11 Cleaning Habits That Are Attracting Snakes to Your Home
If you're guilty of these, you could have a problem on your hands.
Cleaning can be a hassle, but if you're not taking the time to do it right, you could be doing more damage than just creating a messy space. According to pest experts, certain cleaning habits (or lack thereof!) can attract snakes to your home, especially if the reptiles are in search of food or shelter. To make sure you don't fall victim to a pest problem, keep reading to hear from the pros about the everyday mistakes that could be bringing snakes inside.
Leaving clutter around your home.
A cluttered household is more than just an eyesore: It can make your space a haven for other pests, and, in turn, snakes.
"Be sure to keep the places that food sources, such as mice, can hide cleaned up," says wildlife biologist and forester Brandon Buckelew, regional sales manager at Tristate Tree. "This includes anything that can hide the signs of their presence, including droppings. If you see signs of mice or rats in your house, be sure to get an exterminator out to take care of that problem."
Allowing your trash cans to overflow.
Taking the trash out is a chore most of us don't relish—but would you rather run into a scaly guest slithering into your kitchen?
"Garbage can be an easy food source for snakes if left accessible," warns Gulshan, a biotechnologist and the founder and CEO of Pest Keen, an online resource dedicated to keeping homes free of pests. "Keeping garbage cans sealed and disposing of trash regularly can prevent attracting snakes to your home because snakes are attracted to the smell of food."
Leaving crumbs on your counter.
While snakes won't go into your house in search of what you consider to be food, not cleaning up after meal prep could be attracting their prey—and in no time, snakes will follow.
"Keep your house clean and free of attractants for rodents. This includes unsealed food and crumbs in eating areas," recommends Buckelew.
Neglecting your attic.
According to experts, your top floor can provide ample meals for snakes looking for mice, rats, bats, or squirrels that have managed to sneak their way in. By not giving your attic a somewhat regular reorganization and tidying up, it might only be a matter of time before a slithering intruder makes its way into your house.
It's doubtful that you're leaving food scraps in your attic that could be attracting the rodents that snakes love to eat. But by storing items haphazardly, leaving chaotic piles around, and not checking for any signs of infestation regularly, you're essentially rolling out a welcome mat.
And even without pests, this can be true for snakes themselves looking to find a place to stay warm over the cold winter months.
Letting rocks and leaves pile up outside.
If you want to snake-proof your home, start outside.
"Removing piles of leaves, rocks, or debris from your yard can prevent snakes from finding shelter near your home," says Gulshan. "Snakes often use these types of piles as hiding spots, so removing them can make your yard less attractive to them."
Neglecting to clean up your bird feeder.
While you may have hung that bird feeder in the hopes of seeing sparrows and starlings, it could be the reason you've got a snake problem in your home.
"When birds feed on the seeds, they always drop some on the ground, and if that is left there and not cleaned regularly, then it will attract small rodents like chipmunks and mice, the exact type of prey snakes are looking for," says certified associate entomologist Brett Madden of AviAway Bird Control Services. "If snakes know that the birds and rodents will be in the same area continuously that is when you will start seeing them regularly."
Not maintaining your downspouts.
Cleaning and organizing expert Stefan Bucur, founder of Rhythm of the Home, emphasizes the importance of properly maintaining the outside of your home if you want to keep snakes from visiting.
"Clean your gutters and downspouts from any small tree branches, leaves, and other organic compounds," he says. "Snakes don't necessarily like to live there, but they commonly use them to get inside the house."
Checking drains and gutters for blockages is also important. "These clogged areas can be breeding grounds for insects and small rodents, and as a food source, these things can attract snakes," adds Tom Su, gardening and landscaping expert at Lawn Edging.
Stacking firewood against your house.
Keeping firewood stacked against your home may make it look nice and tidy, but it could also be the reason you're seeing snakes sneak into your space.
"Keep debris away from house edges. This includes firewood and any items that can provide habitat that attracts the food sources of snakes, including mice, lizards, and frogs," says Buckelew.
Forgetting to mow your grass or trim your bushes.
Not maintaining your lawn can be a direct invite for snakes, so if you want to reduce your risk of discovering one in your home, start by breaking out your mower.
"If you allow brush or tall grass and other plants to grow around your home, it will encourage all manner of pests to invade your home, snakes included," says Madden. "They like dark, damp areas, and tall unmanaged vegetation provides them just that."
Su adds that a well-kept lawn isn't attractive to snakes because there's nowhere for them to hide when hunting for food.
Leaving standing water untreated.
Like any other living thing, snakes need water to survive. That's why Olivia Kepner, zoologist and founder of Cool Wood Wildlife Park, says that properly draining any outdoor areas prone to standing water and ensuring that your irrigation system isn't over-watering is key to preventing snake sightings.
Fixing leaky drains and pipes and keeping pet water bowls inside are also easy ways to deter snakes from your yard.
Keeping too much in the garage or shed.
Like the attic, Su says garages and sheds are often filled with boxes, tools, and other clutter that make these spaces attractive to rodents—and when there are rodents, snakes aren't far behind.
"Regularly clean your shed or garage, and eliminate these hiding places," he advises. "Clean the floor whenever possible because not only does this make the space unappealing to snakes, but also unattractive to predators, rodents, and insects."
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