When it comes to living in the beautiful state of Georgia, there’s no denying that the warm climate and lush landscapes come with their fair share of wildlife encounters. One of the most common and, for many, dreaded encounters is with snakes. While Georgia is home to a variety of snake species, understanding snake control, prevention, and removal techniques is essential for safeguarding your property and your loved ones. In this blog post, we’ll explore common snakes in Georgia, when snake season typically occurs, and effective ways to keep these slithering neighbors at bay.
Common Snakes in Georgia
Before delving into snake control methods, let’s familiarize ourselves with some of the common snake species found in Georgia:
- Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake: This venomous snake is one of the largest rattlesnake species in the world. They are mostly found in the southern part of the state.
- Copperhead: Copperheads are venomous and often have a copper-colored head. They are prevalent throughout Georgia.
- Eastern Coral Snake: Although rare, these venomous snakes can be found in certain parts of the state, particularly in the southern regions.
- Black Rat Snake: Non-venomous and beneficial for controlling rodent populations. They are widespread throughout Georgia.
- Eastern Garter Snake: Another non-venomous species often found in gardens and grassy areas.
- Eastern King Snake: These are known for their striking appearance and are valuable for keeping other snake populations in check.
When is Snake Season in Georgia?
Snake season in Georgia typically begins in the spring and lasts through the fall. During this time, snakes become more active as they search for food and suitable breeding grounds. It’s essential to be especially vigilant during these months to reduce the likelihood of unwanted snake encounters.
Ways to Keep Snakes Away from Your Home
Now that we’ve discussed common snakes and their active seasons, let’s explore effective snake control and prevention techniques to protect your home and family:
1. Maintain a Tidy Yard:
- Trim tall grass and overgrown vegetation.
- Keep firewood and debris piles away from your home.
- Regularly clean up fallen leaves and debris.
2. Seal Entry Points:
- Inspect your home for any gaps or cracks in the foundation, walls, and doors.
- Seal gaps around utility pipes and drainage lines.
- Repair damaged screens and vents.
3. Remove Attractants:
- Secure trash cans with tight-fitting lids.
- Keep bird feeders and pet food indoors or in secure containers.
- Minimize rodent populations to reduce snake prey.
4. Install Snake Fencing:
- Consider installing snake-proof fencing around your property.
- These barriers can deter snakes from entering your yard.
5. Professional Snake Control and Removal:
- If you spot a snake on your property or inside your home, do not attempt to handle it yourself.
- Contact a licensed pest control professional for safe snake removal.
Protecting Yourself from Snake Bites
While preventing snake encounters is the first line of defense, it’s also crucial to know how to protect yourself from snake bites:
- Wear sturdy boots and long pants when working in areas where snakes may be present.
- Be cautious when stepping over rocks, logs, or tall grass.
- Use a flashlight at night to watch your step in snake-prone areas.
Request a Free Wildlife Control Quote
The importance of effective snake control and removal cannot be stressed enough. While Georgia’s natural beauty and warm climate make it an attractive place to live, it’s essential to be prepared for encounters with snakes. By following these snake control and prevention tips, you can create a safer environment for your family and minimize the chances of unwelcome snake guests. Remember that professional assistance through your local pest control company is just a phone call away if you ever need help with snake removal or control. Stay vigilant, stay safe, and enjoy all that Georgia has to offer!
As the season shifts from summer to early fall, cooler weather is around the corner. Many pests begin the hustle and bustle of preparing for winter – scavenging and storing food, finding a place to hibernate, or making their way into your home to overwinter. This time of year sees an increase in one pest in particular – snakes! Fall is a time for high snake activity and encounters with humans become more common.
There are many reasons snake control is important in the fall. As the leaves begin to change colors to red, orange, and brown and fall to the ground, they provide the ideal camouflage for snakes. Fall is also the time snakes begin to prepare for brumation and/or hibernation. Most snake species breed in the spring and eggs are hatched by the time autumn rolls around. These juvenile snakes are curious and more likely to be seen by humans. There are 6 venomous snake species in the southeastern United States and each of them actually breed in the fall. This means this time of year males will be actively seeking females to breed with, increasing your chance of an encounter with them. Overdevelopment in many areas has also depleted the natural habitats of many snakes, also increasing their chances of encounters with humans.
Because we see such an increase in snake activity during the fall, snake control becomes much more important. Here are some of our favorite snake prevention tips you can utilize this snake season.
