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Speaks

keeping snakes away

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Speaks

At my cabin in NW WI we have a huge number of snakes, mostly garder, some pine and others. More than I recall ever seeing anywhere else. I suppose it makes sense, we have a mowed yard surrounded by woods and I dont get up there to mow it often enough so its ideal cover for them. They also especially like my barn, and particularly like living inside my ATVs. For years I killed every one I could but it never made much of a difference so I decided to let them be about 5 years ago. 

 

This year is worse than ever, might have been the weather combined with the fact that I am usually mowing occasionally starting in early may but this year did not get up there until late June for various reasons. My let em live attitude is waning especially since in addition to the garders there are multiple big snakes in there including one that is easily over 5 feel long, pine snake, or fox snake, or something that looks like that. He escaped into my quad before I could get him and I never did catch the bugger. Other than doing a better job keeping it mowed are there other things I can do to keep snakes out of the barn?

 

I heard garlic plants deter them but that can be toxic to dogs. Since I keep the dogs out of the inside of the barn I suppose I could spread minced garlic in there reasonably safely. I also heard cinimon and cloves in oil deter them. 

 

I saw big glue traps online which in theory I could use while up there but could not leave out while I am gone and in the end if I can deter them I prefer that to killing them, though I am not above some killing in this case. 

 

Any ideas welcome. 

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Mike da Carpenter

My solution would be to burn it down, sell and move.  Can’t stand them things.

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Tilkut

No clue as to your plan to deter them. But I have a soft spot for them, and there aren’t enough snakes around anymore. 

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charlo slim

What is the rodent situation in and around your barn? If there is waste grain, feed, etc, you will have small rodents.  If you have those, you will have snakes.  Might be worth checking it out to see if you can reduce any food supplies.  Good luck.

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spring

Here are some ideas.... and some of the highlights:

 

  • Napthalene: Napthalene is a common ingredient found in many commercial snake repellent products. It is one of the most common snake repellents. If you don’t want to spend money on a commercial product, napthalene is also the main ingredient found in moth balls. The smell of napthalene irritates snakes without harming them. Place mothballs in holes, cracks, crevices, or any other areas around your property where snakes may be a problem. One caveat to using moth balls is they can be toxic and fatal to children or pets if they are ingested so use caution or avoid using them if you have pets or children in your home.
  • Sulfur: Powdered sulfur is a great option to repel snakes. Place powdered sulfur around your home and property and once snakes slither across it, it irritates their skin so they won’t return. Sulfur does give off a strong odor so consider wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth when applying it.
  • Clove & Cinnamon Oil: Clove and cinnamon oil are effective snake repellents. These should be mixed together in a spray bottle and sprayed directly on snakes for maximum effect. Use caution as snakes will often run in the opposite direction of the spray. This mixture can also be used in a diffuser indoors as a fumigant, as well
  • Garlic & Onions: The sulfonic acid in garlic and onions (the same chemical that makes us cry when we chop onions) repels snakes. Mix these with rock salt and sprinkle them around your home and yard for effectiveness. You can also infuse garlic into any essential oil and use to fumigate rafters, basements, and other hard to reach places.
  • Ammonia: Snakes dislike the odor of ammonia so one option is to spray it around any affected areas. Another option is to soak a rug in ammonia and place it in an unsealed bag near any areas inhabited by snakes to deter them away.
  • Vinegar: Vinegar is effective at repelling snakes near bodies of water including swimming pools. Pour white vinegar around the perimeter of any body of water for a natural snake repellent.
  • Lime: Create a mixture of snake repellent lime and hot pepper or peppermint and pour it around the perimeter of your home or property. Snakes don’t like the smell of the mixture and the fumes are also itchy on their skin.

If home remedies to keep snakes away aren’t working, consider calling a wildlife control company for snake removal, snake prevention recommendations, and possibly other exterminating services like rodent control that could be contributing to the issue.

 

 

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Speaks
29 minutes ago, charlo slim said:

What is the rodent situation in and around your barn? If there is waste grain, feed, etc, you will have small rodents.  If you have those, you will have snakes.  Might be worth checking it out to see if you can reduce any food supplies.  Good luck.


Used to get mice in the boat if I wintered it there. There are some mice for sure but I rarely find nests. There is no feed there. Just used to store 4 quads a riding mower and other similar items. 

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Big Al

I'll rent you my cat.  

 

You might have more nice than you know.  Put out a couple bucket traps. The trap that keeps on giving. 

