Is Harvest Season Bringing Out a Snake Problem in Illinois?
Everyone has something they are terrified of.
For some people it is spiders. For others, it may be enclosed spaces or clowns.
For me, it is heights and freakin' SNAKES!
A Neighborhood Snake Problem?
It has been almost a year to the day since we moved to our new house in Pecatonica, and if I would have known we had a snake problem there I would have thought twice about moving. Ok, I may be exaggerating a bit, my neighborhood doesn't really have a massive snake problem, (that I know of), but my neighbor did alert me to something terrifying this morning, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a tad traumatized right now.
Here is a pic of two of our adorable next-door neighbors holding something HORRIBLE they discovered in their yard today...
I was tagged in the above picture with a warning that said; "Watch out, Shannon Zimmerman. This is the second one we've found this week lol!"
Excuse me, WHAT? The second one?!? Do you see the fence in the background of that picture? My backyard lies on the other side of it, and I will LOSE IT if I see a garter snake in my yard. The time to get ahead of the snake problem is NOW!
Why Are There So Many Snakes?
I've lived in Illinois my whole life and I've never seen a snake in my yard. Our new neighborhood is surrounded by cornfields and just beyond the corn is the Pecatonica Prairie Path, it is also harvest season, so is that why we have snakes? Possibly.
According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, garter snakes are "born alive in the period late summer through early fall" and they " live in meadows, marshes, woodlands, hillsides, stream edges and vacant city lots".
How To Keep Snakes Out Of Your Yard and Home
Female garter snakes give birth to about 15 to 80 young at a time, so how do I keep any of them from invading my backyard sanctuary or worse yet, my home? Here are 5 easy tips I found from Smith's Pest Management;
- Replace mulch with gravel - Snakes can't hide or move easily on hard surfaces.
- Remove bird feeders and bird baths from your yard - These items attract snakes and their prey like birds, mice, and insects.
- Trim bushes and trees - Don't give snakes an easy place to hide or climb for shelter.
- Avoid putting water features in your yard - Ponds and fountains make look pretty, but snakes think they are a pretty cool place to live too.
- Keep pet food inside - Feeding your pets outdoors will attract snakes and a whole plethora of other unwanted creatures.
If you do see a snake in your yard, experts say the best thing to do, (besides staying calm), is to drench it with a hose from a safe distance. Doing this will safely encourage the snake to move along, and then you won't have to worry about trapping and/or getting rid of it. YUCK!
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