How To Take Proper Care Of Your Snake

Snake Inspection Guide

While snakes cause virtually no damage to homes or property, the mere sight of any species of snakes is liable to strike fear in many people and most animals. Snakes will harbor in areas that serve their needs. They need a place to hide and keep warm, moisture and a food source. Snakes can move indoors if these needs are met inside or near the structure. Snakes are more commonly found outside in areas where all of their needs can be easily met.

Signs of Snakes Outdoors

Snakes live in areas where they can have all of their needs met and it easiest for them to thrive. The appearance of snakes on your property is usually indicative of a rodent population nearby. Properties with readily available water sources such as bodies of water, bird baths, standing water or animal watering troughs will also have a higher chance of having snake activity.

Signs of Snakes Indoors

Similar to outdoors, shed snake skins is usually one of the first indicators that a snake has made its way indoors. Snakes are great at hiding and can find some very inconspicuous places to squeeze in. Snakes are most often found in basements or crawl space areas but they have been known to make their way into living areas as well.

You can search the following areas for snakes:

Under and behind appliances

In rafters

On wall ledges

Near door or window frames

In or around stored boxes

In or around clothing piles

Near water water pipes

Near heat sources

In confined, dark spaces

PRO TIP

Snakes that are loose in a home are often hard to find. One thing that might help to “lure” the snake in is to place piles of damp towels covered with a dry towel at different places along walls. The pile should be at least big enough that a snake could crawl under it and hide itself. This is helpful because of snakes’ preference for moisture. The piles can then be checked several times a day.

 

How to Find Snakes on Your Property

This is a topic very few people like to discuss—how do you find the snakes that are living on your property? For many, this is a scary prospect. Most people are happy to never see a snake, much less actually go looking for one on their property.

But whether you are deathly afraid of snakes or simply don’t care to be around them, having an idea of what sorts of snakes are in your neighborhood is a good idea—particularly if there are venomous snakes in the area

Now, let’s makes this easy for many of you. If you’re the type of person who has a perfect lawn with no heavy shrubbery and no standing water (such as a water tub or small pond for goldfish and the like), then you likely have very little chance of finding a snake on your property.

While snakes do sun themselves on open grass, snakes like to hang out near places where they can crawl into things or under things. They also like to be near water, not only to drink but also to eat the toads and frogs that are also attracted to the water. If you have a perfect lawn and very little shrubbery, you may see a snake once in a while that is simply passing through.

But if you live near water and have a shed on your property or thick shrubbery or various pieces of wood or metal on the ground, then you likely have snakes. The number of snakes, of course, depends on where you live and the time of the year. Also, remember, for every snake you see, there are many more nearby that you can’t see.

 

How do you find snakes in your backyard?

Looking for snakes in your yard or other residential areas is pretty easy. First, make sure you never put your hands or feet anywhere that you can’t see them clearly. This is the best rule for avoiding a bite by a venomous snake. Typically, snake’s movements are governed by the search for food, the search for a mate, and the need to thermoregulate (control their body temperature). Since snakes are ectothermic (that is, they rely on changing their environment to regulate their body temperature, versus mammals which can thermoregulate mostly without changing environments), they tend to look for places to bask in the sun when the air is cool and there’s sun out. Likewise, on hot sunny days, they look for cover that protects them from extreme heat. You’ll have best luck finding snakes on warm, dry days. The time of year will vary depending on your location. Look for cover items—boards, roofing metal, pieces of cardboard, bark, etc. that might provide shelter for them. Using a long stick of some sort, carefully lift the cover item toward yourself (so that a surprised snake will have to escape away from you, not toward you). Finding areas where rodents, frogs, birds, or other prey animals live may also help you locate snakes. Essentially, herpetologists (those who study reptiles and amphibians from a scientific perspective) just spend a lot of time looking under cover items and occasionally finding snakes moving on the surface. Sometimes we use tricks like putting out stacks of a few sheets of tin or some plywood to help provide a hiding place, but these have to weather for at least one growing season usually before they are likely to produce any results. Above all, make sure you know how to identify the venomous snakes in your area before attempting to locate any snake, and be sure you are prepared to make a safe retreat if you encounter one.

First, understand what types of snakes you’re apt to find in your area. If you’re prone to “hots” (venomous species) in your neck o’ the woods, this is NOT a good idea.

