get in, so can a snake.

    • Hello Lynn so good to see you and thank so much for sharing. I am sure that and experience like that was not good at all but it is good to know that we can put some of these tips in place to help us. I am not a friend of snakes unlike some people who have them living in their homes as pets. 

      I once saw a utube video with this family that had a huge sanke a python I think. The snake was so long and big that it was scary looking but the disturbing  part was that this family was rasing this snake with their son tthat looked about 5 years old. The child was laying on the snake back while the snake was strecth out in the front room

      I could not believe it because that sanke was so large it could swallow that child easily. Snakes may have their palce in the ecosystem but they should not be around people. All the best to you my friend and have a good day.


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