Finding a snake inside your garage can be a very frightening experience. Fortunately, there are many ways to avert this from ever becoming a reality, and you can keep your garage a snake-free zone.
To get rid of snakes in a garage, you can:
- Seal gaps under doors
- Keep doors closed
- Deter rats
- Tidy the floor
- Keep lawn short
- Trim trees
- Remove water
- Use snake repel
- Encourage predators
- Repel insects
- Use inhospitable plants
- Ultrasonic snake repellents
- Snake-proof fence
Whether you have already had a snake visiting your garage or just want to put some measures in place to keep your garage free of snakes, we have some suggestions that will keep these reptiles away.
How to Get Rid of Snakes in Your Garage
To stop snakes from going into your garage, you have to think like one of these slithery reptiles. When snakes enter any area, they are after one of two things – food or shelter.
Garages are a favorite snake hideout because they are often cool, cluttered areas. They provide ample shelter and are generally quiet places where items are not moved around frequently.
If there is any source of snake food in the form of rodents or large insects, it will be very difficult to eradicate snakes from your garage long-term. As soon as you relocate one, more will move in.
Snakes are part of the natural ecosystem and are nature’s way of keeping rodents and other critters at bay. Therefore, it is important not to view snakes as an enemy but rather as a valuable part of nature that is simply in the wrong place.
Although most snake varieties are not harmful to humans, there are a few that can deliver a dangerous bite. The best solution is prevention, and thankfully there are many easy ways to keep snakes away from all areas of your home, including the garage.
If you live in an area where snakes are common, you need to be especially vigilant. However, snakes are not malicious creatures and only enter garages searching for shelter or prey.
Snakes become more active during the warmer spring and summer months. They become less active in cooler months and, in cooler regions, may enter a state known as brumation.
One of the most frightening things about snakes inside any area is that they move about silently and can go undetected for long periods. If you have a garage where snakes might be able to gain access, always try to remain alert to signs that a snake might be sharing the space with you.
If you suspect that there might be some snake activity close to your home or garage, there are some signs and evidence you should look out for. Shed snakeskin, holes, or slither patterns on the ground are all reasons to be on high alert.
Snakes do not want to engage with people, so keep that in mind when working on solutions to keep them out of your garage. Humans are too large to be eaten, and the reason that some snakes have venom is for self-defense or to incapacitate their prey.
A snake may bite if it feels cornered or threatened, but they are usually quick to find an escape route away from a tricky situation. Most snakes hiss as a warning, whether they are venomous or not, as a method of intimidation that will hopefully drive away any threat.
It is essential to treat any snake that you encounter as potentially venomous. The safest option is to encourage the snake to leave an area without close interaction and seal all return routes.
The best way to get rid of snakes in the garage is to ensure that they don’t have any opportunity to enter. You want to create a clearly defined inside space that is as inhospitable as possible to snakes.
Let’s go through ways to keep snakes outside their natural habitat.
1 – Seal Any Gaps
Snakes are adapted to get in and out of extremely small spaces. They can go down mouse holes, and their flexible bodies can fit through tiny gaps.
When inspecting your garage for possible places where snakes could enter, the gap under the door is the most obvious. However, some snakes can squeeze through cracks in the bricks or enter through drainage or ventilation pipes.
Weather-sealing the garage door is the first and most effective step to keeping snakes out of the garage. Snakes that enter a garage are usually following the scent of prey or are opportunistically looking for shelter.
Making it difficult for both snakes and their prey to enter the garage is the best method to keep snakes outside. Adding a new garage door bottom seal can be a DIY job and will not only keep pesky critters out it will also prevent sand and grime from blowing in under the door.
Gaps in brick walls should ideally be filled with cement mortar. However, for a quick solution to almost any type of small openings or gaps where a snake may be able to slip through, there are handy expansion foams at most hardware supply stores that can be used to fill in small areas.
2 – Close the Garage Door
Even if your garage has the most effective weather-seal, and there are no cracks in any of the walls, anytime the garage door is open, a snake may be able to slip inside.
Keeping the garage door closed does not mean that you need to avoid using your garage. During periods of activity in and around the garage, snakes are less likely to venture close to the area.
When you are not using the garage regularly, keeping snakes out of the area can be as simple can remembering to pull the door completely closed each time you leave.
3 – Control Rodents
One of the most common reasons snakes venture into buildings is to seek prey. Rats and mice are often present in areas where snakes are prevalent.
Making your garage inhospitable to rodents will also make it a food scarce area for snakes. And before you reach for the rat poison, remember that there are much better ways to get rid of rodents.
