8 Places Snakes May Be Hiding In Your Home (What To Do)

Close up of a Common Garter snake slithering around in the grass in the Autumn

Snakes aren’t the worst pest you could have in your home. They don’t cause damage, prefer to stay hidden, and will eat other pests. Still, nobody wants to stumble upon a snake!

Snakes enter homes in search of food and water. They usually hide in or near basements and cellars, hot water tanks and pipes, woodpiles and firewood boxes, laundry rooms, clothing, water sources, storage areas, furniture, and appliances. Maintaining these areas is the best way to keep snakes out.

Continue reading to find out where snakes like to hide, why they might be in your home, and what you can do to keep them away. First we’re going to review the areas where snakes may be hiding and THEN go over what to do – let’s get to it!

Just to add – when you shop using links from Pest Pointers, we may earn affiliate commissions if you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Snakes Love Quiet Basements and Cellars

If you live in an area with snakes and have a basement or cellar, there’s a good chance you might find a snake or two hanging out down there. But what is it about basements and cellars that snakes love?

Snakes enjoy hanging out in basements because they’re quiet, cool, and damp. It’s usually easy for them to get inside, and they can almost always find something good to eat like mice.

Snakes are cold-blooded, meaning they cannot generate body heat internally. Instead, they rely on the environment to maintain their body temperature.

Snakes need heat to generate energy. Without energy, they cannot move, hunt, digest food, or maintain essential bodily functions. But because they cannot control their body temperature by sweating or panting, they have to be careful not to overheat.

Prolonged exposure to heat can cause snakes to become overheated, leading to a whole host of problems that they pride themselves on NOT having.

To avoid these problems, snakes must look for cool places to hide and lower their body temperature in the summer.

Your basement might be the perfect place for an overheated snake to find relief from the heat while also enjoying an all-you-can-eat buffet of rodents and insects

Snakes Enjoy Warming Themselves Around Your Pipes

Imagine walking into your basement and finding a snake wrapped around a pipe over your head. It might sound like a fictional scene from a horror movie, but for some people, this experience is real in chillier environments.

Snakes can and will come into a home in search of warmth, and they often find this warmth around hot water tanks and pipes.

When they get too cold, snakes need to find warm areas where they can raise their body temperature. And if they’ve recently eaten, they might look for a place that provides belly heat to help them digest their food.

Here are some other places snakes go in the winter if you’d like some more info on that

Snakes might hide under, or in nooks and crannies around, a hot water tank, or curled up around the various pipes in your home. Additionally, they may gain access to your house by following the pipes in your wall.

In rare cases, snakes might find their way into the space between the internal tank and the external housing unit. If this happens, you should immediately shut off the water tank and contact a professional.

Snakes Will Make Themselves at Home in Your Wood Piles

Although wood stoves can help you save money on your heating bill during the colder months, having piles of wood around your home can attract insects, rodents, and snakes.

Snakes are attracted to wood piles because they offer dark places to hide while also housing many of their favorite foods, such as insects and mice. The rough bark can also help a snake shed their skin. Woodpiles and logs are one of the most common places snakes go in the winter.

You might find snakes hiding in wood piles in your yard, curled up in stacks of wood in your home, or inside firewood boxes.

If you store firewood in your house, consider keeping it in a storage container like this Indoor Outdoor Firewood Storage Holder. Not only will it help keep snakes out, but it will also keep rodents and insects from infiltrating the wood!

Snake in Sam Houston Jones State Park

Snakes Might Slither into Your Laundry Room

Most snake species need humidity to stay healthy and prevent dehydration and shedding problems. Since laundry rooms are often the most humid room in the house, it makes sense that snakes would hide there.

All living things shed in some way, but reptiles are unique because they shed their skin all at once. Shedding removes parasites on the skin and allows room for the reptile to grow. 

According to the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, snakes that aren’t exposed to the proper humidity levels can have problems shedding, such as stuck skin. To help prevent this, snakes often hunker down in humid areas to prepare for shedding.

In addition to humidity, laundry rooms are prone to insect infestations. A wide range of insects can be found scurrying along the floor of a laundry room, including cockroaches, bedbugs, spiders, silverfish, beetles, crickets, termites, and more. Many of these pests are irresistible snacks to a hungry snake.

Interestingly enough, finding discarded skin sheds is one of the most significant signs that you have snakes in your home!

