Let's face it, no matter what your position is on snakes, there are those in the world who are absolutely terrified of the relatively harmless garter snake. These snakes are comparatively harmless meaning that they are not venomous, though they do have a rather nasty bite. While there are benefits to having garter snakes in your yard, such as lower bug counts for your garden as well as a lowered mouse population, it doesn't matter to those who are fearful of these common pests. Here are a few natural methods for you to be able to control, or even eliminate, the garter population in your yard.
- Buy a pet. There are a lot of pets out available that do not get along well with garter snakes, and will actively take the lead in getting rid of any of the scaly intruders. If you are a dog person, then you could get a Jack Russell terrier. While if you are interested in cats, you could purchase just about any kind, and most cats will take it upon themselves to hunt down the slippery serpents. Finally, if you are literary minded, and would like to have an unusual pet, you could buy a ferret or mongoose, and name him Rikki Tikki Tavi in an effort to get rid of your snakes.
- Sulfur. There is something about the mineral sulfur that snakes just do not like—and frankly that they cannot stand. Simply go down to your local nursery and buy some sulfur, and sprinkle it around the border of your yard. When the snake comes across the sulfur, it will taste it, and then turn away and go somewhere else. You may need to apply this every time it rains, and your home will have a slight rotten egg smell to it, but it does work.
- Snake-A-Way. There is an all natural, commercially developed snake repellent that you can purchase at most local department stores. Simply follow the directions on the back of the package, and you will be able to happily enjoy a yard or garden that is free of most snakes. There are a couple of drawbacks to this repellent though. The first is its cost, which can be rather prohibitive, and the second is that there is a strong odor.
- Animal control. Animal control will not come over for every single snake that you want removed; however, there are still times that they will come over. If you happen to have a large infestation (say five or more), or even a nest, then they will come over to help remove them. Even the relatively harmless garter snake can be fairly dangerous when there are enough of them.
- Mow the lawn. Snakes love long grass, and tall weeds. Keeping the lawn mowed and your weeds under control with regular mowing and weeding will go a long way to keeping snakes out of your yard. Starting at the beginning of the season, make sure that you keep the yard under control, and avoid letting the grass or weeds get to big.