There are countless cleaning tasks you tackle on a daily basis that help you fend off pest problems in your home. You clean up crumbs after meals, put open food packages into sealed containers in the pantry, and set out sticky traps at the first sign of a fly or mosquito. However, there’s one cleaning task countless people put off time and time again—and doing so could be attracting snakes. Before you find yourself dealing with an uninvited guest of the slithering variety, read on to discover which chore you shouldn’t put off any longer.
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Not raking your leaves can make your space a haven for snakes.
While doing a single fall cleanup may seem like a more attractive option than spending weekend after weekend raking leaves in your yard, leaving your outdoor space cluttered with debris may mean snakes soon take up residence.
“Snakes love hiding, and what better place to hide than a yard full of leaves? Leaves on the ground provide cover for them. Keeping your yard clear of leaves and other debris, like sticks, will help deter snakes,” says Megan Cavanaugh of Done Right Pest Solutions.
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Leaf piles can also attract snakes.
If you’ve cleaned up your yard, but left a pile of leaves sitting out, you might actually be increasing your risk of encountering a snake in or near your home.
Modern Pest Services explains that rodents often take up residence in leaf piles, since they provide plenty of nesting material. Unfortunately, this may mean that your leaf pile also attracts snakes.
“Voles, field mice, and house mice are food for snakes, so if you have had those yard pests, they can easily attract snakes to your yard. Eliminate other pests to help eliminate your snake problem,” says Cavanaugh.
Avoid stacking firewood near your home.
Just because you’ve cleared your yard of debris doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the clear when it comes to the threat of snakes.
Cavanaugh explains that leaving stacked firewood in your yard can also provide the perfect amount of cover for snakes. Worse yet, if you’re leaving your firewood stacked near or against your home, snakes seeking shelter in those piles may make their way into your space through drainpipes, cracks in your foundation, or gaps under doors.
Certain household chemicals can keep these pests at bay.
Clearing detritus from your yard is a good place to start when it comes to mitigating pest problems, but to keep snakes from returning to your yard, you may want to bust out the big guns. Luckily, if you’ve got ammonia at your house, you’ve already got an effective snake repellant handy.
“Use old rags soaked in ammonia and scatter throughout your landscaping area, foundation of your house, and wherever else the snakes are the issue,” says Cavanaugh, who recommends re-wetting the clothes every few weeks and after it rains.
RELATED: Keeping This One Thing in Your Yard Is Attracting Snakes, Experts Warn.