Snake Hole vs Crawfish Hole: The Differences

snake holes vs crawfish hole

When holes appear in your backyard overnight, you mind can very quickly jump to the worst conclusion. And for many people that either means it’s snake holes or crawfish holes. Both can be alarming, but for different reasons.

With snakes, a lot of people fear them, so the idea that a snake is living in a backyard hole will fill them with anxiety. With crawfish, there’s the worry that more holes will continue to appear on a well-manicured lawn, and possibly even lead to the tunnels collapsing.

When it comes to the crawfish hole vs snake hole debate, I fall firmly on the side of the snake. By that I mean I’d rather have a snake in a hole in my yard, than a load of multiplying crawfish, and let me explain why.

Crawdad / crawfish holes vs snake holes

I don’t mind snakes in my backyard, they are not a bad thing. Snakes are shy and in the main, the ones in your yard will be non-venomous. They are great for yards and gardens as they will keep pests down like rats, chipmunks, and insects – many of whom will eat or destroy your yard.

Unlike crawfish holes, snake holes aren’t made by snakes. Snakes will only occupy a hole that is already in your yard. Apart from some species in Asia and Africa, snakes cannot dig holes… so if you see a hole, a snake might live in it, but he didn’t make it.

Crawfish on the other hand are extreme tunnellers and diggers. They come out of a local stream or pond, and then burrow down into soft and wet earth in your yard. Their holes can be 3 feet deep and can become problematic.

Hole in yard
What a typical crawfish hole looks like in you yard (

The reason being, their burrows will expand over time, and can also attract other critters into the holes – think of rodents and wildlife all of which can make a crawfish hole a comfortable abode.

Unlike snakes, crawfish can dig long tunnels which could even damage property if they get under building or path foundations. They don’t stop with one hole. A snake is happy with one hole, crawfish will make multiple holes on your lawn, leaving those mounds also known as crawfish chimneys.

When you first see a crawfish hole, it’s common for people so assume it’s snake hole. But, how you can tell is the mound of earth I just referred to. It’s a strange pile of wet soil that is piled up high – it’s that “chimney” I spoke of.

Knock the crawfish chimney over and you will see their hole. Here’s what a crawfish hole looks like. Versus a snake hole, notice the mound. A snake won’t want that, they will want a clear and open entrance.

crawfish mound
Crawfish holes will have mounds, snake holes will not.

If there is no chimney, it could be a snake. Because snakes can’t dig, they need an open hole to come out and in of. And they like small holes too. You might see snakeskins in your yard that have been shed.

Another clue that snakes live in the hole and not a crawfish 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. 

It is worth saying at this point that snakes are known to take crawfish holes over. They will slither in, kill the crawfish, and make it their own home. So, don’t stick your hand down the hole if you’re not sure!

With that being said, if you really don’t like the holes in your backyard being made by snakes or crawfish, you can get rid of them. 

How to get rid of crawfish holes in your backyard

If you live near water and have found mounds on the grass of your lawn, there’s every chance these are crawfish chimneys from where holes have been dug. Crawfish, crayfish, or crawdads… call them what you will, they share one trait: they like to dig holes in your yard.

I’ve written five different methods you can try if you want to get rid of them.

How to get rid of snake holes in your backyard

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!

But if you really don’t want them there, here’s what you do.


In short, I welcome snakes in my yard, they are an essential part of the ecosystem. Crawfish, not so much, so when it comes to a crawfish hole vs a snake hole, give me a reptile any day of the week!

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