If you’re OK as far as hots go, then think like a snake. Snakes like safe, dark places to hide more often than not, though some are excellent at climbing trees and will hang out “upstairs”. They like being away from noise and strong smells, but near water so they can drink and can soak when it’s time to shed. They want a food source (generally rodents).

Most of your “easily domesticated” species like corns, rats, kings, hognoses, ribbons, racers, garters, and such will prefer hidey-holes near trees or streams. You can tempt them into specific areas by putting down plywood sheets or bed linens for a few days, then turning them up to peek underneath. And you’d better be prepared for a bite, because no one likes being disturbed when they’re napping. You also don’t know what else is going to shelter under there, so it’s not something I’d recommend.

Rather than pulling an animal from the wild, I always recommend you try “adopting” from a reputable source first, with a second option being buying a captive-bred animal that was NOT pulled from its natural habitat and thrown into a cage. This is more expensive, of course, but animals bred in captivity tend to be robust, healthy, and free of parasites or diseases which is something you’d have to take care of on your own with a wild-caught specimen.

 

Choosing the Best Pet Snake

Snakes are fascinating animals, and with regular handling, most of them can be quite tame as pets. However, snakes are obviously not the right pets for everyone. They have unique requirements and should only be cared for by those with the commitment and understanding to meet their needs. If you are new to pet snakes, find out what you should consider before deciding to get one and what species are the best snakes for beginners.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Snake as a Pet

When choosing a snake as a pet, realize you are making a long-term commitment because many species can be expected to live over 20 years.

You must be willing to feed prey animals to your snake (though previously frozen, pre-killed prey is the safest choice) and you will probably have to devote some freezer space to frozen prey items (i.e., rodents).

Snakes are very good escape artists, so you will need to make sure you have an escape-proof enclosure. Snakes are persistent about finding and squeezing through any small gaps.

As beautiful as they are, large constricting snakes and venomous snakes are not recommended as pets due to their safety concerns.

Get a captive bred snake from a reputable breeder, if at all possible. Wild caught snakes tend to be more stressed and prone to parasites and disease, as well as being more difficult to tame

Get a Healthy Snake

You will want to do a cursory exam of your snake to check for any signs of illness, including bubbles coming out of the nose, retained skin, closed eyes, and mouth rot.

Ask for a feeding demonstration to make sure your new snake is readily taking pre-killed prey and eating well. Ball pythons are somewhat notorious for having feeding problems, so this is an especially good idea for ball pythons

Recommended Beginner Snakes

These are all reasonably sized, fairly easy to care for, and tend to be quite docile snakes to care for as pets

These ones are also easy to find from a breeder or at a reptile show since they are quite popular:

Corn Snakes

King and Milk Snakes

Ball Pythons

 

What to do about snakes

Snakes instill a deep-rooted fear in many people that few other animals can match. Even other animals seem to put them in a special category; many wild animals recognize snakes as threatening, and some birds and monkeys even have special vocalizations for sounding an alarm when a snake is seen.

But there’s no justification for the persecution of these animals and the acts of violence often committed when even the most harmless of them is sighted. Snakes suffer greatly from changes in their habitat. Isolated when their natural land is broken up by development, they can’t easily move across the unfriendly terrain.

Common problems and solutions

Snakes cause few problems, and the few they do are relatively benign. Some of the larger species may cause problems around poultry houses, occasionally taking chicks or eggs, but—except for the venomous species— snakes are not a threat to humans or their pets. That does not convince people who have a deep-seated fear of these animals that they are harmless, and the fear some people have at even a glimpse of these reptiles contributes mightily to what are real conflicts between humans and snakes.

Snake Identification Books on Amazon

In many places, you can call animal-control or local police or fire departments to remove the snake. What happens after that may be problematic, since most poisonous snakes have well defined ranges in which resources, such as winter dens (hibernacula), are critical to their survival.

Exclusion (preventing entry or re-entry)

Excluding snakes from buildings can be as difficult as excluding rodents. And keeping snakes out of yards or gardens may be completely impractical.

A Rodent Checklist For Your Home

Prevention Is Key to Rodent Control

 What is the best way to prevent pest infestation?

