Snakes may be the least welcome house guests, regardless of how they get in! Because of this, it’s important to know the entry points so you can deal with the issue and prevent future cohabitation!
Some of the most common ways snakes enter your home are through gaps in brick and siding, through plumbing and toilets, up the fascia into attics, and down through basements.
They can also hide inside plants and trees and come out when brought indoors!
Proper maintenance prevents some entry, but unfortunately, others can’t be helped! Snakes come in a variety of species, each with a different set of needs.
Read on to become more familiar with the ten ways that snakes enter your home and how to prevent them from entering in the future!
Here are 10 ways that Snakes Get Into Your House
In most cases, snakes are kind of like water: they follow the path of least resistance. They have a keen sense of smell and they can slip into some really small spaces.
If they can sense that a juicy morsel like a rat, mouse, or some other creature is in a particular space, they’ll be there. So, finding a snake or the places where they could conceivably get in, should be the same places where creatures hide.
There have been a lot of great studies done on the snake’s sensory capability like this study done for APA PsycNet Laboratory on scent trailing in garter snakes.
This study showed that from infant to adult snakes will immediately follow the trail left by other species of snake. Not necessarily their own. This makes it obvious that their sense of smell takes precedence over anything else from the beginning as a precursor for survival.
Check out our article 5 Easy Tips To Keep Snakes Out Of Your Swimming Pool for ideas on how to keep snakes away from other parts of your property!
1. Snakes Get In Through Gaps In Brick Fascia And Siding
The typical inspection and repair you would perform to prevent moisture damage will also keep snakes out. At least from getting into the house through the fascia and siding.
Snakes sneak through gaps when the mortar that lies between the brick or stone and helps it to stick to your outer walls gets old and abused by the elements. When it falls apart, the cracks, gaps, and holes become an ideal entryway for snakes into the home!
2. Your Plants Are A Camouflage for Snakes
It may come as no surprise to you, but snakes are accomplished hitchhikers! They don’t need their eyesight to navigate. Only their keen sense of smell and direction.
Whether you are a gardening enthusiast or someone who brings a bushy plant or tree home, you could be carrying a snake. Don’t believe me? Just look up the “Snake in the Christmas Tree” meme on Google!
Always inspect a plant or tree with caution prior to bringing it indoors. If you can, shake a tree out to disturb the presence of any potential snakes and hopefully shake them out and move on!
3. Snakes are talented Climbers
This is an easier fix than some of the other issues in terms of prevention. Climbing snakes are likely to find prey via smell.
Be sure not to have any dead carcasses of mice or rats or any other creature. When snakes go after prey, they use their sense of smell!
The first thing to do is to get an inspection by an exterminator with experience in this area; basically, beyond bugs and into critters. You’ll want to get rid of anything up in the attic, crawlspace, and basement.
They should be removed and not left to decompose as this is what will most attract the snake. Oh, and they don’t have to be dead! They can be alive and well and give off the same enticing scent to a snake.
4. Snakes Hide In Your Toilet
Typically, a snake isn’t going to come up the pipes. That is largely a myth! What is most likely, is that the snake was already there and made its way into the bowl.
It seems like a great space to be for a snake for whatever reason until they figure out they’re wet and stuck. That causes agitation to the snake and encourages it to move forward into your toilet bowl.
5. Snakes Hide In Your Leaf Piles
A leaf pile is a great place for snakes to hide. If they’re close enough to the house, they’ll have a prime opportunity to slip into the house through any of the ways listed here.
It’s more than just the direct entryway that needs to be handled. Make sure you always bag up your loose leaves!
If you’re concerned about snakes in your yard, you can read about the reasons you have snakes in your yard and why they aren’t leaving here.
6. Snakes Come In Through The Siding Of Your Home
Siding does a great job at insulating and keeping the outside fascia looking great. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impermeable! If you allow the siding to go unchecked, you may find that it’s harboring some sneaky and stealthy visitors.
7. Snakes Make Landscaping Rocks Home
When you chose those beautiful boulders or coral rock for their porous look and feel, we’ll bet you didn’t know you were building condos for the slither nation.
We don’t wish to advise you to throw your beautiful rocks away! By all means, use them, but you may want to have landscaping professionals work in tandem with pest control professionals to make certain you don’t give away free rent to snakes
8. Snakes Love Your Bird Baths
The attraction of birds to your birdbath serves as a beautiful spectacle for you to enjoy as well as a sanctuary for the birds. However, for both the safety of your fine feathered friends and their exclusive clubhouse, collaborate with pest control methods to keep snakes out.
The birdbath and toilets serve the same goal for the snakes. They need water and well…. There it is. Raise your birdbaths, spray them with a little vegetable grease, and use some over-the-counter snake repellent such as the Ortho Snake-B-Gon Snake Repellent Granules.
9. Snakes Can Enter Under Your Porch
This is especially true if you have animals that dig under the porch and create their dens under it. Sometimes other critters or the spoils from their dinner attract snakes.
We wouldn’t recommend pest control in this case for the safety of the creatures within. However, some habitat modification or rescue and relocation would be suggested.
10. Snakes Can Enter Through Your Roof
If you have trees around your property and your home is nestled within a foot or so of them, you may at some point have a snake on the roof. They will then come in your drains and through any hole in the shingles.
They will do this when they smell a good meal or find sufficient water and shelter! Those are hard to resist for anyone, let alone a hungry snake!
You can read more about the different places snakes hide inside your home here.
