One of the worst things that people think can happen when snakes enter their home or property is when these snakes slip under the concrete slab from which they cannot be rid of or extracted.
Most people are afraid of snakes, and the mere knowledge of having a snake under the concrete slab of any part of their home robs them of their peace of mind. Let us help you with the guidance in this article.
The best way to get rid of snakes under a concrete slab by hiring a pest removal service. You can also try to trap the snake, use snake repellents, seal the cracks in the concrete, or just leave the snakes alone. In the worst case, you can destroy the concrete slab.
For most people, having to encounter a snake at close quarters and knowing that they stay under the concrete slab in their property can be shocking.
Snakes are usually unwelcome in people’s homes.
Although they are generally shy and harmless and just want to be left alone, they can become temperamental and be a hazard when they feel threatened.
That is why you need to know everything there is to know in detail about extracting them from under the concrete slab should they ever try to take residence there. We will discuss the options available in this article.
How to Get Rid of Snakes Under a Concrete
Hire a professional
The best, easiest, and safest way to get rid of snakes under a concrete slab is to acquire the services of a snake removal expert and professional, particularly if the snake is venomous or large.
Venomous snakes can be fatal, and their bites, at the very least, cause severe symptoms that can result in expensive medical bills.
At the worst, they can result in limb amputation or death. These creatures are best left for professionals to handle.
If the expense is considerable, you can try other means.
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Leave them alone
There is also the option of not doing anything to extract the snakes or get rid of them.
After all, snakes are excellent pest control agents against rodents and other pests. And if they are garter snakes, they are perfectly harmless.
It would be preferable to deal with harmless garter snakes than deal with an army of rodents infesting your property.
For larger rodents, snakes species such as pine snakes, corn snakes, and constrictor snakes can eat them. Garter snakes eat smaller mice.
With the scent of snakes lingering in the area, rodents will prefer to nest elsewhere than serve as snacks for snakes.
Trap the snake
You can try trapping the snake. Available snake traps can sometimes be ineffective, especially when the snakes begin to learn not to get caught in them.
Snake traps can be bought in garden shops or online stores. You can also ask the local animal or pest control government office if you can borrow or rent one.
The trap should be thoroughly washed before being set in order to get the human scent off it. When snakes detect the smell of humans, they generally shy away from the trap.
When you set it, wear gloves in order not to transfer your smell onto the clean trap. Check your trap daily and do not put off checking for too long, because the snakes will be exposed to the elements and they could die.
Once caught, relocate them a minimum of 15 miles from your home so that there is little chance for them to go back.
Coordinate with your local environmental and law enforcement officers to see if it is legal to relocate snakes, and if not, what other options are available to you.
When you transfer a snake or handle it and the trap, make sure you wear protective gloves and gear in case the snake strikes. Make sure the snake cannot reach you to bite you.
Seal the cracks
You can seal the openings and cracks leading to the concrete slab that provide access to the snakes.
However, do this only once spring has arrived, so that there will be no snakes trapped under the concrete slab when you seal it.
If you think commercial snake repellents can help, you can also use them around the concrete slab to ensure that no snakes will come near it.
Use snake repellents
There are many available snake repellent products in the market which have varying effectiveness. You can try which ones suit you best.
Some studies show that repellents can work differently depending on the species of snake it is used against. Some users report that they are not effective at all.
Destroy the concrete slab
This is the most extreme option available should other methods fail.
It should be considered the last resort because it is quite destructive. It also consumes much time and effort and is generally undesirable.
After performing this desperate measure, it will also be costly to repair the damage.
There are other factors you need to consider aside from the large amount of resources that this option will take.
Depending on the situation and the architecture of the concrete slab and its surrounding structures, once you start destroying the slab, at some point it may also cause the snake to slither away further into the inner parts of the structure and make extraction much more difficult.
This may necessitate further destruction of property with varying chances of success.
With this in mind, you should carefully consider the consequences of your actions in terms of how the snake will react.
I have had experiences with snakes under a concrete slab which retreated even further as a reaction to the efforts to extract it. This made the situation harder.
Preventing Snakes From Going Under a Concrete Slab
Aside from knowing about steps you can take to get rid of snakes under a concrete slab, it would also be advisable to take measures that will help prevent a problem like that from occurring in the first place.
After all, snakes under a concrete slab is a pretty serious problem that has no easy solutions.
Garter snakes are very common.
They can enter concrete slabs through holes or cracks in your foundation to prepare for the coming winter.
They like these places because they are warmer than the freezing temperatures outside. They find these areas ideal for spending the winter.
As spring comes, they start reemerging again. You may start seeing them during the spring as they bask on your front steps or patio.
At this time, they’ve just emerged from their overwintering or brumation and may have come from the spaces under or behind your patios or concrete steps.
In areas with timber rattlesnakes, the snakes emerge from late June to August. These snakes like places with enough cover as well as plenty of rodents.
It is better to prevent snakes from taking residence under the concrete slab rather than deal with them once the problem is already there. Let us tackle the ways by which we can prevent snakes from getting under these areas.
Trapping snakes is a measure worth considering regardless of whether you already have a snake under a concrete slab in your home or if you are just seeing snakes around your property with the potential to hide under the slab and make it their home.
Trapping snakes when there are sightings may prevent them from getting attracted to the comfort and safety of the slab, and nip the problem in the bud.
You may consider deploying traps as long as you are regularly seeing snakes around your property.
Trim the vegetation
Snakes do not like being exposed. Whenever they are out in the open, they make sure they hurry up and find cover immediately. One type of cover that snakes love to hide in are overgrown vegetation.