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SelbyLowndes

Buy a Mongoose...SelbyLowndes

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Brad Eden

Snakes are cool.  At least the non poisonous kind. I wasn’t born with the instinctive revulsion and fear that I find most people have. I am grateful to see any that I come across, but that’s reasonably infrequent, and typically average sized garter snakes. Just not a whole lot of snakes in Maine. I’m surprised their aren’t more common water snakes. I’ve never seen one up here and I live surrounded by Marshes, streams, Brooks, and beaver ponds. If snakes were invading my house, outbuildings and camp in numbers I’d probably not find them very cool. So I got nothing except to maybe try and keep the rodent population tamped down. They will slither about where they have something to eat I think.

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Speaks
52 minutes ago, Brad Eden said:

Snakes are cool.  At least the non poisonous kind. I wasn’t born with the instinctive revulsion and fear that I find most people have. I am grateful to see any that I come across, but that’s reasonably infrequent, and typically average sized garter snakes. Just not a whole lot of snakes in Maine. I’m surprised their aren’t more common water snakes. I’ve never seen one up here and I live surrounded by Marshes, streams, Brooks, and beaver ponds. If snakes were invading my house, outbuildings and camp in numbers I’d probably not find them very cool. So I got nothing except to maybe try and keep the rodent population tamped down. They will slither about where they have something to eat I think.

 

I actually generally think they are cool as well. There was a time that I hated all of them but I made my peace with them years ago. The last several years it didnt even bother me much that they were always in my barn and would go inside my ATVs. I just start it up, pull it out and let it idle and they drop out and leave. This was garter snakes though. The pine snake, or eastern fox snake which is what I am dealing with now can grow to over 5 feet (like the one I have) and they are very aggressive. They are not venomous but coil like a rattler and will strike at you. They are actually far more confrontational than a rattler is though in the end less dangerous. 

 

All that said while the last ones I dealt with got a taste of 7.5s from the judge I would prefer to let this one carry on killing mice, just not in my barn. 

 

I likely do have more mice than I realized, I dont find nests much anymore but fox snakes live off them so they must be there. I will set out some bucket traps and see what I get. I am guessing it was so much worse this year because I let the grass get so long. 

 

I was reading that vinegar, garlic, and cinnamon and clove oil repel them. Next trip up along with the mouse traps I will bring a couple gallons of vinegar to dump out along with a couple big containers of minced garlic. I will also put some cinnamon and clove oil directly into the areas in the quads where they hang out. I also read where planting garlic and lemon grass helps though I dont think either will last the winter up there and garlic is dangerous for the dogs. 

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1971snipe

I spread a few moth balls around in my garage/shop area where I don't want snakes to be, and it seems to work, although you never really know for sure of course, just because you aren't seeing them doesn't mean they're not there.   

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quailguy
15 hours ago, Speaks said:


Used to get mice in the boat if I wintered it there. There are some mice for sure but I rarely find nests. There is no feed there. Just used to store 4 quads a riding mower and other similar items. 

Feed or not you’ve got a nice cozy barn in a cold snowy part of the country and you are going to have mice and likely more in that barn during the winter.

Any real good or even mediocre shelter will also attract snakes if they are short of bolt holes in the winter. Be glad they are all non poisonous. My Texas based hunting partners neighbor has a 14 ft aluminum boat on his pond. He just turns the boat over during the winter. Last spring he turned his boat upright to find 14 western diamondback rattlesnakes under it. 

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Richard Hale

A powerful electric fence placed on the ground will curl them up. Not that I am recommending it. I have just noticed that it does so. 

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GLS

In times of drought, make sure you don't have leaky faucets, especially around dog kennels as they will come to water.  Gil

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Speaks
2 hours ago, Richard Hale said:

A powerful electric fence placed on the ground will curl them up. Not that I am recommending it. I have just noticed that it does so. 

 

Unfortunately we are off grid so dont have any power when I am not up there. 

2 hours ago, GLS said:

In times of drought, make sure you don't have leaky faucets, especially around dog kennels as they will come to water.  Gil

 

I actually was not even able to open my water system until this weekend so that was not it. 

 

 

 

I did find a formula that seemed somewhat effective though. I bought concentrated cinnamon oil and clove oil and mixed with water in a sprayer. I sprayed the quads and they started dropping out so then I sprayed the whole inside perimeter of the barn with it. I counted 14 total snakes leave the barn. My barn now smells like a gingerbread factory but has a lot less snakes. 

 

I dont know if it will last but being inside it should not wash away or anything. If they are back when I go back up in two weeks I will soak some rags in the oil and leave them on the quads. 

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