A hiker steps near Henry, a Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake, at a trailhead.

Living With Snakes

Living With Snakes

Living With Snakes


 

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.

[button type=”primary” size=”lg” link=”https://www.livingwithsnakes.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/LWSbrochure.pdf”]Download this factsheet[/button]

 

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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

 
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Arizona black rattlesnake on woodpile

An Arizona black rattlesnake hunting on a woodpile.

 
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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)

 
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Rattlesnake Solutions snake fencing

Photo courtesy Rattlesnake Solutions — they’ll install snake fencing for you in Tucson and Phoenix, AZ.

 
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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
Learn your wild neighbors’ habits and avoid their areas or observe from a safe distance. If a venomous snake is in a high-traffic area (in the house, on the patio), wait for him to move, use a long-handled broom or hose to gently encourage him, or call a wildlife professional. Let them know you don’t want the animal moved far, this is their home too.

 
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Photographing a rattlesnake
 
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How to Live With Snakes

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Sonoran mountain kingsnake

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

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Rattlesnakes have friends (video available for media use).

 
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Male rattlesnakes may court females for days or weeks (video available for media use).

 
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Even fights are non-violent and rarely result in injury (video available for media use).

 
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Rattlesnakes give birth to live babies and take care of their kids (video courtesy Brendan O’Connor).

 
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BE A SNAKE HERO!

You can make a difference for snakes by joining Advocates for Snake Preservation today.