You're Inviting Snakes to Your Home If You Avoid This One Chore, Experts Warn
Putting off this one everyday task might be rolling out a welcome mat for unwanted guests.
Most homeowners take pride in their property, working hard to keep things looking and feeling as inviting to guests as possible. But as schedules get tight and to-do lists grow, it can be easy to slip on some keeping up with some basic maintenance tasks. Unfortunately, putting off certain chores can have some serious unintended consequences—including attracting more snakes to your home if you avoid them for too long. Read on to see which task is important for keeping unwanted slithering guests away.
Not mowing your lawn could be inviting more snakes to your home.
Yard maintenance may be one of the most labor-intensive chores that people love to put off. But according to experts, not mowing the lawn often enough could be creating the perfect conditions to attract more snakes to the area around your home, making it more likely they'll find their way indoors through a crack or hole.
Overgrown grass, foliage, and shrubbery may be an eyesore, but it also provides the kind of protection and cover snakes need to hide from predators such as hawks or to cool off on a hot day, according to the experts at ThisOldHouse.com. Staying on top of regular trimming also has the benefit of making it more likely you'll be able to spot any snakes well before you disturb them with your mower.
Keep weeds, bushes, and other foliage on your property under control—especially near decks.
Besides mowing your yard and keeping the lawn under control, you should also make sure to regularly cut back tall weeds and foliage that line your property to avoid inviting an onslaught of snakes. In many cases, these overgrown plants can provide a place where snakes feel protected and attract critters such as frogs, toads, and mice that they love to snack on.
On top of the areas on the fringes of your lawn, you should also take special care to maintain plant growth in the areas around decks or porches. Unkempt foliage, grass, and weeds can further fortify the space beneath the structures and provide perfect shelter for the serpents to come and go as they please. By exposing the space at the bottom of the deck, you could deter an unwanted snake from moving in.
Maintain or get rid of certain plants that might attract rodents to your yard.
Experts warn that one sure way to invite more snakes onto your property is to provide them with ample meals in the form of mice, rats, moles, and voles. By mowing the lawn regularly, as well as removing fallen fruit from trees or bushes and clearing any debris or woodpiles, you're making it less likely that vermin will set up camp in your yard.
"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."
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Plan your landscaping accordingly to avoid building a snake haven in your yard.
If your lawn is too large or difficult to mow and maintain regularly, there are still some simple steps you can take to avoid inviting snakes onto your property. Instead of laying down mulch in your yard or garden beds, consider using gravel or tight stones, which creates a surface that snakes have a harder time moving on. You should also make sure to move all bird feeders away from your house: Rodents will find the spilled seeds as irresistible as snakes find them.
It's also not just your grass that needs to be maintained. According to experts at Utah State University, trees and shrubs should be cut back and pruned to prevent providing snakes with a different way to potentially climb and sneak into your home. They advise trimming a 24-to-36-inch space between all trees and shrubs and both the ground and outer walls to make it less likely they'll find a way to slither inside.