How to Banish Garter Snakes from Your Garden: 6 Pro Tips!

To get rid of garter snakes in your garden, remove their food sources and make the area less appealing for them. Garter snakes are common garden dwellers due to the presence of rodents and insects.

Although these snakes are generally harmless, their presence may be undesirable for some people. There are several ways to discourage garter snakes from inhabiting your garden. Removing their food sources by keeping your garden clean and free of debris can help.

Reducing the amount of moist areas and hiding places can also discourage snakes. Using snake repellents or creating physical barriers around your garden can also be helpful. However, it is important to remember that garter snakes can be beneficial to your garden as they help to control pests.

How to Banish Garter Snakes from Your Garden: 6 Pro Tips!


Understanding The Behavior Of Garter Snakes

Basic Information About Garter Snakes

Garter snakes, scientifically known as thamnophis sirtalis, are common in north america. They are thin and usually have stripes that run down their backs. They prefer to live in areas with moderate vegetation and water sources such as rivers, streams and ponds.

Garter snakes are not venomous, but they release a smell when they feel threatened that might be unpleasant for some. These snakes primarily feed on insects and small rodents.

Factors That Attract Snakes To Your Garden

If your garden provides an environment that the snakes like, then they will most likely visit it. The following factors can bring snakes to your garden:

  • Dense vegetation: Garter snakes like lots of hiding spots, so if your garden has a lot of dense vegetation, then it will be an ideal place for them.
  • Sources of water: Snakes are adept swimmers and they can hold their breath for a while. They will come to your garden if there is a water source or if your garden is near a water body.
  • Access to food: If your garden attracts rodents and insects, then snakes will come for the food source. Keep the garden tidy to help avoid attracting these pests.
  • Appropriate temperature: Snakes are cold-blooded animals and like to be in a warm environment. They will look for a spot where the temperature is suitable for them, so make your garden less hospitable by sprinkling water to cool it down.

Understanding Their Habits And Preferred Habitats

Garter snakes have a few habits and preferred habitats that you should be aware of. They include:

  • Basking in sunlight: In the morning, garter snakes bask in the sunshine to warm up their bodies, especially in cooler temperatures.
  • Hiding in damp places: Garter snakes are attracted to damp places like under rocks, logs, and compost heaps, as these areas provide cover and moisture.
  • Mating and breeding: In the spring, garter snakes mate and breed. Pregnant female snakes look for a safe place to lay their eggs, so be aware of this when tidying up your garden.
  • Hibernating in winter: During winter, garter snakes hibernate underground, often in large groups. If your garden provides an ideal hibernation spot for snakes, they will most likely return year after year.

By understanding the behavior and preferences of garter snakes, you can find ways to make your garden less attractive to them and keep them at bay.

Tip 1: Remove Snake Hiding Places

Proper Yard Maintenance And Debris Removal

A well-maintained garden is the best defense against garter snakes. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

  • Keep your lawn trimmed short. Long grass provides an ideal hiding place for garter snakes.
  • Remove piles of debris or clutter from your yard. Garter snakes love to hide in piles of wood, leaves, and rocks.
  • Store unused equipment and outdoor furniture in a shed or garage. These could also be the perfect hideout for snakes.

Choices Of Plants That Won’T Attract Garter Snakes

Certain plants can either deter or attract garter snakes. You must be careful when choosing plants for your garden. Here are some plants that are safe to use:

  • Marigolds: They have a strong smell that can keep garter snakes away. Plant them near possible entry points.
  • Lavender: The scent of lavender is unpleasant for snakes. It’s also a great addition to any garden.
  • Sage: It can repel rodents, which are a main food source for garter snakes.

Use Of Repellent Plants

There are various plants that you can use to repel garter snakes. Repellent plants are a great addition to any garden. Here are some examples:

  • Irish spring soap: Place a few bars of irish spring soap around your garden, and it will keep garter snakes away.
  • Naphthalene: The scent of naphthalene will keep garter snakes away. You can find naphthalene flakes at your local hardware store.
  • Cinnamon: Sprinkle cinnamon around your yard. The strong scent of cinnamon will confuse and drive garter snakes away.

