Many people hate the thought of having critters in their yard, and will do anything to get snakes out of holes. This guide will explain how you get rid of the holes, but also how to get the snakes out of the holes in the first place so you can do things humanely.
Before you read on, I want to dispel a common myth: it’s not snakes making holes in your yard. Any hole you see a snake going into on your lawn, garden, or backyard soil has likely been created by another creature.
Snakes are not built to dig holes. But they are opportunistic and will seek out an existing hole in your yard in which to live, hide, and hibernate in.
If you want to get rid of snake holes in your yard, you need to stop blaming the snake, and consider what other critter is making the holes in the first place. Getting rid of those creatures will be key – and I explain that all below as you go through each step.
How to get rid of snake holes in yard or lawn
Before you read any of my tips, please be careful. Whilst the snake holes in your backyard might not be home to venomous reptiles, all snakes bite. Always wear gloves.
Secondly, I do not advocate killing snakes. The methods I show for getting rid of snake holes in my yard are all humane. If you are going to block a snake hole, or put something in it, please ensure that the snake has left the hole first.
1. Push compacted soil or stone down the snake hole
The best way to get rid of snake holes is to completely block the hole you’ve seen a snake slither from. You should wait until the snake has left the tunnel, then push compacted soil or stones into the hole.
Push the stones down with a stick and use the heel of your boot to make sure the soil and stones are as compacted as possible into the hole.
The reason stone and compacted soil is so good and getting rid of snake holes is because snakes are not good at digging. As I explained from the outset, the hole you are seeing was unlikely to be originally dug by a snake, but perhaps something like a rat or chipmunk instead.
Because snakes that are found in North America cannot dig through compacted soil, by packing it down with soil and stones, it’s very unlikely that the snake will be able to dig down into the hole again.
2. Use “Snake B Gon” or similar repellent in and around the snake hole
I also recommend using a human snake repellent as this will discourage snakes from using the holes in your yard as their home. A product like Snake B Gon comes in granule format and can be poured down the snake hole in your backyard and spread in other places you see reptile evidence.
It’s good for making snakes go away, whilst you then get rid of the snake holes in your backyard. Snakes hate like the smell and aroma of products like this and will seek a new place to nest and hibernate.
You can buy Snake B Gon on Amazon. It’s safe for people, pets, and plants in your backyard. You will need to pour more down the snake hole every 30 days until satisfied you have got rid of the snake, then fill the hole.
3. Push steel wool down the snake hole
Another tip to get snakes out of holes, or going into holes, is steel wool. Snakes can’t get past or chew through it, so you can push it down the snake hole until you can push it no more.
As with before, wait until the snake has left the hole before putting steel wool in it, and never reach into the hole, a cornered snake will bite.
There’s a specialist steel wool on Amazon designed to stop critters.
4. Keep your backyard clean and tidy
When you want to get rid of snake holes in your yard, you should think of why the snakes are coming to your property in the first place.
Snake loves warmth, food, water, and places to hide. If you have a backyard with long grass, perhaps a pond, log piles, lots of leaves and debris, then you’re giving snakes the kind of place they want to be in.
And once they get to your backyard and realize it ticks all the boxes a reptile real estate agent would tick, they will want to stay and find a good hole to hide in.
To stop the snakes coming in your yard do the following:
- Mow your lawn regularly so it’s no more than an inch in height.
- Remove and wood or log piles and other debris.
- Pick up any wood or metal sheets on the ground.
- Regularly move garden furniture about so snakes can’t settle.
- Drain out or fill in any water sources where puddles have formed.
5. Remove a water source like a pond or pool
A pond in your backyard will attract snakes. Snakes need water to survive but also love what the pond means from a food perspective.
Newts will find your pond, as will frogs and toads… and therein lies the problem. Snakes eat amphibians, so will love the fact you have this thriving ecosystem in your backyard.
Removing a pond won’t be easy, so you could try using humane snake traps (view on Amazon), adding a fountain as snakes prefer still water, or plant garlic and lemongrass which they don’t like.
6. Get rid of rodents from your backyard
One food source which is so important to a snake and where they decide to live, are rodents. Rats, mice, voles, along with insects, attract snakes.
It’s not simply rodents as a food source you should worry about though. It’s rodents such as chipmunks, that are likely making the holes in your yard.
If you can get rid of rodents, it will mean you get rid of the snake holes in your yard, as they won’t have any tunnels to inhabit.
7. Cover the snake hole with netting, burlap, or wire
Another method of getting rid of snake holes is to cover them with rocks, netting, burlap, or wire, once the snakes leave home for the day.
On the downside, it can look very unsightly in a well-kept backyard and garden lawn. But, it will stop snakes from going back down into the holes.
8. Get the snake out of a hole by flushing with water
Another humane way to get a snake out of a hole in the ground is water. You can try setting up a hose near the hole and letting the water run into it.
When it’s water that you pour down a snake hole, be aware that it will only work if the hole is not the access point to a large warren that perhaps a chipmunk has made. When snakes inhabit holes made by chipmunks, it could have multiple chambers, holes, and even be 10 meters in length so might not work.
Here’s a video showing how you can pour water down a snake hole with a little patience.
Those are my four tips for what you can put down a snake hole in your backyard. Note that they are all humane, and don’t involve killing the snake, which is what gas and bleach can do… but more about that lower down the page.
9. Just leave it alone
Of course, you could just leave the snake be. I don’t think snakes in a backyard is a bad thing as they add to the ecosystem and can protect your garden against more harmful predators.
- Snakes can control pests in your yard that damage plants and lawns.
- Snakes don’t dig holes, other critters do.
- Snakes don’t harm plants.
- Snakes are good for the ecosystem of your yard.
Snakes are also very shy, so before you try to get rid of snake holes, ask what harm they can do to you.
10. If all else fails call the professionals
A cornered snake will bite and getting rid of snake holes is never as simple as you might initially think it will be.
If you really do want them out of your backyard, contact a professional pest control company.
How NOT to get rid of snake holes in a backyard
I’ve outlined the best and most humane ways to get rid of backyard snake holes, but there are some things I didn’t include because they are such a bad idea. These include:
- Pouring petrol and bleach down a snake hole: it’s cruel and will do untold damage to your gardenor yard.
- Fumigate or smoke them out: fumigating a snake hole might sound like a good idea, but fumigants are illegal to use in the United States.
- Put your hand down the hole: a cornered snake is dangerous and even non-venomous ones will bite you.
How do you know it’s a snake hole?
Snake holes are the same as any other critter hole in your yard, but snakes will prefer small and cosy holes so look for ones with small openings.
Other giveaways that a snake lives in the hole will be snakeskins that have been shed and snake feces. Their poop will be black or dark brown, and either in a smear or a small and solid log shape. Their poop also tends to have a chalky white cap on the end.
I’ve previously written guides which explain how you can also tell the difference between certain hole types in your backyard.
- What mole holes looks like vs snake holes
- What chipmunk holes look like vs snake holes
- What chipmunk holes look like vs vole holes
Now you know how to get a snake out of a hole in your yard and how to fill it, I wish you all the success in the world… but honestly, I’d just leave them.
Snakes in your yard is a good sign as it means you won’t have lots of pests like rats and insects playing havoc with your plants!
More backyard guides…
- What do with garter snakes in your yard
- How to deal with Copperheads in your backyard
- What crawfish holes look like (and how to remove them)
Snake image in header https://pixabay.com/photos/snake-garter-reptile-wildlife-2401275/