Garter snakes are harmless and totally non-aggressive species of the serpent familia. However, the natural fear of a snake and the unpleasant odour garter snakes emit make them an unpleasant sight. I wouldn’t want any snake-calling dibs on my place, even if it’s a good and beneficial Garter.
So, to learn how to get rid of the garter snake and prevent its re-entry, I spend hours on research and held meetings with expert employees of the wildlife department and pest control companies. The creature will call your home its own if the place has factors to its liking. The crux of all those efforts is that you can discourage their invasion by targetting snake-attractive features.
I have discussed in great detail some non-aggressive and effective ways of getting rid of annoying garter snakes. A bonus is that they can help you rid of other kinds of pesky creatures too, such as rodents, insects and bugs. So, let’s begin the journey and good luck!
Ways to Get Rid of Garter Snake
A garter snake will approach your territory and settle there if it finds the place suitable for living. By suitable habitat, I mean regular food supply, shelter and protection. Below are some of the tried and tested ways by people like us to get rid of these pesky critters.
Maintain Neat Outdoors
Unruly weed, shrubbery and tall grass offer garter snake cover to hide and camouflage. So, chop, chop. Take a mower and garden sheers to trim grass and dense plantation. Snakes tend to avoid maintained gardens because of the fear of exposure.
Remove Litter and Junk
If you go on a house inspection, you might notice piles of litter or junk lying around in your yard, garage, basement or attic. You aren’t the only one, my house also used to have mounds of scrap stashed here and there. Garter snake, or any other species of snake for that matter, gets attracted to such piles because it finds it cosy and dark. No wonder snakes love to form dens in basements and foundations.
It is your responsibility to keep piles of firewood, compost, boxes, rocks and leaves away from your premises. Snakes don’t like to hang around uncluttered and organized places.
Halt Their Food Supply
9 out of 10 times snakes invade a place when they sense food there. Creatures like small farm animals, rodents, frogs, lizards, slugs, moles, minnows and various insects are like a buffet for snakes. If these organisms are regularly present in your house or yard, snakes will appear, come what may. You will be liberated of all kinds of nuisance if you treat your premises to control the pest population.
Protect your animal shelters, such as birdhouses, chicken coops and rabbit hutches, to keep them out of clutches of snakes.
Furthermore, don’t leave food articles, pet food containers and garbage cans open because insects and pests come after those. And pests means you will soon have a snake party. So, keep them sealed.
Fill Holes and Hiding Spots
Snakes are sneaky and unsocial creatures. They prefer to crawl in spots where they can stay away from prying eyes for days. Cracks and holes in foundations, walls, ceilings, vents, drains and ground are their preferred hiding spots. You should do repairs and fill all such gaps and holes to make your place unavailable for their refuge.
Moreover, broken windows and crawl spaces under doors and near windows are other vulnerable spots that allow snakes convenient entry. Use screens and paddings to seal gaps and crawl spaces to shut snakes out.
Remove Standing Waterbodies
Pools of water in your garden, storage area or near hose attracts a variety of pesky creatures, including snakes. Eliminate such water puddles from your premises to reduce rodents and snake invasions.
Use Traps and Repellents
After eliminating attractants, it is time to move towards capturing and scaring techniques. Garter snakes are harmless and don’t grow into intimidating pythons. Therefore, common glue traps are best for capturing them. You can easily set them free after picking a safe location; pouring cooking oil on the adhesive pad will allow the stuck snake to bugger off.
As for the repellents, you can use commercial snake repellent products and ground cover to scare snakes away from the vicinity.
Note: I once had a terrifying experience with a commercial snake repellent. So, I would advise you to choose only that product which is environment-friendly and non-lethal. For instance, a repellent product made of essential oils is safe to use.
I am a huge fan of snake-proof fencing; many experts and stakeholders in this department will also recommend anti-snake fencing around the premises. Build it around the property. Snakes, especially as docile as garter snakes, have little chance to cross this line of defence.
Hire a Professional
If your snake-discouraging techniques aren’t working to your liking or handling a snake gives you chills, I wouldn’t encourage you to deal with the creature yourself. Hire a professional employee to capture the culprit for you. He might even give you free advice on what else you need to do to halt unannounced snake visits.
Despite being super docile, garter snakes aren’t welcomed by many people. So, if you are one of those who don’t appreciate a garter snake leisurely slithering around your property, the above-listed humane tips will help you get rid of them. Many of these techniques have worked for me and my peers. So, I am confident they will do the same for you.