- Familiarize Yourself. Identifying snakes is critical to avoiding and preventing them. Do some research and find out which snakes are common in your area, what they look like, and where to find them. Identify any areas you spend time in outdoors that could potentially house snakes and try to avoid them.
- Be Aware. Be aware of your surrounding when spending time outdoors. Look down when walking and check overhead when in wooded areas. Try to spot snakes before you walk right up on them.
- Avoid Habitats. Snakes like to hide in areas that provide them protection and coverage from predators. They can often be found in tall grass, overgrowth, on or under large rocks, rock piles, and wood piles. If you have to walk through these areas, keep your feet and legs protected, keep your eyes open
- Walk With Confidence. Snakes don’t have ears so they can’t actually hear you coming but they do respond to vibrations in the ground and can feel you coming before they actually see you. When walking outdoors walk with strong, confident steps and make your presence known.
- Cover Up. If you choose to spend time outdoors, make sure to wear closed-toe shoes and long pants if possible. Try to avoid sandals and flip flops as they leave your feet and toes exposed to potential snakebites.
- Look Up. Some types of snakes can actually climb trees and will even use overlapping branches to move from tree to tree without ever touching the ground. When walking or boating through wooded areas make sure to look up and keep an eye out for overhead snakes.
- Clean Up. Making your home and yard less inviting to snakes will help keep them from coming in. Seal any cracks and crevices on the outside of your home to keep snakes out in search of warmth and food. Remove any debris and clutter from your yard and garage. Keep woodpiles elevated and stored away from your home. Clear any overgrowth from your yard.
- Use snake repellent. There are many commercial snake repellent products on the market today. If you prefer a more green snake control option, there are also natural snake repellents you can make at home. Choose whichever option works best for you.
- Call the Pros. Snake control can be a daunting task. If you have a problem with snakes around your home, contact your local pest control company who can help identify what type of snake you are dealing with and help safely and humanely get them away from your property.
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With warm weather here to stay in the South, snakes are out in full force. Spring marks the beginning of snake season as they emerge from their winter dens in search of food. While most snakes are harmless (there are only a few venomous snake species in Georgia), it can be disconcerting to come across one in your yard.
What many homeowners don’t realize is that they could be inadvertently attracting snakes to their property. Here are some of the most common things that attract snakes to your yard along with some ways to prevent them.
Snakes typically eat a few times per week when food sources are available. While their diet varies by species, most snakes feed on small rodents (like mice) and birds. Having an abundance of these favorite foods around your home will draw snakes to your yard.
- Inspect your yard for signs of rodents. Because they are usually not seen during the day, these pests can be present without you even realizing it. Look for holes and burrows in the ground which they use to hide from predators. Sometimes you can even find droppings in your yard. If the population is large enough, you may even see visible tracks in the grass.
- Clean up your property. Don’t leave any old food or garbage lying around rodents can use to feed on. Clean up grills regularly and keep them covered, as well.
- Keep your lawn mowed and bushes and shrubs trimmed.
- Rodents will also hide in piles of wood or in sheds/garages. Block any entrances they can use to access exterior buildings. Keep wood piles covered and elevated.
- Bring in bird feeders overnight and clean up any spilled birdseed.
- Don’t leave pet food and water out overnight.
Snakes need water to survive. Some species even thrive in wet environments. Common water sources include rain puddles, water features, birdbaths, pools, and ponds/lakes.
- Birdbaths not only provide a source of water but they also attract birds, another common food source for snakes. If possible, raise your birdbaths and keep them farther away from your home.
- After a rainstorm, take note of where puddles form in your yard. Use dirt or soil to fill them in or even these low lying areas out.
- Keep pools maintained with appropriate treatments and cleaning.
- Lakes and ponds house fish, frogs, and birds which are another source of food for snakes. Trim the grass and plants around any bodies of water on your property. Consider building a small fence around it that snakes cannot climb over.
Snakes will seek shelter wherever they can find it. Tall grass and overgrown shrubs provide the perfect cover for snakes from predators and also allows them to camouflage themselves when sneaking up on their prey.
- Keep landscaping maintained throughout the season.
- Keep grass mowed short. The blades of your grass should be short enough that they don’t arch over. This creates a tunnel snakes can use to move through.
- Use an edger or weedwhacker to trim tall grass and weeds from fence lines, as well.
