Your garden is your oasis, your sanctuary, and your pride and joy. No doubt you have worked hard tilling, pulling weeds, planting, watering, fertilizing, and more. You should be able to walk into your garden to witness nature in all its glory at the work of your hands. Unless… you walk in the garden and happen upon a snake. Then nothing will make a gardener run faster. But why are there snakes in the garden, and what should you do about it?
Well, the truth is, snakes in the garden are not necessarily a bad thing. Does that sound crazy? It is really a matter of opinion. It all depends on how you view your garden and the snakes within. Let us explain.
At World Class Wildlife Removal, we enjoy all sorts of wildlife, including snakes. If we didn’t, it would be pretty challenging to do our jobs. You see, some nuisance wildlife should be exterminated, and others must be relocated. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here. Let’s discuss the “what and why” of the issue of snakes in the garden.
What Are the Snakes in the Garden in Florida?
Snakes play a vital role in the ecological balance in Florida and all over the world. Actually, they get a nasty rap since most people don’t know they owe a bit of gratitude to the snakes. You see, snakes control rodent populations and are a significant food source for other animals as well. And you know rats and mice spread disease. So, getting rid of as many of them as possible naturally is a great idea. – Thanks, snakes.
That said, snakes in Florida are being threatened due to habitat loss, human persecution, and road killings. Thousands are killed every year. However, we can live safely with snakes if we simply learn to identify snakes and which are good to have around.
This section allows us at World Class Wildlife Removal to introduce you to a few of the good snakes in the garden. All the snakes listed here are non-venomous.
These little guys are only 6 to 10 inches and are a woodland variety. They are gray to black in color and can be easily identified by the yellow ring around their neck. On the belly side, the ring may be more orange to red. They mainly eat earthworms and slugs.
Another little one, this snake is 7 to 10 inches in length and is primarily brown with a light gray or tan vertical stripe and segmented black borders down the back. Some even have a white or tan blotch on the top of the darker head. They like to dine on earthworms, slugs, and tiny frogs. Brownsnakes may look like they are dangerous when they are threatened, but they are really harmless.
These snakes are nonnative but are a subtropical variety found worldwide. They are tiny, measuring 2.5 to 6.5 inches in length and a mere 5mm in diameter. They somewhat resemble a worm, but they do have scales. And they are often called “flowerpot snakes” They eat small invertebrates, like the eggs and larvae of ants and termites.
The common black racer is found everywhere. They will be in flower beds, gardens, bushes, patios, and more. The good news is they eat frogs, lizards, and other insects. Racers like to slither onto your patio, front porch, and even in through the sliding glass doors if given a chance. They are indeed black and grow to be 20-56 inches long. But when they are babies, they look like a rattler. Often, they are confused and killed for that very reason.
Red Rat Snake or Corn Snake
These snakes are the climbers that are always on the hunt for rodents. They are common, like the black racer, and will not hesitate to come inside. They can grow to be 30-48 inches long and are an orange-tan color with red blotches. The juveniles have less pigment.
Yellow Rat Snake
The differences in the red and yellow rat snake are obviously the coloring, on one more. The yellow rat snake will eat rodents and lizards and one-up the meal to baby chickens and small birds. Additionally, these snakes are grayish when hatched, but they turn yellow with long vertical strips in adulthood. They can reach 42=72 inches in length.
Now, perhaps we should discuss why these snakes are in the garden in the first place.
Why are There Snakes in the Garden?
After reading the above, you may see the resounding reason snakes are in your garden. They want to do no harm to your plants. In fact, they want to help you rid the garden of slugs, rodents, frogs, and more that are all bad for your garden anyhow.
All the snakes listed above are nonvenomous and really have no desire to mess with humans. In any case, they will bite if cornered or provoked. The bite from a nonvenomous snake may hurt for a second, but an infection afterward is what you want to avoid. Therefore, it is a good idea to go to the doctor to have the bite thoroughly cleaned.
Gardening With Snakes Around
The word is gardeners should treat snakes with respect for all the good they do. Simply protect yourself while gardening by wearing thick boots and gloves. And be cautious when working in areas that may be an ideal hiding place for a snake.
The good news is most snakes want nothing to do with humans.
When you encounter a snake in the garden, it is best to step back and let him make his way out safely. Going after a snake with a shovel is probably the least safe thing you can do at that moment. And remember, snakes are not going to come after you if they do not feel threatened.
Now, if you think a snake may be venomous, call a professional wildlife removal service, like World Class Wildlife Removal. Approaching a venomous snake can be dangerous, even deadly.
Preventing Snakes in the Garden
There is no doubt, preventing snakes in Florida is a difficult task, especially if you live near the woods or water. The best way to prevent snakes from invading your yard is to keep snake food off the property. Snake food includes many types of insects, frogs, lizards, and rodents. So, if you know you have a rodent problem, have a wildlife removal expert take care of that before you attempt to eliminate the snakes.
And please remember, if they are not venomous, they are actually doing good to be in your yard.
That said, there are a few things you can do to keep them out of your home.
- Keep all doors and windows properly sealed when shut.
- Use screens in your windows and on your doors when you want them open.
- Make sure the lawn stays cut and keep hiding places near the home to a minimum.
- Eliminate birdseed and trash cans and secure them or put them away to keep rodents at bay.
- Have your local wildlife removal expert seal all the cracks, vents, and openings in the home so rodents cannot enter.
- Combat climbing by asking neighbors to keep brush trim in the yard, especially if it touches your fence.
- Get on a routine of pest control with your local pest control company.
And as always, if you have any nuisance pests in your yard or home, contact the professionals at World Class Wildlife Removal to remove them as soon as possible.
A Special Note About One Snake
The Burmese Python is one of the top invasive species in Florida. These constrictors were once pets, then were released due to their enormous growth and adult size. Of Course, living in Florida is an optimal condition for the python. There are no predators, and the warm climate suits it well. However, the pythons are increasing in large numbers and are wreaking havoc on our Florida wildlife. When they prey on deer, our endangered birds, frogs, and native snakes, it upsets the balance of life. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, if you locate a python in Florida, it can be killed by the landowner or a professional. Here is what they have to say about python removal.
“Pythons can be humanely killed on private lands at any time with landowner permission – no permit required- and the FWC encourages people to remove and kill pythons from private lands whenever possible. Pythons may also be killed at any time throughout the year from 25 Wildlife Management Areas, Public Small Game Hunting Areas and Wildlife and Environmental Areas where pythons are known to exist. There is no bag limit and pythons may be humanely killed by any means other than traps or firearms (unless provided for by specific area regulations).”
World Class Snake Removal
The World Class team performs wildlife removal, decontamination, exclusion, and remediation for Florida homes and businesses. We are pleased to be eco-friendly, family, and pet-safe. Our team is available 24/7, and we can be at your home within an hour at your request.
Call 727-655-9082 for the best wildlife removal West Florida has to offer, or connect with our team right here.