How To Get Snakes Out Of Your House
Now that you know how snakes might have gotten into your house, the real question is: how do I get them out?
We have given a few tips as to how to deal with snakes in a few situations. We have covered all the types of situations by where they may enter most commonly and what attracts them.
Now, let’s get to how to get snakes out of your house.
A wildlife expert or an exterminator that has experience with snakes can be consulted to help remove snakes once they are found.
Observe Snakes From A Distance
Always observe a snake from a distance. Take a picture with a zoom feature activated on your device.
But, never get too close. What you think is a harmless snake may not be. If there is one, there may be more you are not aware of. This isn’t always the case. If you’re interested, you can read about why one snake doesn’t always mean there’s more here.
If you do observe a snake in your home, do NOT attempt to detain or corner it. Even if it disappears somewhere in the house. Call for help right away.
Take Precautions Against Snakes
You may want to deal with the situation in an indirect way. You may seal off the room where you last saw it and place towels or blankets under the door to block it from coming out.
We will say that this may or may not be effective. A snake will find a closet or another dark area to hide.
If you go to a DIY big box store or online you can get glue boards. These can be placed under beds, in closets, and in cabinets.
These Catchmaster Baited Rat, Mouse, and Snake Glue Traps are a good option glue board for rats and snakes.
Glue boards are basically just plastic or heavy-gauge corrugated cardboard with heavy glue. It doesn’t typically harm the creature but is only meant to catch them while it walks or slithers over it.
They can then be released.
How To Safely Release A Snake
As we’ve stated throughout this guide, touching, cornering, or capturing a snake on your own is NOT recommended.
So, what do you do once you have a snake on the glue board? The first thing you do is again, call a wildlife control or a pest control company.
If you do call pest control, immediately express you need snake removal and let them know specifically that you have a snake on your glue board. If you know what it looks like or can send an image from a distance with a zoom then do so.
Do NOT attempt to pick up the glue board yourself. Wait for professional help. Seal off the room and leave it if it’s outside business hours.
The reason for this is simple. You may not be 100% sure of the nature of the snake and though it’s glued down, it may be able to lift its head and become loose enough to cause an issue.
If you follow this procedure you should be fine and your issue solved soon. For more info, take a peal at our guide on
Preventing Snakes From Reentering Your House
So, now that you’ve captured the thing and tossed it out or had it removed professionally, you need to take some measures to prevent another visit from an uninvited serpent.
Below are some suggestions. These are general suggestions and your pest control company and wildlife control can tell you more about your unique situation.
You should try your best to understand where the snake came from to attempt to prevent its return.
Use Scents That Snakes Hate
There is a safe way to stave off snakes that you can do as a proactive approach. You can mix these essential oils with ½ cup of white vinegar or water and even use white vinegar and water alone.
Snakes have a great sense of smell and will be repelled pretty easily if any scent disrupts their capability to sense prey.
There are scents that snakes hate and will act as effective deterrents to snakes returning to your garden. The topmost commonly used scents are cinnamon oil and white vinegar. Use them as directed below!
Cinnamon oil is a potent scent that will discourage snakes in any area if they are sprayed directly or if the area that you know they’ve been to is saturated with it. This Ethereal Nature 100% Pure Oil is a good option.
White vinegar, like this AVO Pure Natural Distilled White Vinegar, is a deterrent if it is only partially diluted and sprayed on the plants and areas like the cinnamon oil.
It is recommended that you keep a bowl in the area of straight white vinegar. It takes days to evaporate so a gallon of it will last a while until you’ve deterred the snake from returning.
You can read more about the scents that snakes hate and how to use them here.
Seal Any Possible Snake Entrances
As soon as you can you may want to get the obvious entrance points sealed up. The most common are the ones we mentioned above! Inspect the fascia outside and any of the most obvious places.
Ask the pest control company to create a targeted list of places you must secure in your home to best serve your unique situation.
In the case of snake capture, extermination, and removal are the best choices for you to consider.
To recap, observing the snake at a distance and calling a professional, including wildlife control, is the best way to go. You can use our nationwide pest control finder to get in contact with a local professional.
The most common ways for snakes to get into your home are:
- Gaps in the mortar of the home structure
- Outdoor attractors such as decorative rocks
- Leaf piles and any debris that makes a dark, warm hiding place
- Attics, basements, and roof shingles
- Any place where they can smell prey that is alive or dead
Make sure you follow the steps in this article and work closely with a reputable pest control company and wildlife control.
You can disrupt the habitat of the snake and they will leave. However, not all snakes are friendly and eradication from your space takes a team effort.
Best of luck with those slithery visitors!
Heller, S., & Halpern, M. (1981). Laboratory observations on the conspecific and congeneric scent trailing in garter snakes (Thamnophis).. Behavioral & Neural Biology.
Ferraro, D. M. (1995). The efficacy of naphthalene and sulfur repellents to cause avoidance behavior in the plains garter snake.
Matsubara, K., Tarui, H., Toriba, M., Yamada, K., Nishida-Umehara, C., Agata, K., & Matsuda, Y. (2006). Evidence for different origin of sex chromosomes in snakes, birds, and mammals and step-wise differentiation of snake sex chromosomes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103(48), 18190-18195.
Renapurkar, D. M., Tare, T. G., Sutar, N. K., & Deshmukh, P. B. (1991). Observations on snake repellent property of some plant extracts. Defence Science Journal, 41(1), 79.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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