HELP! There’s a snake in my yard — what should I do?
Killing or moving snakes is a quick fix, not a solution. Where there’s one, there’s likely to be more. Most bites happen when people handle or try to kill snakes, so to keep your family safe try these alternatives.
Make your yard less attractive to snakes
- Don’t feed or water pets or wildlife on the ground
- Don’t create shelter for snakes or their prey with debris piles
- Lush vegetation and water attract snakes and their prey too
An Arizona black rattlesnake hunting on a woodpile.
Fence snakes out
- 4ft high with solid buried footing
- Smooth solid or 1/4in (or finer) galvanized mesh
- Cover drainage areas with 1/4in (or finer) galvanized mesh
- Look for trees and shrubs that give climbers a way in (all snakes can climb)
Photo courtesy Rattlesnake Solutions — they’ll install snake fencing for you in Tucson and Phoenix, AZ.
Learn to live safely with your wild neighbors
- Use lights when walking at night
- Create clear, wide paths for safe walking
- Watch where you put your hands and feet
- Use a long stick to disturb vegetation and any animals hiding within it
It is not only possible to live with venomous snakes, but can be very rewarding. Snakes are important predators and prey — their presence indicates a healthy and productive ecosystem. Learn to live with them and appreciate your encounters.
THE SECRET LIVES OF SNAKES
Rattlesnakes have friends (video available for media use).
Male rattlesnakes may court females for days or weeks (video available for media use).
Even fights are non-violent and rarely result in injury (video available for media use).
Rattlesnakes give birth to live babies and take care of their kids (video courtesy Brendan O’Connor).