Those Holes In Your Yard Might Be Encouraging Snakes To Take Up Residence

Noticed a new scaly resident in your yard who's not paying rent? It happens. Snakes are common reptiles in many places, but if you've noticed a few that haven't just slithered on by and seem to be making a home out of your lawn, there could be a few culprits, including open holes that have been left unfilled. A balanced ecosystem needs these slinky creatures, but that doesn't necessarily mean they need to commandeer your yard or make the most of vacant gopher holes.

There are a few reasons why snakes love these burrows, one of them being because it's essentially like moving into a prefab home. There's no work to be done, and it's prepped and ready for them to live in. If you're wondering more about why these are ideal homes for snakes and would like to avoid your plot becoming a snake neighborhood, read on for tips on filling holes in, why snakes have an affinity for them, and a few other considerations if you're looking for ways to keep snakes away from your yard

Why old gopher holes become snake homes

You may have noticed the old gopher holes in your yard but brushed them off as something you'll get around to filling in later. It's no big deal if it's not a top priority on your yard maintenance list, but any extended period when these holes are left empty is the perfect move-in date for a snake. Holes like this are attractive to these reptiles because they're already created — not having arms makes it quite a bit harder to dig out your own space. Aside from that, holes are safe spaces for resting, digesting, and laying eggs. They're hidden away from humans and harder for predators to access.

Once you've located the holes and current residents, give the snakes time to leave, as this is safer for you and them. Then, you can go in and fill them with dirt. Aside from this method, you can use materials like burlap or chicken wire to cover up holes and prevent any creatures from moving in again. This is a more permanent solution and lessens the chances that a rodent or something else will re-excavate your yard. If you decide to leave them be, that's perfectly acceptable as most common, nonvenomous garden snakes will stay out of the way and won't wreak havoc. Just be mindful when walking around your yard — or prepare for mutually spooking one another!

Other factors that invite snakes into your backyard

Aside from ignoring old holes left by gophers and other rodents, there are a few other things you could be doing that mean snakes won't stay out of your yard. The first thing is having haphazard wood piles, stacks of lumber, or piles of leaves. This creates the perfect environment for a snake to slither into. Keep lumber covered up and move brush and leaves into compost or burn piles as soon as possible.

A couple of other unassuming features in your yard could also be causing trouble. Tall grass and overgrown plants and shrubs provide comfortable hiding places for snakes. Keep grass cut low and trim hedges, bushes, and plants so they're not overgrown and covering the ground surrounding them. Serpents are vital cogs in the wheel of nature, but be mindful that your friendly garden neighbors don't become a full-blown snake problem. One or two can help keep the surrounding ecosystem balanced, but a whole network in your yard can pose a few issues.