Poison can be toxic to every part of the ecosystem and could even be ingested by a child or pet, so avoid using rat poison. A far more long-term solution to rat issues is to keep the garage area clean and neat and ensure that rats won’t have any food or nesting areas available.
Garages are often the household storage areas for items that aren’t used frequently, like boxes of decorations, lawn equipment that only gets used for a few months of the year, and long-forgotten hobby items. We all have special projects that we plan to get back to someday!
Instead of storing garage items in cardboard boxes that rodents can easily chew through, invest in sturdy plastic containers with tightly fitting lids. This will provide fewer places for rats to nest.
Very important to keep rodents, and thereby snakes, away from your garage is to eliminate any sources of food from the garage area. Dog food or birdseed are frequently stored in the garage, and these can be a magnet for rodents.
Keep your animal feeds inside tight-sealing plastic drums, or invest in a livestock feed bin from your nearest animals supply store. Animal feed container lids should fit tightly and either screw-on or be locked in place after use.
Keeping rodents away from your garage makes it a lot less likely that a snake will find the area attractive.
4 – Clear the Floor Area
Snakes are more likely to move along if they don’t find suitable hiding places in your garage. After all, they don’t want to lay out in the open and be detected.
Garages are often notorious for becoming the household dumping area where items like old magazines or bags of garden fertilizer are stored for long periods. While keeping all of these things in your garage is perfectly fine, it is best to keep the floor area completely clear.
As soon as there is clutter, there is the opportunity for snakes to conceal themselves. Keep boxes of less frequently used items above ground level on storage shelves.
Rolled-up garden hoses on the garage floor are an especially attractive option for snakes. Keeping your coiled hose on a hook on the wall will eliminate this popular snake hiding place.
Pay special attention to the back corners of your garage space and ensure that nothing is standing on the floor where a snake could hide. Leaves that blow into the garage tend to pile up in corners, and this can provide a perfect snake habitat where it will be perfectly camouflaged.
Keeping the floor space clear will also make cleaning and sweeping much easier. Moving things in the garage around regularly and keeping the area tidy is also an excellent way to deter rodents from nesting, which will eliminate the source of food for snakes.
5 – Keep the Lawn Outside of the Garage Short
Keeping the area outside the garage door completely clear is an excellent way to deter snakes from venturing into the area. Snakes like to stay concealed, so create a large open space outside your garage door.
If you have a large lawn, keep it neatly trimmed. Besides being more exposed while moving around on short grass, the regular sound of the lawnmower is also not a snake favorite, and they are likely to move away from areas that are mowed regularly.
If you have a lot of snakes in your area, you might also consider laying a patch of gravel or paving
outside your garage. Snakes cannot conceal themselves easily on hard surfaces and will avoid moving across areas where they are highly exposed.
6 – Trim Trees and Bushes Near the Garage
Reducing places close to the garage where snakes could hide is an excellent way to keep snakes away from the area. Avoid low-growing bushy plants or clusters of plant containers where snakes may be able to remain concealed near your garage entrance.
Tree branches should also never touch any part of the garage’s outer walls or roof. Snakes scale trees in search of birds’ nests and other prey and could find a gap in the roof or through a drainage pipe into the garage.
7 – Move Water Sources Away from the Garage Area
You might not think snakes and water go together, and usually they don’t, but all creatures require water, including snakes and their potential prey.
Ponds and water features are attractive elements in any yard, but they can be convenient drinking and hiding places for snakes. Damp locations can also be good habitat areas for frogs which are a favorite snake meal.
Consider moving garden water sources like bee drinking stations or birdbaths to areas of the garden that are a distance away from the garage.
Take note and eliminate any sources of water around the garage. Pets water bowls, leaking taps, and waterlogged soil under drainpipes around your garage can attract snakes and prey.
8 – Use Snake Repellent Spray
Many types of snake repel products are available at most garden supply stores. Snake repellents come in spray or granular forms.
Selecting a natural essential oil-based snake repellant is far more environmentally friendly than using any sort of poison. You can apply snake repellent around the outside perimeter of the garage or even in the corners inside.
Snakes avoid it, so snake repellent can be a win-win solution for both you and the snakes in the area as they will know which areas are off-limits.
9 – Encourage Snake Predators
If there is a sudden proliferation of snakes in your area, the balance of predators and prey may be out of sync. Remember that snakes also have natural enemies, and making them your allies can keep their numbers at bay.
Raccoons, foxes, skunks, coyotes, mongooses, and many other animals feast on snakes. Before you get annoyed by your local opossum, keep in mind that it may be keeping you safe by eliminating venomous snakes before they can get to your home.
