No homeowner likes the idea of snakes in their backyard. Both anxiety-inducing and destructive, snakes can be a backyard guest that you can’t wait to get rid of! If you have holes in your yard, how do you know that they are snake holes compared to another animal?
Identifying snake holes in your yard can be easy with our helpful guide. You’ll learn all about how to find snake holes and, more importantly, what you can do to prevent this problem in the future. Let’s get started.
Do Snakes Make Holes in the Ground?
Yes, snakes do make holes in the ground. However, there are very few snakes that can dig through hard and impacted soil. Unless your backyard has loose soil or sand in it, most snakes actually choose to occupy holes that have already been dug.
This can make identifying snake holes a bit more difficult. If you happen to notice that there are many holes in your yard, you may or may not have a snake problem. Most snakes who dig holes use their nose and body to do so.
Do Snakes Live in Holes?
Yes, snakes do live in holes. They enjoy the protection that holes in the ground can offer, and often exit their holes to seek sunlight and warmth. It is important to note that snakes often occupy holes that they have not made themselves.
Snakes often take over holes dug by rodents, both seeking food and shelter in these holes. Because snakes only dig holes with their head and can’t dig through impacted soil, they prefer living in holes that are more structurally sound and fully dug.
Snakes enjoy the overall protection that holes can give them, preferring to live in holes that are Compact and narrow. They don’t mind feeling dirt surrounding them, and they often prefer it. Snake holes offer snakes protection from predators as well as valuable insulation for their bodies.
How to Identify Snake Holes in Your Yard
Since snakes often steal other creatures’ holes, it can be difficult to identify a snake hole in your yard. If a snake is using a hole frequently, the entrance to the tunnel often gains a rounded shape, much like a snake’s rounded body.
However, it is safe to assume that snakes will occupy just about any hole in the grounds that has already been dug. This also includes cracks in cement and foundations of homes. Snakes will sneak into just about anywhere if they think they can fit and that it will be safe for them.
The best way to identify snake holes in your yard is to watch out for snakes. While this may seem counterintuitive, sometimes the only way to identify a snake hole is to physically see a snake enter it.
If you have noticed snakes in your backyard or neighborhood, it may be safe to assume that the holes in your backyard are occupied by snakes. However, seeing a snake is key to assuming this. You could simply have gophers or chipmunks, but if you’ve seen a snake slithering around, that hole may be their home now.
One of the most telltale signs that there are snakes living in your backyard is the presence of their shredded skin. Snakes shed their skin often, so if you ever see these paper thin by-products in your backyard, you should feel confident knowing that you have snakes.
What Types of Snakes are in My Yard?
There are a surprising number of snakes in many North American backyards. Some of these snakes include:
- Garter snakes
- Rat snakes
- Common kingsnakes
- Water snakes
While the majority of these snakes are non-venomous and otherwise docile, you should pay attention if you happen to see a rattlesnake in your area. Rattlesnakes are very dangerous and should be dealt with by a professional.
Even if most of these snakes aren’t particularly dangerous to humans, you should always know that a snake will often bite if it feels cornered or threatened. This could also include your family pets if they happen to stumble upon a snake when you aren’t observing them.
If you think you have snakes in your yard and you are worried about them being there, it’s time to take action. Here’s what you should do with snake holes in your yard.
What Should You Do with Snake Holes in Your Yard?
There are a few actions you can take if you think you have a snake hole in your yard. One possible solution to your problem is to simply leave it alone. While this won’t get rid of your snake problem and could potentially make it worse, it is a kind thing for you to do for a wild snake.
Wild snakes are excellent pest control animals, especially if you have a lot of rodents in the area. Having a snake in the backyard may not sound ideal, especially if you have dogs or cats, but it may be something that some homeowners are comfortable with.
However, if you’ve noticed a rattlesnake or another type of venomous snake in your backyard, getting rid of it and dealing with the snake hole is a much better solution. Anytime you approach a snake hole, take a moment to scan the area and ensure that there are no snakes lurking nearby.