- Avoid overwatering your lawn. Not only does overwatering make the grass grow faster and need to be mowed more often, it also attracts frogs, toads, and other pests that are a good alternative food source for snakes.
- Keep shrubs and bushes trimmed so that there is no contact between the shrubs and the ground. This helps eliminate hiding spots for snakes.
Snakes are coldblooded and prefer to spend most of their time when not hunting in cool, dark, humid environments. This keeps them from overheating and allows them to cool off after a hunt. Snakes can often be found hiding in wood piles, bushes, garages, and sheds.
- Try to make these common hiding places less attractive to snakes.
- Keep open spaces cleared. Clean up woodpiles, debris, rock piles, pool toys and accessories, children’s toys, etc. Snakes will look for anything that can pile up and remain undisturbed to hide out in.
- Most snake species thrive when humidity is between 40 and 50%. Consider using a dehumidifier in garages and sheds to keep humidity levels lower.
- Check your foundations and the exterior of your home/other buildings. Gaps and cracks in foundations, exterior walls, garages, and sheds provide the ideal hiding spot for snakes. Repair gaps, cracks, and holes immediately.
Most snakes aren’t harmful to humans and, in fact, can be beneficial to have around as they help keep other pest populations under control. If you have a problem with snakes, contact your local pest control company for a snake removal and prevention plan that best suits your situation.
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As the weather cools off and fall peeks around the corner, many people are taking advantage of the milder weather and spending more time outside. Unfortunately, many pests and wildlife, including snakes, are also enjoying the milder weather, preparing for the impending winter. Although most snakes encountered in Georgia are nonvenomous, there are a few species of venomous snakes to keep an eye out for. These include the copperhead, the timber rattlesnake, the cottonmouth, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the eastern coral snake, and the pigmy rattlesnake.
When spending time outdoors, keep an eye out for snakes in backyards, parks, and areas near the woods. They also like to frequent areas that border streams, lakes, swamps, and ponds. Snake season begins in the spring, usually March to April. Snake season doesn’t end until late fall or even winter, depending on weather patterns and where you’re located. Snakes in the southern states will stay active much longer than up north where the cold sets in sooner.
If you run into a snake, keep these tips in mind:
- Familiarize yourself with the venomous snake species common in your area and how to recognize them.
- Try to identify the snake without getting too close to it.
- Give the snake space.
- If spending time outdoors, wear closed-toed shoes and long pants.
- Remove any brush, log piles and other attractants for rodents from around your home.
- Seal up any cracks, gaps, and holes that snakes can use to get into.
- Remember that non-venomous snakes are protected by law in Georgia.
Because snake season hasn’t quite ended yet, it’s still important to take precautions when spending time outdoors. It’s best to leave snake removal to the professionals, especially if you aren’t sure what type of snake you’re dealing with. If you have a problem with snakes or any other pests, contact your local pest control company for proper identification and safe elimination of the offending creature.
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As the weather heats up, snakes will be on the move, emerging from hibernation in search of food. Snake season peaks in the summertime, making your chances of an encounter with these reptiles increase. Here are 7 common snakes you may encounter this summer, along with snake prevention tips to help you avoid these pests while outdoors.
Eastern King Snakes
Eastern kingsnakes are large snakes, usually 3-4 feet long, shiny black in color with white or yellow bands. They have a short, blunt snout, rectangular looking head, and small beady eyes. They’re usually found in protected areas such as woods, overgrown vegetation, cluttered areas, etc. and most active during summer months in the morning hours. If you encounter a kingsnake, use caution; they are non-venomous but strong constrictors and may bite if handled. Keep eastern kingsnakes away from your home by limiting their food sources – other snakes, lizards, rodents, and birds, removing clutter and debris, storing wood away from your home’s exterior, use a snake repellent product, or contact a pest control company specializing in snake control.
Rat snakes are large, 3-6+ feet long, and black and yellow with stripes, or gray with darker patches. You can expect to find them in wooded areas, overgrown vegetation, swamps, abandoned or vacant buildings. Though they’re non-venomous, they may bite if handled or threatened and will climb for food. Prevent rat snakes around your home by reducing potential food sources – rats, mice, squirrels, birds, and bird eggs – using a snake repellent product, or professional snake control by a pest or wildlife removal company.
