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Snakes In and Around the House

Snakes are generally shy animals who want nothing to do with people. They can be beneficial because they eat mice, slugs, grubs, insects, and other pests and they can be food for other wildlife such as hawks. Although most species of snakes in North America are harmless, there are some venomous species that can pose risks to people and pets. The National Pesticide Information Center collected the resources below to help you find ways to keep snakes away without posing unnecessary risks to you, your family, pets, or the environment.

Control tips:

  • If you or someone else is bitten by a snake that you think could be venomous, contact yourPoison Control Center(1-800-222-1222) or your health care provider as soon as possible.It may not be necessary to identify the snake.
  • If your pet is bitten and is experiencing pain, redness, swelling, or bruising, take your pet to your veterinarian right away. If your pet is not showing any of these signs, consider calling your veterinarian or theNational Animal Poison Control Centerat 1-800-426-4435 for advice.
  • Chemicalsnake repellentsare available, but they can pose risks to people, pets, or the environment if they are not used properly. Always be sure to read and follow all label directions if you decide to use one of these products.
  • Only use repellents that specifically state on the label that they are snake repellents, and use them only according to thelabel instructions.
  • Snakes enter areas inhabited by people in search of food and shelter. The easiest thing you can do is make your home and yard less appealing to them.
  • Prevent snake problems by removing their food sources likerodents. Don't leave pet food out and store animal feed in tight containers.
  • Snakes like cool damp places to hide. Seal entry points into your crawl space or basement which are greater than ¼ inch in diameter.
  • Make sure door sweeps and window screens fit tightly. Cover vents and drains that lead into your home with galvanized screening.
  • Snakes also find shelter under scrap metal, wood piles, trash, and other debris. Keep your yard area free of possible hiding places, including tall grass and weeds which can attract prey for snakes.
  • You can also consider building asnake-proof fencearound your home or garden if other methods fail to control the snakes.
  • If you have a snake in the house, there aremechanical traps and glue trapsthat can be used to capture it. For assistance identifying or removing a snake, try calling your localcooperative extension office, animal control officer (look in the local telephone book), orstate wildlife agency.

If you have questions about controlling snakes, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at1-800-858-7378(8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email atnpic@ace.orst.edu.

Snake and Mothballs

Snake Identification

Because some snakes can be dangerous, don't handle any snake if you are not absolutely sure what type it is. If you don't know what type of snake you are dealing with, treat the snake as if it might be venomous. Don't handle it and keep children and pets away. Snakes are most likely to bite when harassed. Consider taking a photograph of the snake if possible to aid in identification. There are many resources available to help you identify a snake, including your localcooperative extension office, andstate wildlife agency. You can also look up the snake in a field guide, or search the internet for information onsnakes in your area. Here are some examples of online snake identification resources:

Last updated March 19, 2018


  • Identify the type of snake(s)before choosing a treatment strategy.
  • 当移动困snak小心谨慎es. Snakes are more likely to bite when harassed.
  • Control rodent populations to help prevent snakes from entering your property.
  • Clean up piles of wood, trash, metal, and other debris to reduce snake habitat.
  • Cut shrubs away from the home, keep grass short, and manage weeds to reduce hiding areas.
  • Secure all door sweeps and window screens to reduce entry points to the home.
  • Check potential entryways into attics and basements. Seal holes larger than 1/4 inch and use galvanized screening to cover vents and drains.
  • Create a kid-safe zone using a snake proof fence in areas with many venomous snakes.

If you choose to use a pesticide,read the labelbefore you buy. Try alower toxicityproduct first.

If you have a pesticide product in mind, have your label handy andclick herefor information about that product.

County Extension Offices

Through its county agents, the Cooperative Extension Service gives individuals access to the resources at land-grant universities across the nation. These universities are centers for research in many subjects, including entomology (the study of insects) and agriculture. Each county within the United States has an Extension office, which is staffed with agents who work closely with university-based Extension specialists to deliver answers to your questions about gardening, agriculture, and pest control. You can find the phone number for your local county extension office in the local government section (often marked with blue pages) of your telephone directory or by clicking on the map below.

AlaskaWashingtonOregonCaliforniaIdahoNevadaMontanaWyomingUtahHawaiiArizonaColoradoNew MexicoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraska南DakotaNorth DakotaPuerto RicoMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiTennesseeNorth CarolinaAlabamaGeorgia南CarolinaFloridaAmerican SamoaGuamN. Mariana IslandsUS Virgin IslandsWisconsinIllinoisMichigan印第安纳州KentuckyOhioWest VirginiaPennsylvaniaVirginiaWashington D.C.MarylandDelawareNew JerseyConneticutRhode IslandMassechusettsMassachusettsConnecticutNew YorkNew JerseyMarylandWashington DCDelawareVermontNew HampshireMaineVermontNew Hampshire
Small Map of US States

U.S. States:


U.S. Territories:

Puerto Rico|American Samoa|Guam|Northern Mariana Islands|Virgin Islands

Controlling Snakes In and Around the Home

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Use of Snake Repellents

As with any pesticide, make sure youread the entire labelbefore using any products to repel snakes.Mothballsare commonly thought to repel snakes, but they are not intended to be used this way and have little effect on snakes. See our web page on theproper use of mothballs. See the link below for more information on snake repellents.

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How to Build a Snake-Proof Fence

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