While the majority of snakes found in Georgia are non-venomous, there are a handful of venomous snake species around. Your first instinct when coming across a snake in or around your home might be to panic or to immediately get rid of it, unless it poses a direct threat to you or your family the best thing to do is leave it alone. Here are some benefits of keeping snakes around.
- Natural Pest Control. Snakes are great at keeping other pest populations around your home in check. They commonly feed on small mammals (especially rodents, including those who carry ticks that can be dangerous to humans), insects, birds, amphibians, and even other snakes. Without these wildlife creatures to help keep populations of these pests down, they would reproduce essentially unchecked and be incredibly difficult to keep under control.
- Balancing the ecosystem. Snakes are both predator and prey. Because of this, they play a vital role in maintaining the balance and biodiversity of the ecosystem. As mentioned above, when playing the role of predator, these creatures are great at keeping other pest populations down. When playing the role of prey, they are an important source of food for birds of prey and larger mammals (like foxes). Without snakes, these animals would struggle to find an adequate food source.
Snakes can be great to have around your home. If you can’t abide by the idea of a snake living close by, you can prevent them with these tips.
- Make your home and yard less attractive to snakes who are looking for food and shelter.
- Remove any food sources such as rodents or other pests.
- Keep pet food sealed in containers.
- Don’t leave pet food out overnight.
- Clean up spilled pet food and birdseed from the ground.
- Don’t overwater your lawn as this can attract worms, frogs, and slugs – another food source for snakes.
- Have your home inspected for rodents and other pests and maintain routine pest control treatments.
- Seal any entries into your crawlspace or basement that are larger than 1/4″.
- Make sure doorsweeps and window screens fit tightly.
- Cover vents and drains that come into the house.
- Keep grass mowed – tall grass and weeds provide more coverage from predators.
- Clean up any debris snakes can hide under (scarp metal, wood piles, trash, logs, etc.).
- Check the roof for overhanging vegetation – snakes are good climbers and can access your home from the roof.