How to Get Rid of a Rat Snake? The Only Guide for You

How to Get Rid of a Rat SnakeOnce I was taking a stroll in the grass when I saw a giant black rat snake tanning under a tree in my lawn. The terrifying creature made me produce a blood-curdling scream. I called animal control services to come and quickly rescue us from the monster. Their employee resolved the issue and told us the snake’s spouse or sibling was also seeking shelter in a den. Holy moly!

After this spine-chilling episode, I decided to spend maximum time learning how to get rid of a rat snake. I am sure many of you must be interested in knowing how to keep these terrifying creatures away from your house.

In today’s post, I am sharing the most effective techniques for getting rid of snakes and how you can modify your house to create an anti-snake environment.

How to Get Rid of a Rat Snake Easily

If you see a rat snake having the time of his life on your property, consider the following techniques to get rid of it.

  1. Use Broom or a Garden Hose

Most species of snakes flee the scene at the first sign of human approach. So, if you witness a non-venomous rat snake on your property, scare it away with harmless tools like a broom or a garden hose. Either sweep it towards an exit with a large broom or direct your garden hose towards it.

  1. Contact an Expert

If you are unsure of the nature of the snake, avoid handling it on your own. Dial down the number of your local animal control or pest service company. The expert will easily take care of the nuisance for you.

  1. Trap & Relocate It

Most of us get edgy when we have to stay on the same land with a snake, even if it is for a minute. So, if you are not willing to leave the invader for the next couple of hours on your land, trap it. You can use homemade snake traps or commercial traps to catch the critter. Glue traps, minnow traps and wooden box traps are great options for trapping and relocating snakes.

According to Colorado State University Extension, hiding burlap sacks is a guilty pleasure of rat snakes. So, you can use burlap sacks too for trapping them. Afterwards, dump the prisoner in a friendlier habitat.

  1. Use Smoke

I have not applied this technique personally, but people, especially residents of California and other snake-active regions, say smoke compels the serpents to leave the area. Keeping the smoke alive in a firepit near the snake-active spot will drive it away from your land.

  1. Apply Environment-Friendly Repellents

Applying snake repellents is another effective way to drive them away from your territory. However, it is your moral obligation to use only eco-friendly and natural repellents. You can pour essential oils around areas where heavy snake traffic has been observed. If you are okay with the stench, you can also pour fox urine near snake-infested spots. Its disgusting odour will make it run like its tail is on fire.

I have a small front lawn, and everybody knows that snakes love to take cover in such outdoors. So, I have planted a combination of snake-repellent plants on my lawn and backyard to keep snakes at bay. You can follow the same approach to barricade snakes’ entry.

  1. Keep Natural Predators

Animals like guinea hens, turkeys, raccoons, foxes, cats and pigs are called natural predators of snakes. Allowing one of these to patrol your premises will surely discourage invasive snakes from trespassing.

  1. Eliminate Shelter & Cover

Untrimmed grass, unkempt shrubbery, rockpiles, woodpiles, debris, coiled hoses, shady areas under sheds, cluttered attics and garages are sources that give snakes shelter and cover. You want to keep snakes, including rat snakes, off your land? Simply remove all the elements that allow them to camouflage.

.Your grass shouldn’t grow more than 1”.

.Similarly, don’t let the bushes and shrubbery grow dense and wild.

.Keep your shed, garage and attic uncluttered and neat.

.keep piles of wood, rocks, debris and other junk a couple of feet above the ground, probably on a bench or wooden shelf.

  1. Don’t Give it Food

A snake will dare to return to your place if there’s food. Like other snake species, a rat snake is also fond of hunting rodents, insects and lizards. Eradicate these from the premises, and your snake problem will resolve automatically. Also, don’t leave food spills on the floors.

I went one step further and applied pesticides and rodenticides to keep these pesky pests off my property. It’s been more than two years that I haven’t seen any snake activity. Aha! Do the same to put a full stop to the possibility of snake invasion.

  1. Eliminate Gaps & Holes

If you have gopher holes, animal burrows or any kind of cracks and crevices or gaps around your building, eliminate them by doing repairs. Fill the holes and animal burrows with soil yourself or call burrowing pest control to do it for you. Otherwise, there’s a strong possibility that a snake might decide to reside there. Also, seal all the snake dens.

  1. Get Rid of Standing Water

Accumulated water in a place, such as a birdbath, pond, rain barrel or pool, attracts snakes like moths to flames. They come towards standing water either to quench their thirst or hunger – rodents, amphibians, worms and insects are attracted to moist areas and water puddles. Remove these water sources or pour snake repellers around them to make them no-snake zones.

  1. Protective Fencing

Place snake-proof fencing made of mesh, steel or plastic across the premises. The fence should be angled outward, dug at least 4 feet under the ground, and a couple of feet high – 3 feet above the ground minimum.


Note: You can consider many of these tricks to get rid of snakes in the basement and under your porch. When you decide to handle a snake, wear protective gloves. Forgetting them is like a cardinal sin. Otherwise, there’s a strong possibility that you may have to nurse a nasty fang bite.


Despite being beneficial members of the ecosystem, very few people will tolerate a rat snake or any other snake in the house. So, instead of wondering what to do when a giant rat snake appears on your property, you should know beforehand how to handle such situations without letting it escalate. The approaches mentioned above will not just help you get rid of snakes without bloodshed, but also prevent them from coming back.


About the author

Clinton Newman

Clinton Newman is a herpetologist and part-time blogger who loves to study snakes and their behavior. He is always called by neighbors to help them catch or get rid of snakes in their houses. . He's a passionate traveler and does a lot of Hiking and Hunting Adventures. His favorite places are Forests, Deserts, and Mountains. Now, he's guiding other Hikers to hike safely through this blog by reviewing the top best picks gears for safety and also guiding on Snakes and ways to deal with them.