Importance Of Keeping Compost And Garbage Bins Tightly Sealed

Keeping your compost and garbage bins tightly sealed is essential in preventing garter snakes from invading your garden. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Garter snakes are attracted to the smell of rotting food. So, it’s essential to keep your compost bin tightly sealed.
  • Use a bin with a tight-fitting lid to store your garbage. This will prevent garter snakes from entering.
  • Don’t leave any food waste lying around. Keep your garden clean and tidy.

By following these tips, you can protect your garden from garter snakes. Keep your garden well-maintained and choose the right plants. Use repellents and keep your compost and garbage bins tightly sealed. It’s important to keep these key points in mind for a snake-free garden.

Tip 2: Install Physical Barriers

Types Of Barriers That Can Be Used To Keep Snakes Out Of Your Garden

Physical barriers are one of the most effective ways to keep snakes out of your garden. Here are a few types of barriers that you could install:

  • Mesh fences: These are an effective barrier as they prevent snakes from entering the garden and also keep other wildlife out. Mesh fences can be easily installed and are generally affordable.
  • Electric fences: These are another effective option. However, they are a little more expensive than mesh fences and require regular maintenance.
  • Snake-proofing your garden: You can install solid barriers made of bricks, concrete blocks, or other materials to completely enclose your garden. This will ensure that snakes cannot enter your garden through any gaps.
  • Natural barriers: Plants like marigolds, lemongrass, and garlic have a pungent odor that repels snakes. Planting these near the boundary of your garden will act as a barrier.
  • Chicken wire: This is an inexpensive option that you stretch over the ground to create a barrier that snakes can’t move through.
  • Hardware cloth: This galvanized mesh is a strong and durable option for fencing off your garden.

Effective Fencing Materials And Designs

Fencing materials and designs are crucial in ensuring your garden remains snake-free. Here are a few effective fencing materials and designs to consider:

  • A snake-proof fence should be at least two feet high and made of solid materials such as sheet metal, concrete, or cement bricks.
  • Fencing should be buried at least six inches into the ground to prevent snakes from digging under it.
  • A slight outward slope at the base of the fence is also effective. This prevents snakes from being able to climb over the fence easily.
  • A double-layer fence can also be effective at keeping snakes out. The inner fence should be a solid barrier, while the outer fence should be made of wire mesh.

Techniques For Sealing Off Entry Points And Gaps In The Garden

Snakes generally use gaps in fences, walls, and other openings to enter your garden. Here are a few techniques for sealing off these entry points and gaps:

  • Seal all gaps and holes in walls, roofs, and doors with silicone or foam insulation to prevent snakes from entering through these openings.
  • Check corners and other areas for openings that snakes could squeeze through and cover them with mesh screens.
  • Make sure your windows and doors close tightly, and install door sweeps to fill any gaps at the bottom of doors.
  • Keep tree limbs, vines, and shrubs trimmed away from walls and fences to prevent snakes from using them as a bridge.

By following these tips, you can effectively banish garter snakes from your garden and enjoy a stress-free outdoor living space.

Tip 3: Use Natural Repellants

Sound, Smell, And Sight Repellants That Can Be Used Effectively

When it comes to banishing garter snakes from your garden, natural repellents are always a good choice. Snakes can be challenging to deter as they have different sensory systems, so a multi-angled approach to repelling them is necessary. Here are some natural repellents you can use to mitigate snake sightings on your property.

Sound Repellants

  • Vibrating snake repellers: They work by emitting sound waves in the ground that snakes can feel but not hear. If installed correctly, these devices will create a barrier around your garden that snakes will not cross.
  • Ultra-sonic snake repellers: Designed to mimic the sound of natural predators like hawks or owls, these devices are effective at scaring snakes away. When activated, the repeller creates an unpleasant noise that snakes perceive as a threat, which will coerce them to move elsewhere.

Smell Repellants

  • Cedar chips: The aroma of cedar chips is a natural repellent to snakes, making your garden less appealing to them.
  • Cinnamon oil: Snakes hate strong smells, and cinnamon oil is no exception. You can mix cinnamon oil with water and spray the mixture around the perimeter of your garden.

Sight Repellants

  • Clear up clutter: Clutter attracts snakes since it gives them plenty of hiding places. Maintaining a tidy area will help to deter snakes from taking up residence in your garden.
  • Snake away plants: Plants such as marigolds, wormwood, and geraniums emit strong odors that snakes dislike. Planting them around the perimeter of your garden can act as a natural deterrent.