Snakes Can Be Found Hiding in Clothes

While hiding in someone else’s dirty laundry doesn’t sound like a good time to us, it might sound like the perfect afternoon to a snake.

Snakes often hide in clothing piles because they offer the reptiles a dark, quiet place to hide. While any pile of clothes is fair game, the reptiles seem to prefer dirty clothing, which might be because soiled clothing tends to attract moisture and bugs.

Make sure to store your laundry appropriately if you believe you have snakes hiding in your home. Hampers like this Greenstell Laundry Hamper with Lid work wonderfully because snakes have difficulty getting inside.

You Might Find Snakes in Your Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms of the house, a place where people can relax, unwind, and spend quality time with family. Unfortunately, snakes might also find your kitchen appealing.

Snakes slither into kitchens for water or food and often hide in pantries, cupboards, and under or behind various appliances. They’re drawn to kitchens because they offer food, water, and shelter.

Out of all the rooms in your home, your kitchen is the most susceptible to rodent or insect infestation because food and trash are most commonly found in kitchens.

It doesn’t take long for a sink full of dirty dishes or an overflowing trash can to attract pests, and you might find snakes hiding near these reliable food sources.

So – keep that kitchen clean!

Snakes Could Be Hiding near a Water Source

The sound of a dripping faucet is enough to drive most of us mad, but it might be music to a thirsty snake’s ears. Or, their inner ear, since snakes don’t technically have an outer ear.

Contrary to popular belief, snakes do need to drink water. In fact, according to the University of Florida, even sea snakes need fresh water and refuse to drink the salt water in which they live.

Although they get some hydration from the food they eat, most snake species need to drink water during periods of dehydration. How they drink depends on the species, but some studies suggest snakes use sponge-like holes in their jaws to help them soak up water.

It’s not uncommon for people to find increased snake activity in their homes during a drought when fresh water is hard to find in the wild. You might find a snake coiled near a dripping pipe, faucet, or water-based appliance.

Thamnophis sirtalis common garter snake slithers across a Pennsylvania autumn forest stream with colorful leaves and stones. Natural light, selective focus with copy space and no people.

Yes, You May Even Find A Snake In Your Toilet

Can you imagine walking into your bathroom and finding a snake in your toilet? Luckily, this is a rare scenario, but one that does happen from time to time. So how, and why, would a snake end up in your toilet bowl?

Because it’s rare, we don’t know exactly why some snakes end up relaxing in our porcelain throne. However, most snake enthusiasts suggest this happens when overheated snakes need a place to cool down quickly.

Additionally, some people believe that snakes enter pipes in search of water and end up following the pipe to the… bowl. Unfortunately, this means leaving the seat down won’t help!

It’s important to note that this is super rare and almost always occurs in more rural areas.

And, to put you at ease, it’s really really REALLY unlikely and more-so a result of the snake going in the toilet rather than up the drain.

Snakes Love To Hide In Storage Areas

Most people have an area in their home where extra stuff accumulates. Whether it’s an attic, garage, or spare room, you might be storing more than your keepsakes and winter clothing.

Snakes like to hide in storage areas because the boxes and totes create several places where they can hide from predators. Also, storage tends to attract rodents; as we have learned, snakes love munching on rodents.

Snakes

Reducing rodent activity is the best way to make your storage areas less inviting to snakes. Since rodents usually invade storage containers because they’re looking for nesting materials, you can minimize rodent activity by keeping clothing and other cloth items in air-tight storage containers.

Totes like this 14 Gallon Commercial Storage Bin are great because rodents cannot chew through them, and the boxes stack on top of one another, eliminating crevices where snakes like to hide.

Other Places Snakes Might Relax Around Your Home

Snakes don’t usually enter a house with the intention of staying long, and sometimes they don’t have time to scout the perfect hiding spot before they’re interrupted by the homeowners. 

Instead, they may seek refuge under anything that provides them shelter and protection, such as furniture and appliances. They might also stretch out in various cracks and crevices around your home.

By the way, one snake does not always mean there’s another. So if you find one it doesn’t necessarily mean you have two.

You might find snakes hiding under your:

  • Refrigerator
  • Dishwasher
  • Oven
  • Dryer
  • Washer
  • Couch
  • Recliners
  • Dressers
  • Beds
  • Bookshelves
  • Tables

You may also find snakes in more obscure places, such as:

  • Rafters
  • Window frames
  • Door frames
  • Crawl spaces
  • Shelving
  • Heating Vents
  • Stairs
  • Lofts
  • Baseboards

Basically, any area large enough for a snake to fit into but small enough that not much else can disturb the reptile.

