**Wildlife Pests Require a Wildlife Professional & are NOT Considered Pest Control – We are providing this information as a service to our customers and would be happy to refer you to a wildlife control company to further assist you. **
It is not uncommon for Colorado residents to discover a snake within their home. Snakes need cool damp shelters and at times inadvertently end up indoors or inside of crawlspaces and garages. In addition, homes experiencing a mouse infestation can end up a target for snake entry as they follow their prey. The experience can be frightening to homeowners, but a majority of the time it can be avoided.
Sealing gaps around the foundation of the home is a great place to start with snake prevention. Any gap larger than ¼ inch should be sealed. Sealing can be completed with mortar, caulking or 1/8 inch hardware cloth depending on the location and size of the gap. Homeowners should check not only the foundation, but doors, windows and utility penetrations need to be checked and repaired or sealed as well. Weather stripping is extremely important as part of the inspection process. Gaps under or around garage doors, entry doors and windows often enable snakes to access the home. Vents around the foundation or crawlspace as well as dryer vents should be examined and replaced or repaired as necessary to prevent entry. Homes with unfinished, dirt crawlspaces are at higher risk of snake entry as borrowing along the foundation can result in snakes in the crawlspace. Sump pumps are also an attractant for snakes due to their cool, moist surroundings. In these cases, homeowners can install 1/8 inch hardware cloth barrier wall along the foundation of the wall with 6 inches buried below soil grade to prevent burrowing. This process can help prevent rodent entry as well. Residents should also trim back bushes, trees and shrubs that contact the home as they enable snakes to climb to higher entry points on the home.
Keeping snakes out of your yard can be a bit more difficult. Although commercial snake repellents are available on the market, different repellents work in different ways on different species of snakes. What works for one species, may not work for another. It is best to consult your local state extension office regarding the specific of snake that you are encountering to determine if repellents are available. One thing to keep in mind is that a majority of repellent applications must be repeated following rain or snow. Exclusion techniques are available for fenced yards; however, they can be costly and time consuming. Much like the barrier wall that can be installed around the foundation of the home, hardware cloth can be installed to fencing with 6 inches buried below ground and 3 feet above ground. Angling the wire at a 45 degree angle away from the interior of the fence will also decrease the likelihood of a snake attempting to crawl over the top.