Advantages Of Using Natural Repellants Versus Chemicals

Using natural repellents to banish garter snakes from your garden has many advantages over using chemicals. Here are some of the benefits of using natural repellents:

  • Safety: Natural repellents are non-toxic and safe to use around children and pets.
  • Environmentally friendly: Chemicals can be harmful to the environment, and overuse can lead to soil contamination and water pollution.
  • Cost-effective: Natural repellents are often cheaper than chemical repellents and can save you money in the long run.

Homemade Recipes For Repellent Sprays And Solutions

If you’re looking for a cost-effective solution to repelling garter snakes from your garden, then homemade repellent sprays and solutions are an excellent option. Here are some homemade recipes you can use:

Garlic Spray Recipe

  • One tablespoon of finely minced garlic
  • One quart of water
  • One tablespoon of dish soap

Mix these ingredients together and let it sit for 24 hours. After 24 hours, strain the mixture and transfer it to a spray bottle. Spray the mixture around your garden, reapplying after heavy rainfall.

Cinnamon Solution Recipe

  • 10 drops of cinnamon oil
  • One cup of water

Mix the cinnamon oil and water together and transfer to a spray bottle. Spray the mixture around the perimeter of your garden.

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to banish garter snakes from your garden in no time. By using natural repellents, you’ll be able to keep your family, pets, and the environment safe.

Tip 4: Use Traps

Different types of snake traps that are effective:

  • There are various types of snake traps such as glue traps, baited traps, and funnel traps that are effective in catching garter snakes.
  • Glue traps are useful for capturing snakes that are timid and will attempt to hide. Baited traps lure the snakes in with food, while funnel traps use the snake’s natural curiosity to investigate the opening and get trapped.

Proper placement and maintenance of traps:

  • Place the traps where you observe the most garter snake activity. This could be near water sources, under rocks or debris, or along garden paths.
  • Regularly check the traps to ensure they are still functional and replace any traps that are damaged or no longer working as intended.
  • Position the traps in areas where pets and young children cannot access them and make sure to use gloves when handling the traps to avoid getting bitten.

Proper disposal of captured snakes:

  • Always check local regulations before disposing of captured snakes and follow them diligently.
  • Some areas may prohibit killing snakes, while others may require you to contact a professional or wildlife authority to assist with removal.
  • If allowed, killing the snakes must be done swiftly and humanely. Alternatively, releasing the snakes into a suitable habitat away from human activity is also an option, as long as it does not violate local regulations.

Tip 5: Employ Harmless Snake Repellant Methods

Breeding Predators Like Cats, Dogs, And Hawks

One way to keep your garden free from garter snakes is by introducing natural predators into your garden. This can include cats, dogs, hawks, and other birds of prey.

  • Cats and dogs: These furry animals are natural predators of snakes and can help keep them out of your garden. They love to chase and catch snakes, making them an ideal choice for garter snake removal.
  • Hawks: These birds of prey have sharp talons and powerful beaks, which makes them excellent at catching and killing snakes. By introducing a hawk or two into your garden, you can significantly reduce the number of garter snakes in your yard.

While breeding predators may help keep your garden garter snake-free, there are some downsides to this method. Some gardeners may not feel comfortable introducing animals into their garden, and there’s always the risk of them turning on other wildlife or even your plants.

Snake Deterrents Like Reflective Surfaces And Decoys

If breeding predators isn’t for you, there are other methods for deterring garter snakes. Reflective surfaces and decoys can be highly effective in keeping these slithery pests out of your garden.

  • Reflective tape and mylar balloons: These shiny objects disorient garter snakes and make it difficult for them to navigate your garden. You can hang them on stakes or trees near your plants to create a barrier between the snakes and your garden.
  • Decoys: Plastic snakes or owl decoys can be used to scare off garter snakes. Place them around your garden, and garter snakes won’t want to come near.

Advantages Of Using These Methods Over Lethal Ones

Employing harmless snake repellant methods have many advantages over lethal ones. Not only are these methods safe for you and your family, but they also help preserve the environment and other wildlife.

  • Safe: Harmless repellant methods are safe for you and your family. You don’t have to worry about the health risks involved with using pesticides and other toxic chemicals.
  • Environmentally friendly: Lethal snake removal methods can harm the environment and other wildlife. Using reflective surfaces and breeding predators won’t affect the environment and will keep other animals safe.
  • Long-lasting: While some lethal methods are quick-acting, they are often short-lived. Harmless methods can provide a long-term solution to garter snake problems.

