9 Cleaning Habits That Are Attracting Snakes to Your Home
Sure, you clean your home to make it look presentable, but maintaining a tidy space is also the first step toward keeping pest problems at bay. However, it's not just rodents and roaches you're fending off by ensuring that your space is clean as a whistle: Experts say that avoiding certain tasks as a homeowner could be making your house or yard look like an attractive hideout for snakes.
Before you find yourself faced with an unwelcome cold-blooded visitor, read on to find out which cleaning and maintenance habits could be attracting snakes to your space.
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Leaving clutter around your home.
A cluttered household is more than just an eyesore: it could make your space a haven for snakes in a hurry.
"Be sure to keep the places that food sources, such as mice, can hide cleaned up," says wildlife biologist and forester Brandon Buckelew, founder of Hunt for Conservation. "This includes anything that can hide the signs of their presence, including droppings. If you see signs of mice or rats in your house, be sure to get an exterminator out to take care of that problem."
Allowing your wastebaskets to overflow.
Taking the trash out is a chore most of us don't relish—but would you rather run into a scaly guest slithering its way into your kitchen?
"Garbage can be an easy food source for snakes if left accessible," warns Gulshan, a biotechnologist and the founder and CEO of Pest Keen, an online resource dedicated to keeping homes free of pests. "Keeping garbage cans sealed and disposing of trash regularly can prevent attracting snakes to your home because snakes are attracted to the smell of food," she explains.
Letting crumbs sit on your counter.
While snakes won't go into your house in search of what you consider to be food, not cleaning up after meal prep could be attracting their prey—and in no time, snakes will follow.
"Keep your house clean and free of attractants for rodents. This includes unsealed food and crumbs in eating areas," recommends Buckelew.
Letting rocks and leaves pile up outside.
If you want to snake-proof your home, start outside.
"Removing piles of leaves, rocks, or debris from your yard can prevent snakes from finding shelter near your home," says Gulshan. "Snakes often use these types of piles as hiding spots, so removing them can make your yard less attractive to them."
Neglecting to clean up your bird feeder.
While you may have hung that bird feeder in the hopes of seeing sparrows and starlings, it could be the reason you've got a snake problem in your home.
"When birds feed on the seeds, they always drop some on the ground, and if that is left there and not cleaned regularly then it will attract small rodents like chipmunks and mice, the exact type of prey snakes are looking for," says certified associate entomologist Brett Madden of AviAway Bird Control Services. "If snakes know that the birds and rodents will be in the same area continuously that is when you will start seeing them regularly."
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Not maintaining your downspouts.
Cleaning and organizing expert Stefan Bucur, founder of Rhythm of the Home, emphasizes the importance of properly maintaining the outside of your home if you want to keep snakes from visiting.
"Clean your gutters and downspouts from any small tree branches, leaves and other organic compounds," he says. "Snakes don't necessarily like to live there, but they commonly use them to get inside the house."
Stacking firewood against your house.
Keeping firewood stacked against your home may make it look nice and tidy, but it could also be the reason you're seeing snakes sneak into your space.
"Keep debris away from house edges. This includes firewood and any items that can provide habitat that attracts the food sources of snakes, including mice, lizards, and frogs," says Buckelew.
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Forgetting to mow your grass.
If you want to reduce your risk of discovering a snake in your home, start by breaking out your mower.
"If you allow brush or tall grass and other plants to grow around your home, it will encourage all manner of pests to invade your home, snakes included," says Madden. "They like dark, damp areas, and tall unmanaged vegetation provides them just that."
Letting your attic or crawl space get musty.
You may not like venturing into your crawl space, but that doesn't mean snakes don't find it cozy, says Bucur. And that goes for attics, too.
"If you have a crawl space, attic, or a big space in between the roof and the home you have to make sure it is well-ventilated, dry and not too dark to discourage snakes from living there," says Bucur.