You might find many animals in your garden, including snakes, making gardeners wonder are snakes in the garden good? On a positive note, snakes are carnivores, meaning that they only eat meat. You don’t have to fear that a snake will eat any of your plants. In today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at what exactly does the presence of snakes in your garden mean and determine whether it’s good or bad.
Are Snakes Good For The Garden?
Unlike other animals, such as deer or rabbits, snakes are great for your garden! Most snakes are near the bottom of the food chain, as they mostly feed on small vermin and sometimes insects. Because of this, they can only be beneficial for your garden. A single snake can destroy a colony of grasshoppers in a single summer!
Additionally, snakes aren’t going to deal any damage by burrowing, either. Although snakes are known to make holes in the ground, they’re much happier to use holes that belong to other animals. That means that they’ll clear out moles and mice in your area. Once these animals notice a snake around or in their tunnels, they’ll hastily evacuate.
Snakes will also eat snails and slugs, which are a particularly gruesome enemy of any plant.
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What To Do With A Garden Snake?
So, now that you know that the snake doesn’t pose any danger for the garden itself, you might be wondering what do you do if you see a snake in your garden? The best piece of advice we can give you is to leave it alone. It’d be great if you could identify the snake. If you notice a garter snake, which is a non-venomous and an extremely common snake, just back away.
The snake isn’t interested in you at all and it’s most likely frightened at the sight of you. The largest number of snakes won’t attack you in any way unless you step on them, try to pick them up, or if you corner them. Aggressive snakes that will actively start trouble are very rare. The Black Mamba, for example, is a very aggressive snake – but it lives only in a few places in Africa.
When you notice a snake, remember what it looks like and find out what snakes live in your area. If you identify it and it’s a venomous snake, call the local vet to ask for help – it’s not safe to keep that sort of snake around. Even though it would most likely leave on its own after a few days, it’s still better to be safe than sorry.
If the species you find in your garden is non-venomous, though, and it isn’t dangerous – feel free to leave it there. Although the same rule applies – the snake likely won’t stay for long. It will stay in your garden as long as the temperature suits it and there’s food. Even in this scenario, though, it’d be wise to call the local vet and ask for their opinion.
While you’re working in your garden, the snake will always move away if you’re near. However, make sure that you know what you’re touching while you’re touching it. Due to their shape, snakes can easily be mistaken for something else.
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What Attracts Snakes To Your Garden?
Snakes need several things to thrive in an environment; shelter, enough sun, and enough shade, a source of food, and water. If there’s a snake in your garden for a longer period of time, that means that there’s plenty of food for it there. You should be happy about this because that means that the snake will eat all that food!
If you’re looking to attract a snake to your garden, first check whether you live in an area with snakes. Snakes will often avoid areas that are too cold or too hot as it’s not safe for them – and it’s not like you can change the temperature. Then, a snake will need a source of water.
You can provide this by creating a shallow fountain or a pond. Then, if there are natural bushes, the snake will likely use them as shelter.
Lastly, it’s important to understand that snakes have a sense of smell that’s unimaginably stronger than our own. They can smell virtually anything, and that includes herbicides and pesticides. Even though they might not harm the snake itself, they’ll certainly sense its presence and avoid it.
What also counts is that a pesticide will likely kill all possible sources of food for the snake, so it will likely stay hungry if you’re using chemicals to kill pests.
If you want a snake in your garden, that garden has to be organic!
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Most Common Snakes In Gardens
Possibly the most common snake in gardens is the garter snake. There are actually many subspecies of this snake and it’s present across most climate zones on Earth. They primarily feed on slugs, large insects, and small rodents. They’re completely harmless to you, as they’re small and non-venomous. However, they’re very dangerous for your average mouse! Because of this, a garter snake can often be a gardener’s best friend!
We should also mention the King Snake. These snakes are one of few snake species that are immune to venom! They’re also incredibly strong and some herpetologists consider them to be the strongest constrictor, relative to their own size. The King Snake can be very beneficial to your garden, as they’ll eat basically anything that they can fit into their mouth!
Snakes In The Garden Conclusion
To sum up, snakes are definitely good for your garden! These animals are incredible tools when it comes to the control of pests and vermin. Most snakes you’ll come across in your garden are completely harmless, but it’s best to keep your distance until you identify the exact species. Make sure you call the vet or animal control and ask for advice.
A non-venomous snake, however, can be a very powerful ally for the upkeep of your garden. Insects and vermin will definitely stay away if they know that there’s a snake in the garden!