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How To Kill Snakes Around the House

Along with rats, spiders, and mosquitoes, snakes are some of the most persecuted animal species on the planet. People fear snakes. But unlike rats, spiders, and mosquitoes, snakes do not breed rapidly. They can't live just anywhere. Unlike regular vermin, snakes are rare creatures, and they need good habitat to survive. Many snake species are threatened and endangered. It's amazing that they manage to hang on, in spite of our urban development, highways, etc. The last thing they need is deliberate killing. Here is what I've seen people use to kill snakes:
  1. Shovels to cut off head
  2. Shotguns
  3. Snake Poison (no such thing)
  4. Large kitchen knives
  5. Metal rakes
  6. Pets like cats
If you want to kill a snake, there are a variety of methods - the most popular appear to be shooting, or chopping the head off with a shovel or other garden tool. If you do either of these, you're basically an ignorant jerk. I know it won't help changing your mind for me to say that, but it's true. Most people seem to be learning, gaining an understanding that creatures like sharks and snakes are not monsters, but rare and threatened creatures that are an important part of the ecosystem - that of course homo sapiens is by far the true killing machine.

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And I apologize if I seem arrogant in the below image. It's just that I like snakes, I know they are beneficial, and I get so many emails from readers showing harmless snakes killed for no reason. I'm just hoping people make the right decision. You likely came to this page when researching what kills snakes, and you want answers, not someone preaching.

Look at the above and below dead snake photographs. Many people send me emails of snakes they've killed, and which they now want identified. It always goes something like, "we found a snake near our patio, luckily we were able to kill it, can you tell me what kind of snake it is?". Every time, it's a harmless and beneficial snake. Not once has someone sent me a photo of a killed venomous snake - mostly because they're rare.

Again, believe me or not (you probably won't if you're of the redneck ignorant asshole variety), but I talked to a couple emergency room doctors here in Florida, and they've all seen a few snakebite cases over the years. Every doctor told me that the bites occurred when people were trying to kill snakes!!! The irony. In fact, I remember a few years ago when a fireman was killed here in Central Florida by a rare Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. He shot the snake several times, thought it was dead, went to pick it up, and the snake reflexively struck him in the hand. Please read my snake safety tips for more info on how to keep safe around snakes, rather than just trying to kill them. I'd rather not receive any more dead snake pictures. I've already gotten at least 50 pix of dead snakes, and I get pissed off every time. Feel free to send me photographs of live snakes, and I'll identify them for you, but I have enough dead snake images.

How to kill snakes in the house - You shouldn’t have to kill any snakes at any time. Snakes are not problem animals; they do not purposefully enter a home to live there, and they do not cause damage if they are inside. Snakes in the home mean that there is a damaged area that needs repair. The snakes, if they are nonvenomous, are easily handled with snake hooks or a good pair of gloves. Trying to kill the snake will only serve to aggravate it. Any snake will bite if you annoy it enough. The no-kill rule is especially important when it comes to venomous snakes in the home. It’s not that venomous snakes deserve better treatment than other snakes, but venomous snakes have a much more lethal reaction to harassment. Snake bites in North America from venomous snakes almost always happen when someone is trying to kill or pick up a poisonous serpent. Do not try to whack the animal on the head with a garden tool. The moment you swing for the snake it will become alarmed. The reach of the garden tool will be shorter than the reach of the snake. If the animal strikes, you will be well within range.

Get rid of snakes by killing them - Snakes are a part of the world, and as such, it is impossible to be completely rid of them unless you fortify yourself inside a solid bubble of protection. The best you can hope to do is keep your snake interactions at a minimum. For the active homeowner, this is not that big of a task. The biggest step in to get rid of snakes is to evaluate the appearance of your yard. Snakes may be predators, but they are also prey for many larger animals. A snake will want to live in a yard that has tall grass and thick vegetation. This does not mean you have to eliminate all of your designer plants, but it does mean that you need to make smart choices when planting your garden. Avoid any plants that are low to the ground or are ground cover. You want to keep any snakes as exposed as possible. Taking away the animal’s sense of security is part of the battle. Aside from vegetation management, the items in your yard need to be inspected. Snakes love anything they can wiggle under. Big favorites are rock walls and patios. Make sure all out buildings are flush to the ground and keep your home’s foundation in good repair.

Here are some other snake links:
How To Trap Snakes
What Animals Kill Snakes
Color Rhyme for Coral Snakes
How Can You Tell if a Snake is Poisonous
How to Kill Snakes
Snakebite Aftercare
Snake Safety Tips
How to Catch Snakes
How Do You Keep Snakes Away
Do Mothballs Keep Away Snakes
Eastern Coral Snake
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
Snakes in the Attic
Snakes in the Basement
Get snakes out of a pool
Photographs of Snake Poop

Go back to my main snake removal page for more general snake info.
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