Garter snakes are small, usually 1/5-4 feet long, with three yellow stripes running vertically down a dark colored body. They’re active during day or night hours and often found in suburban areas under debris or boards – anywhere that provides cover for them – and around water, grassy areas, woods, and marshes. Garter snakes are common throughout the Southeast and most of the U.S. Like other non-venomous snakes, they pose no real threat unless bothered. Keep garter snakes away from you home by limiting preferred food sources – worms, slugs, frogs, toads, salamanders, fish and tadpoles – removing items that can be used as cover (wood, debris, etc.), and using a snake repellent product.
Black Racer Snakes
Black racers are large snakes, 5 feet long or larger, with slender black bodies and sometimes a white chin. Juvenile black racers are grayish in color with darker blotches. Black racers are common through the eastern U.S. and most often seen near forest edges, fields, or wetland outskirts during the day in warmer months. They’re non-venomous and usually timid, fleeing when threatened. To keep them away from your home, reduce food sources – insects, lizards, snakes, birds, rodents, and amphibians – and apply snake repellent products.
Brown snakes are small, 6-13 inches long, and usually brown but may be yellowish, reddish, or grayish-brown with darker spots on the back. You’ll find them in residential areas, wooded areas, near wetlands, and in urban areas under wood, leaves, and debris, or any other area with adequate ground cover. Brown snakes are the most common snake found in urban areas. They’re most active during evening or night hours, occasionally seen crossing roads. Brown snakes are non-venomous and pose no serious threat although may bite if threatened. While they’re not dangerous, you may not want to find one hiding out around your home. Prevent this by removing clutter and debris from your yard and consider using a product that brown snakes find repellent.
Copperheads are large snakes, usually 2-4 feet long, with a heavy body and a triangular shaped head. They are tan to brown in color with hourglass shaped darker bands running across the body; juvenile copperheads have a distinct yellow tail tip. You may encounter a copperhead snake in suburban areas or in semi-protected areas like woods or swamps. They’re common throughout central and eastern U.S. with the exception of some areas in south Georgia and all of Florida. Copperheads are venomous and dangerous and may bite if threatened. Use caution when outside in the summer, especially at night. Deter copperhead snakes from hanging out around your house by reducing potential food sources – mice, small birds, lizards, small snakes, amphibians and insects. If you see a copperhead, contact a wildlife control company to safely remove it.
Cottonmouth Snakes (Water Moccasins)
Cottonmouths, also called water moccasins, are large snakes – 2-4 feet in length – with a very heavy body and a distinctly triangular head. Their color varies from solid brown or brown or yellow with dark crossbands with a white mouse (inside); juveniles have a yellow tail tip. When threatened, cottonmouths display with the head in the middle of their coiled body and mouth wide open. As the name “water moccasin” suggests, cottonmouth snakes prefer to inhabit freshwater, swamps, river floodplains, and heavily vegetated wetlands. While they’re most common throughout coastal regions, cottonmouths are prevalent across the southeast U.S. They are active day and night but more likely to be seen when foraging for food at night in warmer months. Avoid cottonmouths if you come in contact with one, they are venomous and may bite if threatened. Use caution around fresh water habitats in the summer.
- Clean Up Your Yard. This includes leaf litter, fallen logs, piles of bricks, rocks, or any other hiding spots. Keep grass mowed short and shrubs, hedges, and trees trimmed back. Discard mulch and clippings away from your property. Elevate firewood and store it away from your home.
- Inspect Your House. Snakes can get inside your home through holes in the exterior. Thoroughly inspect the outside of your house, especially under roofs, in skirting, under the house, in garages, etc. Repair or block any openings you find.
- Eliminate Food Sources. Snakes feed on frogs, rodents, and insects. Keeping these pests away from your home will also help keep snakes away. Clean up spilled birdseed from under feeders. Seal outdoor trashcans and feed your pets indoors if possible. Seal pet food and birdseed in plastic or metal containers with tight lids.
- Dry It Out. Moisture attracts frogs, rodents and insects that snakes love to feed on. Drying out this excess moisture on your property will make it less attractive to snakes. Get rid of standing water. Fix leaky pipes and spigots. Set sprinklers on timers to avoid overwatering. Consider enclosing your crawlspace and installing gutter guards.
- Use The Professionals. Establishing routine pest control can help prevent pest problems before they become an infestation. Contact your local pest control company for a free analysis and a scheduled service plan.
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