The Popular Bird-Attracting Feature That's Likely Inviting Snakes To Your Yard

No one likes to venture into their backyard only to find a snake slithering through the grass. It makes you feel like you have to be on high alert while enjoying your garden, since you never know when one might slide past your feet. While it might be dismaying to find these pests setting up shop in your yard, you can take measures to get rid of them. Look for ways your yard is attracting snakes, and then remove those elements so these pests look for a more hospitable home. If you're an avid birdwatcher, one easy thing you can do is take down your birdbath. Snakes typically go where there is water for both food and sustenance, so removing that popular bird feature might curb your snake problem

Birdbaths are a great way to attract neighborhood songbirds, but they're not the only animals that find it an inviting spot to drink and rest. Snakes also require water to quench their thirst, and the stagnant pool is also a great place to attract a buffet of prey. Since animals usually set up shop wherever there is a reliable source of food and shelter, a backyard with a birdbath is an attractive option for snakes. Here is a deeper look into why you might need to remove your birdbath to get rid of your reptilian problem. 

Why birdbaths attract snakes

Your backyard birdbath might be attracting snakes for a whole host of reasons. First and foremost, snakes need water to survive, just like any other animal. Because of that, they will slither up to a body of water to quench their thirst. Second, these reptiles also like to use water as a way to regulate their body temperature, especially during the summer. "We do often find snakes hanging around water like birdbaths and water features in people's yards to cool down and get out of the heat of the day," shared Stuart McKenzie of Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 with The Dodo. McKenzie also explained that snakes who are in the middle of shedding their skin also sometimes take a dip in water to soak themselves and help the process along. 

Snakes can also be attracted to birdbaths due to it being a food source. Neighborhood birds swoop in and out of them to cool off or drink, and since snakes are carnivorous, they will see these feathered friends as a meal. If they don't eat the birds, then the birdbath can offer up a bounty of other snacks, such as insects or frogs. Mosquitos and cockroaches are known to make beelines for stagnant water, while frogs need it to lay their eggs. A snake would gladly eat either. 

Alternatives to birdbaths

Due to snakes' attraction to water, putting a birdbath in your yard might not be the best idea. However, if you're determined to provide water for your feathered friends, then a good compromise would be getting a mister. Rather than creating a stagnant body of water, you can instead offer a continually-moving mist, which would be less attractive to these reptiles. This wouldn't provide drinking water for birds, but it would help them cool off or wash themselves. 

The only downside is that not all birds will make use of the mister. Instead, it will likely attract species such as hummingbirds and warblers. To use it, you screw on the attachment to your hose and place it in a tree, allowing it to mist the surrounding leaves. Birds will dart in and out of its spray, and some will even sip on any water accumulating on surrounding branches. One such example is the Easy Mister from Wild Bird Chalet for $21. Just make sure to keep an eye on the device to ensure it doesn't create puddles underneath the tree. If it does, you will continue to attract snakes, which defeats the purpose!