Banishing garter snakes from your garden doesn’t have to involve lethal methods. Breeding predators like cats, dogs, and hawks, and employing harmless snake repellent methods like reflective surfaces and decoys are great ways to keep these pests at bay. Remember that the advantages of these methods over lethal ones can have long-lasting positive effects on your garden and the environment.

Tip 6: Seek Professional Help

When To Call A Professional For Help With Eliminating Snakes

Although there are effective ways to banish garter snakes on your own, in some instances, the assistance of a professional may be required. Here are some scenarios when you should call a professional for help with eliminating snakes:

  • If you are uncertain if the snake you found in your garden is a garter snake or a more venomous species.
  • If you have tried various diy methods but still find snakes regularly in your garden.
  • If the snake infestation is serious, and they are present in large numbers.
  • If you are afraid of snakes or have a medical condition that makes you more prone to snake bites.
  • If you are unable to perform the physical labor essential in removing snakes from your property.
  • If you have livestock or pets that may be harmed by the snake-elimination methods you use.

What To Look For In A Professional Snake Removal Service Provider

When choosing a professional snake removal service provider, there are some considerations to keep in mind. Here are the things you should look for:

  • The provider should have a permit to operate in your area and be appropriately licensed, insured, and bonded.
  • The provider should have years of experience in handling different species of snakes.
  • The provider should use humane methods in eliminating snakes.
  • The provider should have the latest tools and equipment to make sure they can handle even complex snake elimination work.
  • The provider should be knowledgeable and able to educate you on how to prevent future snake infestations.
  • They should have positive reviews and testimonials from their past clients.

Cost Implications And The Risks Involved

Hiring a professional snake removal service provider can entail additional costs. Some providers may charge a flat rate, while others may use hourly rates. The cost may also vary depending on the severity of the snake infestation. Prior to hiring, make sure to inquire about the costs and get a written quote.

Bear in mind that the process of snake elimination can be risky and can prompt dangerous situations. The professional you hire should know how to safely handle different species of snakes to avoid harm or injury. Proper safety equipment should be worn during the removal process.

Seeking professional help may be necessary in some cases, but make sure to evaluate your options, and choose a reputable provider that can deal with your needs effectively at a reasonable price.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Get Rid Of Garter Snakes In My Garden

How Do I Know If Garter Snakes Are In My Garden?

If you spot snakes with long, slender bodies and stripes running down their backs, they are garter snakes. Garter snakes prefer damp areas and hide beneath rocks, logs, and other debris.

What Do Garter Snakes Eat, And How Do They Benefit My Garden?

Garter snakes feed on insects, slugs, and other small garden pests. They are helpful and play a vital role in keeping a garden healthy and pest-free.

How Can I Avoid Garter Snakes In My Garden?

Removing any hiding places such as piles of wood, debris, and rocks helps to deter garter snakes from your garden. Maintaining a clean and dry yard is also useful.

Can I Use Repellents To Get Rid Of Garter Snakes?

Yes, there are several commercial snake repellents that you can use in your garden. You can also use natural oils like clove or cinnamon, but these may not be a practical solution in large areas.

Are Garter Snakes Venomous Or Dangerous?

Garter snakes are not venomous and are generally not dangerous to humans or pets. They are docile creatures and prefer to hide when confronted by people and pets.

Is It Legal To Kill Garter Snakes?

Garter snakes are protected in many states, so it’s best to avoid killing them. Instead, you can use humane methods to keep them away from your garden, such as traps or exclusion.


To sum up, encountering garter snakes in your garden can be a bit unsettling, but with the right knowledge and approach, you can prevent and eliminate them effectively. Start by removing any potential hiding spots, such as rock piles or tall grass, and implementing barriers or fencing around your garden.

Additionally, consider using natural snake repellents or partnering with a pest control professional to safely and humanely remove any persistent snakes. Remember, garter snakes play an important role in the ecosystem and are generally harmless to humans, so try to coexist peacefully if possible.

By following these tips, you can enjoy a snake-free garden and peace of mind. Always remember to remain safe and cautious when dealing with any type of wildlife.

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