Hiker steps near a western diamondback rattlesnake

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.

Download this factsheet


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


Arizona black rattlesnake on woodpile

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)


Rattlesnake Solutions snake fencing

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
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.


Photographing a rattlesnake

How to Live With Snakes

Stepping near western diamondback rattlesnake
Snakes are reluctant to bite, even when stepped on or picked up
Learn The Truth About Snakebite
Sonoran mountain kingsnake biting handler
Most snakebites happen when handling or attempting to kill snakes
Sonoran whipsnake closeup
Less than 5 people in the US die from snakebite each year, including bites from exotic species and those who refuse treatment
Arizona black rattlesnake on woodpile
Learn how to make your yard less attractive to snakes
Check out this brochure from the Tucson Herpetological Society
Rattlesnake Solutions snake fencing
Fence snakes out
Photo courtesy Rattlesnake Solutions -- they'll install snake fencing for you.
Photographing a rattlesnake
Appreciate and enjoy these unique desert creatures
Learn more about snakes at www.snakes.ngo

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.


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).



See more on our YouTube channel.


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