Whether it's the eye-catching plants and shrubs, striking lighting, or the right kind of subtle decor, putting certain items into your yard can draw the right kind of attention to your property. Unfortunately, there are also some items that could be rolling out a welcome mat for unwanted guests of the slithering variety. If you're looking to avoid bringing more snakes close to your home, there are a few things you need to remove from your yard immediately. Read on to see what surprising items could be serpent magnets.
Tire swings are a simple, timeless joy that are as easy to set up as they are to have fun with. But the seemingly harmless play feature can also be attracting snakes to your yard by collecting rain and offering them a steady water source that will keep them hydrated.
Experts warn that tire swings, slides, and other toys that lie low to the ground can potentially serve as a watering trough for serpents. If you're not ready to part ways with your playground, consider drilling small holes in the bottom of the tire that will allow it to drain and stop rainwater from pooling up.
Birdbaths and bird feeders
Watching visiting birds gather around your window-mounted feeder or splash about in your garden's birdbath can be a genuinely delightful sight. Unfortunately, they can also create the perfect conditions that will bring snakes right into your yard.
According to experts at Utah State University, birds are messy eaters that tend to scatter seeds on the ground below as they feast. Rodents will find the spilled food as irresistible as snakes find them, turning your peaceful perch into a hunting ground for the slithering trespassers. If you still plan on hanging a feeder, make sure to do it further from your house and only keep it filled during the winter, which is when birds need it most and snakes will be much less active in hunting for food.
Birdbaths can also provide two things that snakes need to survive: Fresh water to drink and unsuspecting birds as a dinner option. Some may even use them to take a refreshing dip to regulate their temperature on a hot day. While it may be hard to part with your beloved lawn decoration, removing any and all standing water sources is one of the best ways to make sure you're not attracting snakes into your yard.
Woodpiles and lumber
If you live in an area that's prone to cold weather, you know how important it can be to have plenty of logs on hand to keep your fireplace roaring when the temperature drops. But according to experts from Utah State University, storing firewood or lumber in your yard might also be inadvertently bringing snakes into your yard.
Whether it's a haphazard lumber heap or an orderly stack of chopped logs, woodpiles are majorly attractive to snakes as a perfect hiding place from predators and humans, as well as a place to stay cool as the weather warms up. But other than providing accommodations for the slithering intruders, they also serve as the perfect hiding place and breeding grounds for pests such as mice, rats, and rodents, which are an irresistible meal for a snake.
"We know food attracts snakes," Terry Vandeventer, a herpetologist with the Living Reptile Museum in Mississippi, told The Clarion Ledger in a 2019 interview. "Since snakes eat rodents, we want to get rid of them. Get rid of the shelter and get rid of the food, and they'll pass right by and go to your neighbor's ratty house."
They may be vital to keeping your flowers blooming and your grass green, but garden hoses may also be attracting snakes into your yard. According to the experts at ThisOldHouse.com, piled hoses can provide the perfect type of shelter that snakes seek out to avoid predators and stay warm. Instead of coiling them on the ground, consider installing a wall mount or a reel that can keep your watering equipment off the ground and stop it from becoming home to a slithering stranger.
Besides becoming a makeshift shelter, hoses can also create pools of standing water that provide an inviting place for snakes to nest. Make sure to regularly check your equipment for any holes or small leaks in the hose that might create pools when in use. You should also always turn off the water source from the faucet whenever it's not in use to avoid any accidental flooding thanks to a leaky nozzle or defective spigot. If you notice that your hose is leaking where it attaches to the faucet, try installing plumber's tape to create a better seal or replacing the fixture.
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Anyone serious about gardening has likely thought about making their own compost if they're not doing so already. But the act of making yourself free fertilizer can also be bringing snakes into your yard by inadvertently creating a mini-ecosystem that can support them.
One potential problem comes from dumping food scraps into your compost pile too quickly for it to break down, which can often begin attracting rodents such as rats and mice. This steady food supply will soon attract snakes, who will also appreciate the warmth of the pile and the hiding places it can provide while potential meals come right to them. To avoid setting up a buffet for a mini food chain, make sure to add food scraps slowly and evenly so as not to overwhelm your pile. You should also always avoid tossing any meat or dairy, which are especially irresistible to pests and whose scents are easier for them to seek out.
Having trouble keeping your compost bin secure? There's still one way to deter snakes from certain areas using something you likely already have on hand. "Use old rags soaked in ammonia and scatter throughout your landscaping area, the foundation of your house, and wherever else the snakes are the issue," says Megan Cavanaugh of Done Right Pest Solutions, who recommends re-wetting the rags every few weeks and after it rains.