Once you know that there is likely not a snake waiting to ambush you inside the hole or surrounding it, you should take the time to block the entrance of the hole in your yard. You can accomplish this in many ways.
Some experts recommend filling in the hole with dirt, though many snakes can dig through this Loosely packed soil. Make sure to firmly pack the whole if you plan on using dirt to fill it. The best method for keeping snakes out of their holes is to block it with fabric, burlap, or fine wire mesh.
There are other ways that you can get rid of snake holes in your yard. Let’s learn about that now.
How Can You Get Rid of Snake Holes in the Yard?
There are a few things you can do to get rid of snake holes or holes in general that are present in your backyard. Some of the things you can do include:
1. Fill the Holes with Tightly Packed Soil
Snakes can’t dig if the soil is too compacted, so this will help prevent them from remaking their holes and homes. However, make sure the soil is tightly packed or otherwise the snake will return and re-dig its hole.
2. Cover the Hole with Wire Mesh, Burlap, Etc.
If you know your soil won’t ever be tightly packed enough to make a difference, covering the snake holes with a fine wire mesh, burlap, or other material may be enough to prevent them. Often, all you have to do is discourage a snake and it will find another place to live.
3. Avoid Covering the Hole with Something Snakes Like
Simply tossing a rock, piece of wood, or other obstruction is not enough to prevent a snake from returning to its home. Snakes love the cover of common backyard items, so seeing that their hole has been neatly disguised is often a perk to them. If you plan on covering a snake hole rather than filling it in with tightly packed soil, be sure to avoid covering it with something that snakes can still burrow under.
4. Call a Pest Control Service
Sometimes the best thing to do is call your local pest control service. These professionals will know how to deal with a snake infestation best, as well as give you advice for how to take care of your snake holes. Pest control services will also be aware of any local ordinances or protective laws for the snakes found on your property, keeping you safe in more ways than one.
5. Prevention is Key
Keep rodents out of your yard and cut your lawn shorter than you usually would. This helps you keep an eye out for any potential snakes lurking in your backyard. Repelling rodents will help keep the snakes away and will prevent any further holes from being dug in your yard.
Can You Plug a Snake Hole?
Yes, you can plug a snake hole. However, make sure you use tightly packed dirt so that the snake doesn’t simply crawl back through. There are also other products you can use specifically for plugging holes dug by rodents and snakes.
These products act similarly to concrete when mixed with water. They will harden and fully seal the snake hole once it has been poured into the soil and allowed to set for a few minutes. You can then cover the product with dirt, and your lawn will be back to normal!
It is not recommended that you try plugging a snake hole with anything else. Soft goods are easily moved by an eager snake or rodent, and you don’t want to reach your hand down a snake hole, just in case someone is home.
What Can You Pour Down a Snake Hole?
You can pour soil or hole plugging solutions down a snake hole if you know the hole isn’t occupied. However, if you aren’t sure, you can try putting mothballs into your snake holes. Mothballs irritate snakes without killing them, so it could be useful as a preventative measure before you ultimately fill in the hole.
As always, use caution when pouring anything down a snake hole. You never know what creature may be lurking within. Always wear gloves for this process!
Chipmunk Holes vs Mole Holes vs Snake Holes
While snakes often occupy holes dug by other creatures, it is important to know what rodents may be digging the holes in the first place. If you aren’t sure whether or not you have chipmunks or moles, there is a key difference between the types of holes that they dig.
Chipmunk holes are very small and neat, which makes them attractive to snakes. They are often an excellent width for snakes to take over once the chipmunks have departed. They will not have soil surrounding them, and will look tidy and even.
Mole holes on the other hand look extremely different. There will still be a hole present in your backyard, but it will be surrounded by a mound of excavated dirt or soil. Moles dig much more violently than chipmunks do. Mole holes are still a welcome home for snakes, no matter how messy.
Dealing with snake holes in your yard can be daunting at first. However, there are many solutions to this common problem, including leaving the holes alone. Most snakes are relatively harmless, so consider that when you think about your snake hole solutions.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.