You're Inviting Snakes to Your Home If You're Storing This Right Outside
Don't make the mistake of stockpiling this vital supply the wrong way.
Even if you're lucky enough to have an attic, basement, and garage with plenty of storage space, there's still a good chance there are some items you keep outside the house. After all, a backyard shed can be a perfect place to stash your lawn mower and tools, just as out-of-the-way spots under your deck can make for convenient storage space for patio furniture in the off-season. But before you get too comfortable loading up your outdoor storage spaces, there is still one item that can be inviting snakes into your home if you're storing it too close to your abode. Read on to see what you shouldn't be keeping too close to your living quarters.
Storing firewood too close to your home could be attracting snakes.
There's nothing quite like a roaring fire to take the sting out of cold winter weather. But according to experts from Utah State University, storing firewood too close to your house might be bringing snakes into the yard and even inside your home.
Whether it's a haphazard lumber heap or an orderly stack of chopped logs, woodpiles are majorly attractive to snakes as a perfect hiding place from predators and humans, as well as a place to stay cool as the weather warms up. But other than providing accommodations for the slithering intruders, they also serve as the perfect hiding place and breeding grounds for pests such as mice, rats, and other rodents, all of which are an irresistible meal for a snake. Besides increasing the likelihood you'll come across one the next time you go to get some logs, having your stockpile of fireplace fuel too close to your home increases the chances that a snake will find its way indoors through an unnoticed crack, hole, or opening.
Store your firewood further from your house to keep snakes from finding their way indoors.
Let's face it: No one wants to have to trudge far from the warmth of their house to gather wood on a cold night. But by storing your firewood further from your home, you'll be making it much less likely that a snake will eventually find its way indoors. In most cases, picking an area on the fringes of your property, alongside a storage shed, or near a perimeter fence can provide a decent location that won't look unsightly or disorganized.
Store all firewood a foot or two off the ground and cover it with a tarp to help keep pests out.
Even though wood piles will inherently be attractive to snakes, there are still some simple ways to make it less likely they'll make themselves at home. The experts at Outdoor Barren suggest storing all firewood one to two feet off the ground on a store-bought or homemade rack, which will make it harder for snakes or rodents to move in and get comfortable. Covering your elevated woodpile with a tarp secured with bungee cords can offer even more protection, with the bonuses of keeping your fuel drier and making your yard look tidier overall.
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Only store as much wood as you need for one winter and try to burn it all before spring.
Regardless of how often you like to light up your fireplace, it can still be challenging to estimate how much firewood you'll need at the start of each winter. But when it comes to stockpiling, experts say that it's always best to aim for only getting as much as you know you can completely burn by spring. By removing wood piles from your yard entirely, you're far less likely to play an unwitting host to rodents or reptiles as the weather warms back up.
"We know food attracts snakes," Terry Vandeventer, a herpetologist with the Living Reptile Museum in Mississippi, told The Clarion Ledger in a 2019 interview. "Since snakes eat rodents, we want to get rid of them. Get rid of the shelter and get rid of the food, and they'll pass right by and go to your neighbor's ratty house."