Campus News

Put out the unwelcome mat for snakes

Late summer and early fall is the time for snakes, and while repellents have been shown to be unreliable, there are many common sense approaches to keeping snakes at bay.

Snakes usually avoid people. Leave them alone if you see them and don’t corner them or make them defensive.

Snakes need food, water and cover to live and they prefer damp, cool and dark spots. Clean up brush and trash piles, mow tall grass and weeds and remove things snakes could hide under. Remove shrubs and other plants close to the ground, especially near buildings.

Do not leave pet or bird food out because it can attract rodents, another snake food source. Clean food storage areas regularly and keep food containers and trash cans sealed.

Some snakes will crawl into houses, so seal holes around and under the house. Fall is a good time to snake-proof, as they may be looking for warmer temperatures or a place to spend the winter.

If you can identify the snake, you can determine what it’s eating and control the food source’s environment. For information on how to identify snakes, visit the UGA Savannah River Ecology Lab’s Herpetology Web site at

If a venomous snake gets inside your home, seek help from a professional pest control company. To remove a non-venomous snake, pile damp towels or burlap where the snake was seen to attract the snake. Then remove the snake and take it far from the house for release.