One reason why the Garter snakes may come to your house is food or possible prey. Garter Snakes feed on frogs, birds, moles, voles, insects, and lizards.
If any of those creatures are frequently found in your house , garter snakes might sneak in as well.
In this article, we will see where you might expect to find a garter snake in your house & how can you tell if you have garter snake infestation problem.
Where do Garter Snakes Hide in a House?
Garter snakes mostly hide in basements where they crawl space areas. Nevertheless, they can find their way into the living areas of your house. Some of the spaces in the house where Garter snakes can be found are under and behind different appliances, in rafters, on wall shelves, around door and window frames, inside or around storage boxes, in or around clothes, baskets, under water pipes, in dark places, near or around book racks, under sofas or bed and in hideous places inside the washrooms.
Garter snakes have a distinct foul odour; therefore, it is quite easy to sense if they are residing inside the house. Secondly, they will shed their skin as they grow which can be found.
Thirdly, they may leave crawlspace in dusty areas in the basement and you get a hint. Finally, you may look for snake droppings which are very distinctive, like bird feces, but including hair and bones from their prey.
In such instances, it is a good idea to call professionals to find and remove them. Once removed make sure the bushes outside are properly cut and there is no debris left anywhere.
Also, make sure all cracks are covered so they can’t enter inside the house again. Doors and windowpanes should be properly covered.
Garter snakes generally like to live near water near swamps, gardens, and meadows, especially if those places are hideous as well. Hideous spaces may include yard debris, tall grasses and vegetations, in and near outer storerooms or sheds, wood piles, tree branches touching roofs.
Inside, snakes may hide in rooftops or ceilings in they are constructed using wood, near sources of heat, water pipes, in heaps of clothing, in and around boxes, wall shelves and rafters, near and/or behind different appliances and in cracks or small openings close to doors and windowpanes.
Why Do Garter Snakes Come in the House
When the temperature starts getting warmer in spring and gets hot in summer, snakes start coming out of hibernation and go looking for hiding places. Garter snakes are one of the very first snakes to come out and they need a place to hide and keep warm or cold.
They also look for moisture and a source for food. House gardens are a good place for them. From garden they can move indoors if there needs for food and hiding are met inside the building and if the structure allows them to sneak in.
How does a Garter Snake get in the house
Garter snakes like all other snakes are more commonly found in areas where all their needs can be easily met. They prefer dark, humid places and live and hide in small cracks, gaps, holes and crevices. If a house offers such an opportunity, they will avail it.
They are good climbers and may sometimes come in from the roof, through spaces in chimney or ceiling. They have also been found to crawl through sewerage pipes. Spaces under or around doors and windows can also give them an opportunity to crawl inside.
Also Read: Identifying Holes in Yard
How to Keep Garter Snakes away from your House
Garter Snakes are mostly harmless but some of them may have mild venom which may not be too harmful for human. Sometimes it is a good idea to carefully live with it. However, there are a few strategies to keep them away if that was preferable.
Eliminating holes, cracks and openings near and around doors and windows can help deter snakes from entering and residing in your house.
It is advisable to carefully inspect the outer part of your property and mend all cracks and cover all holes that are found. You must identify and repair all damaged gutters, water/sewerage piping, as well as the ventilation ducts.
It is important to also repair or replace damaged screens on doors and windows if there are any. Near or around your house, snakes will take refuge in woodpiles, debris and dung heaps.
If that was possible, firewood and other things shall be stored in impenetrable, sealed and locked boxes. Also, clear up all tall grass, vegetation, bushes, leaves or broken equipment in and around your house and garden area.
Also See: Do Snakes Make Holes In The Ground
Signs of Garter Snake infested House
How do you know if there’s a Garter snake in your house?
Garter snakes have more than 12 different species and they are mostly nonvenomous. They are one of the first snakes to come out of hibernation and crawl into your property.
There are a few signs that you should look for if you want to remain wary of the snake’s presence.
Firstly, their skin has striped outline hinting to a garter: either one or three longitudinal yellow to red stripes, with checkered marks in between. They will shed their skin as they grow, and the skin could be found and identified easily.
Secondly, they like living in groups and there is a good chance that they fill the space with their distinct foul smell, living in a closed space. Thirdly, their feces can also be seen and identified as they are also unique. Looking for crawl spaces in dust can also help identify their presence.
Can you smell a Garter snake in your house?
Garter snakes have a distinct bad odour that can fill closed spaces. If you do not regularly visit the place that is infested with Garter snake but do so occasionally, you may easily sense the foul smell. Most significantly, garter snakes leave a discrete, foul smell that will infiltrate all your property which is very easy to detect.
Some experts are of the view that garters are perhaps the smelliest of all snakes. Although garter snakes generally like solitude, nevertheless, they hibernate in huge numbers which avoids heat loss and helps them keep their bodies in warm condition.
Also Read: What Kind of Snake has an Orange Belly
How to Catch a Garter Snake in your house
You should look for places where you may likely find the snake once you have sensed it is there. Once you find it, use a net to catch it or you can hold it by the tip of its tale.
Garter snake may not harm you if it bites, however, you should see a doctor, especially if the bite gets infected. The garter snake will also emit a foul smell from its anal gland.
Since this is one of the most useful snakes, it is wise not to kill it, instead remove it from your house. If you are afraid to do so, you may ask a professional. You may use snake fence, repellent or bait to kill it or scare it away.
What to do about Garter Snakes In & Around your House
Garner snake is one of the less harmful snakes, therefore, chasing it away is a likely option. You may also use snake repellent for that purpose. To keep them away from your pool, you may pour white vinegar around the pool’s perimeter.
Also, if you gather hair from your hairbrush and spread it around the perimeter of your house snakes will smell the hair and move away.
In your garden, make sure you trim the bushes and mow the grass regularly. Remove any objects or debris away from your lawn. Also make sure to remove sources of possible snake food. Also make sure you remove the moisture.
Getting rid of garter snakes in the Basement
Snakes can reach and hide in the basement of your house as it offers the ideal place for them to live. The following are two of best ways to catch the garter snake and get rid of it from your basement:
- You can catch the snake by your hand and carry it out of the property using either a towel or a snake grabber. If you are afraid to do so, you may ask a professional for help.
- Your property’s basement is perhaps the ideal place to set trap for snakes. The trap will help you catch it and carry it out to release it
Getting rid of garter snakes in Attic
Garner snakes are small and can get inside through small cracks. They are also good climbers and may as well go up the attic. Removing the reptile from attic may not be easy. Especially if it feels itself being trapped. Therefore, be very careful when trying to catch it and do not allow the snake the opportunity to lunge at you.
If you use a sticky trap that might help as the snake slithers on to it, which holds the snake in place, giving you the time and opportunity to take away the animal. Once out of the house, you’ll need to pour vegetable oil over the adhesive, which will then allow the snake to slither away.
After you have found and removed a snake you must search thoroughly to find out how they might have got inside the house. Shut any gap or crack that you find. Since snakes neither cut nor chew you may use any simple sealant and they may be kept away for the future.