Don’t forget birds of prey when controlling snakes near your home and garage. Hawks, eagles, and owls should be encouraged in your area. You can help by providing owl an owl nesting box and avoiding the use of any rodent poison.
10 – Avoid Attracting Insects Around the Garage Door
Snakes often get a bad rap because we tend to think of them as deadly predators. A large part of many snakes’ diet includes large insects, like locusts and large moths.
Lighting outside of garage areas is essential. However, try not to position lights directly over the door. Insects naturally fly towards lights during the evening, and they fall on the ground around the door, which may attract small snakes.
A far bigger problem than snakes gathering under lights to feed on insects is that the area may attract insect-eaters like frogs. This could bring snakes closer as the natural cycle continues.
Position outside lighting that will light the area, but where falling bugs drop away from the garage door.
11 – Plant Snake Deterring Plants
Keeping snakes out of the garage doesn’t mean that you need to clear all the plants away. If you have existing beds or planters, try planting plants that snakes avoid.
Marigold, herbs, and garlic can provide splashes of color but have strong scents that snakes avoid. Showy, sharp, pointed plants like yucca and mother-in-law’s tongue are preferable to planting bushy plants where snakes can go undetected.
Sharp plants like yucca also don’t usually have leaves that can easily become detached. Therefore, the area below the plant can stay completely clear of leaves and debris.
12 – Use Ultrasonic Snake Repellent Devices
Snakes getting into areas where they are not welcome has always been a challenge for humans. However, the modern era has brought some ultra-modern solutions to this problem.
Solar-powered snake repelling devices can offer a longer-term action than sprays or pellets. They do not require batteries and are also chemical and poison-free.
However, there has been some controversy over whether or not ultrasonic snake repellant devices effectively deter snakes from an area. Snakes rely primarily on sight and movement when hunting, so some experts believe that sound or vibration emitting devices might not be the best method to deter snakes.
While it is probably best not to rely entirely on these devices that emit high-frequency soundwaves to deter critters, they are worth trying. Many models are solar-powered, which is handy as they continually charge during snakes’ most active periods.
13 – Install Snake-Proof Fencing Around the Garage Area
If you live in a region where there are a lot of snakes, you might consider installing snake-proof fencing around the yard or free-standing buildings like garages or sheds.
A snake-proof fence is a fence that is anchored below the ground and is at least 30 inches in height. These fences, usually made of fine mesh, should surround the perimeter of an area you want to safeguard and must be impenetrable to even the smallest snakes.
Snake-proof fencing creates a physical barrier around specific buildings or can be fitted to surround your entire yard.
What to Do If You Do Find a Snake in the Garage
Finding a snake in your garage is never a pleasant experience. Even non-venomous snakes usually react defensively if they are disturbed, which can be frightening.
Although your first reaction might be to panic if you see a snake, you and the snake will leave the encounter unharmed by remaining calm and following a few steps.
Firstly, always assume that all snakes that you find inside are venomous. Although most snakes do not pose a danger to humans, this is not an error you can afford to make, so always treat them with extreme caution.
The Humane Society of the USA recommends following these steps if you find a snake in the garage or any part of your home:
- A snake that has been disturbed will usually want to get away as much as you want it to leave.
- If you have not disturbed the snake and it seems calm, quietly go and create an escape route for the snake
- Avoid agitating the snake. If it seems like a small, non-aggressive snake, you can gently encourage it to move towards the escape route using a long stick or broom. Do not do this unless you are wearing closed shoes and are calm and confident.
- In all other cases, or if the snake is unwilling to move, try to box it in while you call a snake removal specialist. Create a wide barrier around the snake so that when the snake handler arrives, the snake is easy to locate. Boxes or pieces of cardboard can provide an effective temporary barrier.
- While you are working to create a barrier, keep track of where the snake is so that it cannot slip away and conceal itself in another area inside the garage.
At no time should there be any intent to harm a snake that has entered a garage. A snake simply follows its instincts in search of food or shelter, and they fulfill a valuable role in the ecosystem.
Trained snake catchers are available in almost all areas. These experts are specifically trained to remove and relocate snakes.
The best way to get rid of snakes from the garage is to make the environment as unpleasant as possible for them. Remove all sources of food and water and seal all entry points.
There are many snake repellent products available, including sprays, granules, and ultrasonic frequency emitting devices. Becoming allies with snake predators like hawks, possums, and raccoons and allowing them to frequent your property can help keep snakes away from your garage.
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