You're Inviting Snakes Into Your Car With This One Bad Habit, Experts Warn
Avoiding this could reduce your chances of finding an unwanted passenger.
Snakes are incredible hiders, using their slim bodies to fit into cracks and crevices out of sight from people and predators. But sometimes, their quest for a safe place can take them into areas you might never suspect—including your vehicle. According to experts, you should avoid one specific habit to keep snakes out of your car. Read on to see what you can do to keep from taking on a slithering stowaway.
Leaving your windows open while parked in the garage can be inviting snakes into your car.
Parking your vehicle in the garage is the best way to keep it safe from the elements it would otherwise be exposed to in your driveway. But while it might feel like your car is perfectly safe from nature while it's inside, leaving your windows open could be an enticing invitation for a snake looking for a place to get comfortable or hide.
As cold-blooded animals, snakes can be drawn to the heat a recently running vehicle can give off. "Snakes are often in search of a warm place to stay, especially during the cooler fall and winter months," says Sharon Roebuck, owner of Eastside Exterminators in Seattle, Washington. "Your car engine can provide an excellent source of heat for snakes to survive off of."
Unfortunately, the interior of your car can also present itself as a comfortable crash pad. Leaving your windows open even a little bit can give snakes all the space they need to slither in and make themselves right at home.
Fortunately, snakes can't get into your car from the engine if the doors, trunk, and windows are closed.
It may not be very uncommon for snakes—or other small animals, for that matter—to make their way up into the inner workings of your engine to stay warm. But while your vehicle may have plenty of holes, vents, and compartments that look like they open up to the outside world, it's nearly impossible for them to make their way to the cab of your car or truck through any of them.
Barring any significant damage or repair issues, the climate control system in modern vehicles is typically sealed tight so that snakes can't enter through them, AltDriver reports. The same can't be said for your trunk, however. Whether you're leaving your car in the garage overnight or just for a few hours, always make sure you come back to close all doors and the trunk after removing things like groceries or other items.
Mice or rodents in your garage could already be attracting snakes.
While their primary purpose is to store your car, garages are notorious for becoming an overflow storage area for all kinds of items. Unfortunately, these conditions can make it all too easy for pests such as mice or rats to move in—with snakes in search of a meal following right behind them.
"Besides warmth, the other thing snakes are in search of is food," says Roebuck. "Their main source of food in the wild is rodents. So, if you are attracting rodents into your garage, then snakes will soon follow."
Make sure to remove any chaotic piles of items from the edges and corners of your garage that mice and rats could make their home, including stacks of firewood you're storing indoors to keep dry. If you keep garbage cans there, make sure you don't let trash sit for too long before pickup or investing in rodent-proof receptacles.
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Avoid leaving pet food in the garage that could attract pests.
Even though you may only be trying to feed the animals you keep as pets, their kibble can be just as likely to attract pests. Aqsa Tabassam, a gardener and landscaper with more than 10 years of experience, says leaving pet food out in your garage is likely to attract snakes—but not directly.
"Snakes do not like cat or dog food, but these foods usually attract rodents, and a snake's primary diet consists of eating mice and rats," Tabassam explains. "So, leaving out cat and dog food triggers this chain reaction where your garage might be infested by rodents and then snakes, as they look to find food for themselves."
It's also important to remember that it's not just the food in their bowls that might draw mice and rats. Roebuck suggests storing all pet food in sturdy plastic containers with a lockable lid to ensure you're not bringing rodents into your garage before they possibly find their way into your car.