CHECKERED GARTER SNAKE thamnophis marcianus, ADULT STANDING ON ROCK

How Can I Tell If I Have Snakes in My House?

Even though most species are harmless, people usually don’t want to share their homes with a snake. Especially if they live in an area where venomous snakes could become an issue. Luckily, there are several tell-tale signs to look for to determine if you have a snake in your house, such as:

  • Skin sheds
  • Droppings
  • Odd smells
  • Tracks

Finding shed skin is one of the most apparent signs of a reptile visitor. Snakes shed their skin when they outgrow it, leaving behind sheds resembling sheets of thin plastic with a scale-like pattern. You may find full sheds or tiny bits of skin.

Snake droppings are another detectable sign that you have a scaly friend in your home. What the droppings look like will depend on the species of the snake which left them. Most snake scat is long, tubular, and has a white urea cap. The scat’s size signals the snake’s size, with larger species having noticeably larger droppings.

Snakes sometimes emit a foul odor, especially if multiple snakes are in one location. Although it’s hard to explain what this smells like, some people say it smells musky or rotten. 

Snakes slither along on their belly and will often leave marks in places where dust or dirt has accumulated. Since snakes prefer to move along the edges of the wall, you will likely find tracks around your home’s baseboards.

What To Do If You Have Snakes In Your Home

Having a few snakes on your property is often a good thing. They reduce insect and rodent activity around your home and garden while going out of their way to avoid you.

That said, larger species can threaten pets and livestock, and venomous species can be dangerous to humans. Moreover, they can become a nuisance if they constantly break into your home.

Luckily, there are several things you can do to reclaim your space.

Remove Temptation by Controlling Food Sources

Like all living creatures, snakes need to eat to survive. And if there’s a steady food source nearby, you can bet a snake will find it.

One of the unique things about snakes is that despite there being approximately 4,000 species in the world, they are all, without exception, carnivores.

Carnivores only eat meat and prey on other creatures. Although snakes can and do eat a wide variety of insects, birds, and animals, some of their favorite foods include:

  • Snails
  • Slugs
  • Cockroaches
  • Earthworms
  • Spiders
  • Rats
  • Mice
  • Moles
  • Hamsters
  • Fish
  • Frogs
  • Birds
  • Eggs
  • Rabbits
  • Lizards
  • Other snakes

You can control snake activity around your home by controlling the populations of their favorite food. They probably won’t stick around if they can’t find anything to eat.

Make your home less inviting to insects and rodents by keeping your trash in heavy-duty bins like this Commercial Rolling Garbage Can. Rodents cannot chew through heavy-duty plastic and will likely leave in search of an easier meal. 

Additionally, you can prevent scavenger birds from getting into your garbage cans and strewing trash around your yard with these Bungee Cord Lid Locks.

Compost piles and bird feeders may also attract rodents to your yard. Compost bins such as this Tumbling Composter from VIVOSUN sit up off the ground, making them fantastic for people who want to compost but don’t want to deal with the pests that a typical compost pile attracts.

Remove Debris and Clutter

Aside from food, snakes need shelter to protect themselves from predators. It’s not uncommon for snakes to coil up beneath debris in people’s yards. Additionally, they will often slither into storage areas and hide amongst the boxes.

Weather-proof storage boxes are a great way to keep things organized outside. For example, this 150 Gallon Resin Deck Storage Box is big enough to store large outdoor items and sits flush with the ground so snakes cannot hide beneath it.

Remember to take precautions when cleaning your lawn if you live in an area with venomous snakes. Gloves and long socks can help minimize damage from a snake bite but will not protect you completely.

Here are the most common things that attract snakes to yards if you’re concerned about your outdoor areas being cluttered, too!

Eliminate Water Sources Where You Can

As we already mentioned, snakes need to drink fresh water from time to time.

Water in ponds, birdbaths, fountains, pools, and puddles may attract snakes. Leaky hoses and faucets might also bring thirsty snakes into your yard.

It should be noted that it’s not just outside water sources that attract snakes, and they will often enter homes in search of water. Make sure to remove and cover any water sources inside as well as outside to prevent snakes from entering your home. 

Remove Cooling and Basking Areas

Snakes must regulate their body temperature by alternating between warm and cool areas. The more spots you have for a snake to do either, the more snakes you will have in your yard.