The best way to control a pest infestation is to prevent it from happening. There are two main ways to prevent and control the presence of insects, rodents, and other pests:

  1. Block entry points (exclusion)
    Eliminating entry points for pests will help keep them out of your establishment. This could include patching holes in walls and keeping doors closed as often as possible. In addition to this, inspecting food shipments for signs of pests and rodents can help keep pests out of your establishment.
  2. Eliminate sources of food, water, and shelter
    Pests are always on the hunt for food, water, and shelter. Denying pests those necessities will deter them from entering and staying in your restaurant. Some common ways to keep food and shelter from pests include:
    • Storing food away from walls and at least six inches off the floor
    • Sealing workplace equipment to the floor or raising it at least six inches above the floor
    • Maintaining a sanitary work environment by cleaning and sanitizing preparation areas immediately after use
    • Disposing of trash carefully and regularly
    • Keeping dumpster areas clean

 

Check out Any Pest’s simple fall rodent control steps

STEP 1: REMOVE FOOD & WATER SOURCES.

Mice and rats are opportunists, meaning they will eat basically any food left by humans. In order to successfully control rodents, removing their food and water source is critical. Do not leave open containers of food in the pantry or kitchen. Clean up food spills immediately. Make sure all food containers and packages are properly and tightly sealed. And don’t forget, clean up crumbs! Seal food in airtight containers and remove garbage regularly.

STEP 2: REMOVE CLUTTER.

Mice and rats love disorganization and clutter. To prevent rodents from having a place to live, clear out boxes and clutter in dark areas, such as your basement, attic, closets, and storage areas. Employ shelves in rooms and closets when possible. Keep materials and belongings off floors.

STEP 3: SEAL CRACKS AND HOLES.

It is important to prevent rodents from entering your home through crevices. Thoroughly seal and block cracks using caulk or steel wool to keep rodents out. Focus especially on the areas where utilities and pipes meet the home. Replace mortar and weather stripping around foundation.

STEP 4: ELIMINATE MOISTURE SITES.

Moisture is ideal for rodent breeding. Eliminate any and all sites of moisture, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. When storing firewood, make sure it is at least 20 feet away from the house. Keep shrubs and bushes around your house low during the fall.

Disposal of dead rodents

The following procedures can be used for handling dead rodents found:

  • using tools such as tongs to put the dead rodents into a tough plastic bag (e.g. rubbish bag);
  • spraying the carcasses with general household disinfectant or diluted bleaching solution until they are soaked thoroughly;
  • sealing the bag tightly and placed it into another plastic bag. The second plastic bag should also be sealed;
  • putting the bagged material properly in covered rubbish bin or disposing of it to the nearest refuse collection point.

When handling dead rodents, attention should be paid to personal and environmental hygiene. Wear gloves and face mask, if necessary, when handling dead rodents and avoid direct contact with them. All areas, clothes and items contaminated by the dead rodents should be disinfected thoroughly using general household disinfectant or diluted bleaching solution. Before taking off gloves, wash them with water and then cleanse with general household disinfectant or diluted bleaching solution. Hands should be washed thoroughly with soap and water after removing the gloves.

 

Mechanical Control

Mechanical rodent control as a rule is not very practical. It is cumbersome, labour intensive, and often not very efficient. Mechanical techniques are more appropriate in households, and can be used if the owner has no access to poisons or is averse to their application

The method most commonly used in buildings is trapping. Often local traps are available and in some cultures people are very good at using them. They should be placed where rats move regularly. If placed along a wall, the trap should be perpendicular to it and the treadle with the bait should face the wall.

Sticky or glue traps are another way of catching rats and mice (Prakash 1990, Meehan 1984). They are boards made of wood, hard- or cardboard covered with very sticky material. There are different types of glue available and they should be checked for suitability (stickiness, and usability in humid or dusty conditions) before large quantities are ordered. The boards are placed in the same way as traps, and normally there is no need for bait to attract rats. These traps should be checked daily, but are not regarded as very ‘humane’.

Flushing rodents out of their burrows, with smoke or by flooding them with water, can be very effective and suitable in some situations. Ultrasonic devices are mentioned regularly, particularly by manufacturers of these devices, as a good repellent of rats and mice in buildings. However there is no scientific evidence of their effectiveness.

 

When using traps, take the following safety steps:

  • Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Always read and follow the label instructions on the rodent control product.
  • Be sure to place traps in locations where children and pets cannot access them or place traps in safety enclosure boxes.

Cleaning up after trapping rodents

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following safety tips:

  • Use gloves when disposing of dead rodents, nests, or any nesting material.
  • Spray the dead rodent or nesting material with a disinfectant solution and allow them to soak for 5 minutes before disposing of rodent or materials in a secure plastic bag.
  • Spray and wipe up the area surrounding dead rodent or nesting material with a disinfectant.
  • Place the plastic bag with rodent or nesting material into another plastic bag along with any wipes or rags that were used to sanitize the surrounding area.