If you keep the grass and other plants around your property regularly well-trimmed, then snakes will have to travel a considerable distance from their natural habitat to your home exposed and vulnerable to discovery.
And they do not like long exposure.
Snakes need hiding places that make them feel safe, and long grasses and overgrown plants fit the bill as an ideal hiding place. If they are deprived of a place to hide, there is less probability for them to stay in the area.
Thus, keeping your plants and grass well-trimmed at all times will discourage snakes from entering and lingering in your property and eventually finding the concrete slab to hide under.
Fence the area
You can also try to install a fence on the perimeter of the building, porch, shed, or any structure in your property that has a concrete slab that snakes can use as a home.
The material of the mesh may be a fine mesh wire or anything similar that has openings small enough so that it is impossible for snakes to pass through.
The fence should also be buried well beneath the ground to prevent any openings in the soil that snakes can use to bypass the barrier.
You can use modified chain-link, split-rail, or picket fences.
You may also attach hardware cloth with a one-fourth-inch weave or an aluminum flashing two feet high on the bottom part of the outer side of your fence. Alternately, you can just use aluminum flashing without a fence and let it encircle your yard.
The bottom of your flashing or hardware cloth should be buried two to four inches below the soil. Your gates must have similar snake-proofing installations and should always be closed when not in use. In addition, fill all rodent and mammal burrows in the area as well.
Install the fence around your yard to be effective. Snakes have the tendency of moving along obstacles instead of going over them. Once your fence ends or if there is an opening or gap, the snakes can use this to access your yard.
The downside to installing fences is that they are quite expensive.
Apply snake repellents
You also have option of trying out commercial snake repellents. There are several kinds that are available in the market, each of which claims to repel snakes with their strong smell.
Many of these are made with mothballs, although some users have reported that they do not work.
Nonetheless, there are scientific studies that showed varying effectiveness of snake repellents against different species of snakes.
Use snake predators
Snakes, just like most animals, have their own share of predators. You can use them to your advantage to keep snakes out of the general area of your property.
Some people have installed nesting boxes on tall trees or installed perches overlooking their yard.
This is done in the hopes of attracting birds of prey such as hawks, falcons, and owls, encouraging them to hang around your property and make themselves at home.
With these predators around, snakes can be eliminated or reduced.
It is also a good idea to have dogs or cats around. These carnivores are natural enemies of snakes that can help either in disposing of them or preventing them from entering your property.
Control the pest population
Snakes are attracted to an area when there are sources of food in it, and one of their favorite foods include pest rodents such as mice and rats. They also like to eat small birds, frogs, and insects.
To discourage snakes from colonizing the space beneath your home’s concrete slab, you can limit or eliminate the populations of their food items around your property.
This will leave your place unattractive to them, despite its good potential as a hiding place.
Eliminate the food source of the snakes by trapping pest rodents, poisoning them, and keeping them out of your home and yard through the use of fences.
You may also discourage rodents from colonizing your home by removing their food source and nesting areas. Use metal containers with tight lids for storing dog food and birdseed and other foodstuffs that rodents like.
If you use a bird feeder in your property, move them to a location further away, because fallen birdseed also attracts rodents.
Remove piles and debris
You can help discourage snakes and rodents from your property by removing piles, debris, and other litter that can serve as hiding places. These include wood piles, boards, rocks, and other similar stuff.
Seal cracks in the concrete slab
You can help deter snakes from using the concrete slab in your property as their overwintering den by sealing cracks and other possible openings in the slab.
Part of this includes the space between your house and the patio or stoop. Fill these holes and cracks in your concrete foundation.
If these cracks cannot readily be located, you may opt to ask for help from an energy auditing company who has specialized equipment that checks for air leaks.
The equipment can indicate openings that can be used by snakes. Most snake species can fit in a crack measuring only one-half inch.
You should start filling the cracks while it is still summer, since the snakes are not yet around and are not yet going to use the space for the winter.
You can use expandable, tuck-pointing caulking or any other standard method to seal the cracks. Do not fill the cracks if there are snakes inside the foundation or beneath the concrete slab; it will trap them there.
Trapped snakes may opt to enter your home if there is a way inside. If not, they will instead die within your foundation and emit bad odor once their bodies start decomposing.
There are particular landscape elements that snakes find attractive. Damp mulch and large stones appeal to them. You can replace these with river rocks and small pebbles instead.
Walls of loose stone like limestone as well as old rail road ties are ideal hiding places for rodents, which in turn attract snakes. You can instead use a solid retaining wall brick. Seal cracks as they develop.
Do not water your garden and lawn excessively because they promote the propagation of snake prey like frogs, worms, and slugs.
Regularly mow your grass. The larger your mowed grass area is, the lesser the chances of snakes going near your home. Snakes hate exposed areas that make them more vulnerable to predators.
Trim trees and shrubs so that there is a minimum distance of six inches from the ground to the lowest branches.
Do mothballs repel snakes?
There are many people, including snake repellent manufacturers, who claim that mothballs and naphthalene repel snakes. Mothballs are not originally used for this purpose, however.
Users of commercial snake repellents with naphthalene are sharply divided into two extreme opinions: on one hand, users swear by their effectiveness; on the other, users say they are totally useless.
Does urine repel snakes?
Snakes are not repelled by human urine, nor by the urine of other animals. Some people do recommend spraying or applying the urine of snake predators around the yard to repel snakes, but this has not been thoroughly tested.
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