5 Ways to Snake-Proof Your Garage, According to Experts
It's the beginning of another snake season.
Springtime may mean nicer weather and blooming flowers, but it also signifies the return of snake season. "Because snakes are cold-blooded, the warmer temperatures of spring cause them to become more active," say Tommy Mello, founder and owner of A1 Garage Door Service. The garage is a particularly favorite spot for snakes because it offers relief from extreme temperatures and lots of places to hide. But even though most of the time they're harmless, nobody wants to run into a slithering serpent when they're hopping in the car. And since it's easier to keep them out than take them out, we asked some experts for the best ways to snake-proof a garage.
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Replace the bottom rubber on the door.
One of the best ways to keep snakes from getting into your garage is to make sure the rubber that goes across the bottom length of the garage door seals shut. "The weight of the door compresses the rubber or vinyl material to keep out critters, water, drafts, and more," says Michael Brickner, president of Precision Garage Door Service. But if the seal is worn or old, it gives snakes easier access into your space.
To determine if you need a new rubber seal, Brickner says to give it a squeeze when the garage door is open. If it is no longer soft or malleable or if you see cracks or any tears at all, it's time for a replacement. You can also check the rubber's condition visually. "Open the garage to eye level and look down at the bottom of the seal," says Mello. "If it isn't perfectly straight, you see hills or valleys, that is a good indication it is worn."
Just remember to call a specialist to replace the seal if needed—it's not a DIY project.
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Install strong weather stripping.
In addition to the seal at the bottom of the door, you want to ensure you have proper weather stripping installed. Brickner explains that this is also typically made of rubber, but it is attached around the sides and top edges of the garage door.
If a snake wants to get in, they'll try all options possible, not just the bottom, so these methods ultimately block them from getting inside.
"Weatherstripping, as its name implies, prevents the elements from entering into your garage, but it can also be another barrier for critters looking for ways into your garage when they can't get through the garage door seal," Brickner adds.
Keep the door closed as much as possible.
This may seem obvious but your garage door should remain closed when it's not in use. Roger Dickens, wildlife technical services manager at Ehrlich Pest Control, advises to not leave doors open for long periods of time and especially not overnight.
Jamie Nichols, senior service center manager at Arrow Exterminators, says that snakes are most active at night. "They're typically seeking out food sources, and garages are good for that." A great way to make sure you keep your garage door closed is through the use of a smart garage door opener which allows you to open/close your door from anywhere.
If you leave your garage door open often, you're basically inviting the snakes in with open arms.
De-clutter the space.
Snakes love to hide. No matter the space, they'll figure out a way to get comfortable quickly. "Removing clutter from in and around your garage is another way you can help to deter a snake from making its way in," Mello says.
"Firewood, untrimmed bushes, grasses, etc. should all be cleared away from the garage," Nichols says. Anything inside should be tidied up as well to ensure that other pests such as mice and rodents stay out too. Since snakes are looking for food and mice are their prime target.
Keep garbage cans outside.
Garbage cans are a huge target for critters and insects. Snakes can also hide there, plus they'll seek them out if they know they can catch some food. "Oftentimes, if you remove the food sources for the snakes, then they will move on to where their food sources are," Nichols says.
Snakes are always on the hunt for food, and they often go for smaller animals or creatures like mice and rats. Keeping your garbage outside may still attract rodents and other animals, however, those critters won't have access to your garage. If they're outside, the snakes will also stay outside.