Perfecting the look of your lawn is a major point of pride for homeowners. But even though putting together the right assortment of plants, shrubs, and greenery can make it easier to personalize and appreciate your house, a few design elements could be attractive to the wrong kind of visitors. Read on to find out which type of yard decoration could be inadvertently attracting snakes to your home.
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Basic lawn maintenance can immediately help keep unwanted animal visitors out of your lawn.
It’s not uncommon to be a little freaked out by the idea of a snake finding its way onto your property. But ultimately, experts point out that the reptiles can be a blessing in your yard and speak towards the healthy ecosystem of your lawn. Not only do non-venomous snakes themselves not pose any threat to the health of your grass or garden, but they actually can act as a natural deterrent against common pests such as grasshoppers, toads, mice, rats, and slugs that can be a pain to get rid of otherwise.
If you’re still worried about being surprised by a snake while doing yard work, experts point out that simple maintenance can go a long way in keeping them from showing up in droves. “If you have tall grass in your yard, there’s a good chance that snakes will start to frequent the area,” Craig Zeigler, owner of Agronomic Lawn Management, tells Best Life. “They’re known for being attracted to it because it provides them with cover and makes it easier for them to hunt prey. If you have a snake problem in your yard, the best thing to do is cut down the grass and remove any other potential hiding spots.”
But using one type of landscape decoration could attract snakes into your yard.
While some homeowners are content with neatly trimmed hedges and a well-manicured lawn, other go all out by adding major landscape elements to their yards—including water features. Unfortunately, while ponds can provide a lovely look and a level of serenity to your property, they can also be a significant draw for snakes.
“The last thing any homeowner wants is to find snakes in their yard, and having a koi pond can attract them to it,” Don Potenza, owner of Buffalo Lawn and Pest Services, tells Best Life. He explains that besides offering a steady supply of food for water-friendly species such as cottonmouths, the lawn fixture can also act as a reliable water source that is incredibly attractive to garter snakes and other types of slithering reptiles.
How you decorate around your pond can also create conditions that snakes love.
And it’s not just the easy access to meals and a steady supply of water. “Snakes will naturally be attracted to areas that have an easy food source, but you’ll end up making your koi pond even more attractive to snakes if you also provide them easy shelter nearby,” Burns Blackwell, owner of Terminix Triad in North Carolina, tells Best Life. “Many people have rock piles near their koi ponds, either decorative or leftover from construction.”
“These rock piles are the perfect place for snakes to hide and maybe even form a nest because they provide protection from predators and a dark place,” he adds.
To avoid creating a herpetological habitat, Blackwell recommends keeping the area around any water on your property tidy. This includes taking special care to remove any woodpiles or low shrubbery that could provide hiding places for snakes, too.
Other animal-friendly pieces of lawn decor can also bring in snakes.
Unfortunately, making a home for fish in your yard isn’t the only type of animal-friendly lawn decor that could attract snakes. Experts warn that birdfeeders can also be a major draw: Not only do they attract more birds that snakes love to snack on, but spilled seeds also tend to bring in small rodents that can also make up a big part of their diet.
And similar to ponds, birdbaths can also provide snakes with two things they need: A water source and a steady food supply of small animals. Some may even use them to take a refreshing dip to regulate their temperature on a hot day. While it may be hard to part with your beloved lawn decoration, removing all standing water sources is one of the best ways to ensure you’re not attracting snakes into your yard.