When snakes become overheated, they look for cool, damp places to chill and lower their body temperature.

You might find a snake cooling off in rock crevices, underneath debris, amongst firewood, in leaf litter, under damp organic material, in a basement or cellar, or underneath a porch or building. 

Alternatively, snakes need to find a warm place to bring their temperature back up if they become too chilly. They often do this by basking on warm surfaces such as pavement, porches, or large rocks. Additionally, they might look for a mechanical heat source such as a generator, hot water tank, or water pipe.

Try to remove as many areas as possible for a snake to find shelter, warmth, or shade. A fence around buildings, porches, or crawl spaces can also help keep snakes out of these areas.

Encourage Natural Predators

Snakes are a staple in the diets of several animals, and attracting these natural predators will help keep snake populations down in your area.

Which animals you lure into your yard will depend on where you live and which species of snake call that area home. However, in most places, birds are the main predator of snakes. Owls, hawks, falcons, cranes, and herons are just a few of the predatory birds that enjoy eating snakes.

You can attract predatory birds by providing nesting boxes, allowing trees to grow without pruning, and minimizing outside interference (such as flood lights) in areas they might hunt. 

In addition to birds, snakes might also become lunch to:

  • Hedgehogs
  • Badgers
  • Coyote
  • Mongoose
  • Bobcats
  • Wolverine
  • Foxes
  • Raccoons
  • Other snakes

Utilize Snake Repellents

Many scents act as a natural repellent to snakes. You can utilize these scents by planting them on or around the perimeter of your property or spraying them around your home and lawn.

You can find several commercial snake repellents on the market today, and they come in different forms. Snake repellent sprays, such as this Snake Defense Spray by Exterminators Choice, work great when you need to quickly cover a lot of ground.

Alternatively, snake-repellent granules like this All-Natural Repellent from I Must Garden work well for smaller areas and can be a good alternative for people unsure about sprays.

In addition to commercial products, people often create snake repellents by mixing essential oils with water. By combining scents that snakes dislike, such as garlic, clove, and cinnamon, you can craft an all-natural snake repellent that you can use anywhere you want snakes to avoid.

Here are some other smells that snakes hate if you’d like some more information on how those work!

It might also be possible to deter snakes using predator urine. Some swear that with a bit of coyote or fox urine, they can rid their lawn of snakes, while others say it doesn’t work. Either way, it’s on the list of things to try!

Seal All Entry Points

The best way to keep snakes (or any pest) out of your house is to plug any cracks or crevices that allow entry into your home.

Be sure to have a removal plan for the snakes that might already be inside since you’ll also be sealing up their exit.

Seal up small cracks and crevices in walls with caulking. This Silicone Sealant from Gorilla is waterproof, making it great for damp basement walls. And you can use it both indoors and outdoors.

For larger holes, you might consider using an expanding foam like this Expanding Foam Barrier, specifically made to keep mice and other rodents from chewing their way back inside.

Take care to seal around windows and doors as well. If you have a gap under your door, add an entry sweep like this 39” Adhesive Door Sweep to your door. They are easy to install and keep snakes from slithering into your house.

Pet doors can also allow snakes inside, especially larger species who have the strength to push the door open. Collar-activated pet doors like this PetSafe Electronic Collar Activated Pet Door will help keep snakes and other pests from crawling into your home.

That’s a Wrap!

If a snake is in your home, there’s a good chance it slithered in to find food, water, warmth, or shelter.

While there are several places that a snake could hide in your home, you’ll usually find them in a dark, damp location, beneath furniture, or near a food or water source.

Please remember that snakes are not bad. They’re not out to harm you and would prefer to be left alone. Whenever possible, you should opt to relocate a snake rather than euthanize it. Either way, consulting with a local professional is always a good idea if you live in an area that has venomous snakes.

References

Lillywhite, H. B. (2014). How snakes work: structure, function and behavior of the world’s snakes. Oxford University Press.

Neill, W. T. (1964). Viviparity in snakes: some ecological and zoogeographical considerations. The American Naturalist, 98(898), 35-55.

O’Shea, M. (2023). Snakes of the World: A Guide to Every Family (Vol. 6). Princeton University Press.

SPELLERBERG, I. F., & Phelps, T. E. (1977). Biology, general ecology and behavior of the snake, Coronella austriaca Laurenti. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 9(2), 133-164.

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