Tips To Find The Best Exterminator

What should a homeowner look for when selecting a pest professional, commonly called an exterminator?

  • A qualified and licensed pest management company that is a member of national, state or local pest management associations.
  • Ask friends and neighbors to recommend companies they have used successfully.
  • Buy value, not price.
  • Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the pest, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem.
  • Find out if the company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment.
  • If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing prevention and management are necessary.

 

Tips For Choosing the Right Exterminator Service

Things Your Pest Control Company Can Ask You to Do

  • Let the sprayed pesticide settle and dry before allowing pets and/or kids to get indoors.
  • Keep all household pests off the treatment area to prevent them from ingesting the harmful pesticide chemicals.
  • Empty kitchen cabinets, remove personal items lying on the floor, and keep pets away from the treatment area before the team of professional exterminators arrive.
  • Use heavy plastic to cover your aquarium or remove it from the area or structure to be treated. Do not forget to turn off the air pump to ensure no pesticide gets into the aquarium.

Always follow instructions given to you by your exterminator service company, especially if they intend to use both pesticides and non-chemical pest control techniques in your home. With good cooperation, your local exterminator company will not just get rid of pests from your home, but also minimize the amount of pesticide it uses.

If not used according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the product label, pesticides can pollute the environment or even impair your health due to their toxic nature. Different pesticides have varying level of risks and side effects. A professional exterminator can help you find a pesticide that best suits your needs. All-State Pest and Lawn pest exterminator service provider also offers bed bug control service.

 

Pest Control: Tips and Secrets

To ensure this is a top-notch resource you can come back to again and again, we personally contacted insiders you can trust. Below are some of our favorite pest control tips:

  • Keep your gutters clean
  • Ensure food is covered
  • Leave the lights on
  • Eliminate standing water
  • Reduce pest hiding spots
  • Don’t store wood near your home
  • Keep deer away
  • Clean up cluttered storage areas
  • Cap your chimney

 

TIPS ON HOW TO CHOOSE A GOOD PEST CONTROL COMPANY

SCOPE OF SERVICES

You should engage a pest controller that provides the complete scope of works. This ensures that they are fully accountable for their work and do not rely on others to complete other aspects of pest treatment and control. Prior to engaging the company, sit down with the pest controller to understand exactly what they are going to do. There should ideally be a short-term treatment plan and routine and periodic inspections following the initial treatment to check on progress.

DO THEY HAVE EXPERIENCE?

Even though the pest controller might have leading products and equipment, they might not have the experience to use them in all scenarios. Each property is situated in a unique environment and is subject to many internal and external forces that differ between properties. Pest controllers typically rely on their customer to provide a history of the pest problem so that they can develop their understanding of the issue. If you sense that the pest controller might be engaging in trial and error, consider asking the pest controller if they have a colleague who is more experienced to deal with the task at hand.

ASK QUESTIONS

Any question is an important question. It is vital that you ask the questions that you have, relating to pest control, so that you feel comfortable with the pest controller providing the services. Pests are a nuisance and you want to be certain that the pest controller will target and remove all pests in your property. If you feel that the pest controller has difficulty answering your questions, this might suggest that they do not have the experience or knowledge.

 

Tips and Tricks for Finding the Right Exterminator for Your Needs

  • Make sure the exterminator you hire has the right amount of insurance and the correct license. This is a real “trust but verify.” It is really important that they have the right amount of insurance. When people work on or around your home, if something goes wrong, you may be held liable. Also, licenses can be forged so you should check with the government to make sure your exterminator has the license you need.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau. That is something you can do whenever you need to hire someone to work on or around your home.
  • Ask the company about their experience. It can be really hard to get rid of pests and keep them from coming back. Termites are notorious for being hard to kill. You need to find out how much experience they have both in pest control but also in dealing with the exact pest you have to deal with. You want a company who has a lot of experience.
  • Get to know the pests in your home. Every pest is different, but all are in your home to be warm, get food, and find access to water. Find what pests you have in your home. This can make it easier for you to help the pest exterminator find and get rid of the pests in your home. Knowing what pests you are dealing with can also help you hire the right people. If you have mice, you do not need to talk to bed bug exterminators.
  • Talk to people you know. If you have pests in your home, the chances are good that the people who live around you do as well. Not everyone likes to admit they have pests, so you should talk to the people you know well. It is great to hire companies or get services for just about everything this way.