How to ‘snake-proof’ your property during breeding season

Photo Courtesy: Ben Powell/WFMY

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Triad has had its fair share of wacky weather this month.


We’ve experienced hail, wind, and a whole lot of rain.

As it turns out, the rain is causing some “not so friendly” creatures to crawl near our homes.

Experts say you’re more likely to see snakes out and about in the Triad now than any other time of the year.

The reason is because it’s breeding season.

In fact, WFMY News 2 Reporter Ben Powell was three steps away from stepping on top of a 6 foot black rat snake at the Guilford Meadows Disc Golf course in Greensboro on Saturday.

Experts say there’s no sure fire way to keep snakes out of your yard but there are some things you can try.

Chad Griffin says most snakes are more afraid of us than we are of it.

“There’s two reasons in the world a snake will bite,” said Griffin. “Fear and food.”

Griffin is a herpetologist who owns the CCSB Reptile Rescue and Rehab Center in Kernersville.

He often helps law enforcement with questions they have about turtles, lizards, spiders, and snakes.

Griffin says the fact that it’s breeding season coupled with all the rain we’ve had lately is causing snakes to leave out of their home and get on the move.

“They’re ready to feed and breed,” said Griffin. “That’s solely what the spring time is about.”

Griffin says snakes like to hide in places that we forget to clean up like in the backyard under tools, toys, pipes, and lumber.

“Right here, with this clutter that’s up against the wall, the first thing, all up in there, these animals can get,” Griffin said while pointing to a pile of stacked wood. “Snakes can hide all up in this. A lot of times they do. They go up under the buckets. They’ll find just enough of the gapping where they can fit through there.”

Griffin says snakes can also hide in bushes.

RELATED: How to identify NC’s poisonous snakes as warm weather arrives

“Keep your bushes trimmed up nice and neat and keep your pine needles or mulch low to the ground that way they are able to be seen across the ground,” said Griffin.

Griffin says there’s no proven snake deterrent on the market.

He says products like “Snake-Away” don’t work very well and neither do moth balls.

Griffin says the best thing you can do to keep the predators away is to get rid of the prey.

“You may want to trap your raccoons and get rid of them. Try and get rid of your squirrels and chipmunks,” said Griffin. “Ultimately, you are going to have snakes as long as you have food.”

Not all snakes are bad.
In fact, Griffin says the black rat snake, which is fairly common in the Piedmont-Triad region, will actually help control the population of poisonous snakes.

Griffin recommends that you always stay away from a snake if you see one on your property.

However, if you have questions about differentiating between the venomous vs. the non-venomous snakes, Griffin says the poisonous snakes have eyes that are slit like a cat.

Griffin says the poisonous snakes in North Carolina will usually have a triangular shaped head.

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