Safely Removing Snakes and Humanely Replacing the Nest
Some people are intrigued by snakes, while others have an Indiana Jones-like fear of them. Either way, snakes are unwanted visitors to your home. A more upsetting thought is a snake nest full of eggs, ready to hatch into a ball of small slithering reptiles. With 25 species of snakes calling Colorado home, knowing the signs of a snake nest in your home and snake nest removal tips are essential.
Snakes Are Generally Solitary Reptiles
When many people hear the term snake nest, they envision a ball of wriggling snakes. Unfortunately, this image is not an accurate portrayal of how snakes live. In most cases, snakes are solitary critters. They do not live in groups or colonies. They may share common territory, but outside of the winter months and breeding season, they do not socially interact. In general, snake nest removal is about removing eggs, not adult snakes.
Snake Nest vs. Snake Ball
The breeding time for snakes ranges from early spring to early summer. During this time, the female snake will give off pheromones to attract males. When one female attracts numerous males, the males will surround a female to try and breed with her. Like a snake ball of garter snakes found at the University of Colorado, they become intertwined in a snake ball to win the perfect breeding position. When stumbled upon, this may be confused with a snake nest. A large gathering of snakes can cause fear of an infestation. At this point, snake nest removal is unwarranted. Once breeding has completed, the snakes go their separate ways.
What Is A Snake Nest?
A snake nest does not contain many characteristics people associate with most nests. When birds construct a nest, they gather leaves, twigs, and other debris to make a new structure. The snake does not create a snake nest. Instead, they move into existing dens and burrows created by other animals. Or, they utilize small, dark, and cool spaces as their snake nest. Because snake nests reside in confined spaces, snake nest removal often proves challenging. Snake nests average from as few as two eggs to as many as 25. The common garter snake can lay as many as 85 eggs in a clutch. Knowing the proper way to proceed with snake nest removal safely is vital to the protection of everyone involved.
Common locations for snakes and snake nests
- Wood and debris piles
- Crevices in rocks and foundations
- Tall grass
- Under rocks
- Stumps and root systems
- In walls, basements, and crawlspaces
Unattended Snake Nests
When the female is ready to lay her eggs, she will seek a sheltered area as her snake nest to deposit the eggs. Most Colorado snake species leave the snake nest unattended. The baby snakes hatch unprotected by the parents. Small eggs, hidden away, often mean it is hard to know where snake nest removal is necessary. However, many snakes in the Viperidae family, including rattlesnakes, remain close to snake nests to protect their eggs and young. Due to this fact, always use extreme caution when finding a snake nest or performing snake nest removal.
Another occurrence, easily confused with a snake nest, is when more than one snake will share space during the winter months. In colder weather, snakes seek safe spaces to hibernate. Known as hibernacula, the underground dens they spend the winter months in are snake nests for adult snakes. As their body temperature drops, they conserve energy by shutting down most body functions.
Many Snakes May Gather
There are instances where multiple species will inhabit the same hibernaculum. For example, large numbers of garter snakes often hibernate together. As the weather warms, the snakes emerge to soak up some sun and look for food. People panic and think of urgent snake nest removal upon spotting multiple snakes emerging into the warmth. However, snake nest removal is unnecessary if the snakes are away from the house, are not venomous, and haven’t moved in to spend the winter in your buildings.
About Colorado’s Snakes
Colorado’s beauty and wildlife are a significant draw for many residents and visitors. Snakes and other wildlife play a crucial role in the ecosystem when in their natural habitat. Snakes eat a wide variety of insects, rodents, amphibians, and other reptiles. Although uncommon to see, the smallest snake in the United States, the Texas blind snake, calls southeast Colorado home. This snake is tough to find, growing less than 8 inches in length. On the other hand, the bull snake is among the largest and most common snakes. They often grow 4 to 6 feet long.
Colorado is home to three venomous; the midget faded rattlesnake, prairie rattlesnake, and massasauga. Of all the snakes in Colorado, the massasauga is the only snake that gives birth to live young. All other Colorado snakes lay eggs in a group called a clutch. Because snakes lay a clutch of eggs in a protected area, snake nest is the more common term.
Snake Nest Prevention
The key to avoiding snake nest removal is snake nest prevention. Prevention is the first line of defense in any pest control plan. By eliminating food sources and preferred habitats, you reduce the likelihood of needing snake nest removal on your property.
Reduce Access To Food
Removing easy meals will help deter snakes and snake nests on your property. Snakes feed on various rodents, insects, amphibians, and other reptiles. Many of which we consider pests as well. Having a comprehensive pest control plan in place will reduce the available food. In addition, fewer pests will draw snakes away to areas where food is more readily available.
Remove Snake Nesting Sites
Inspect your home and property to identify possible snake nesting sites. As well as sealing all holes and cracks in your foundation and siding, fill areas around pipes and fixtures to eliminate access. Prevent snake nest removal in your yard by clearing leaf litter and debris piles. Also, raise woodpiles off the ground and stack them tightly. Fallen trees and rotting stumps also provide a perfect shelter for a snake nest. Finally, clear away any dead or decaying trees that have compromised root systems.
Professional Snake Nest Removal
When you find a nonvenomous snake in your home or yard, a broom and empty trash can effectively relocate the offender. However, suppose you see a snake nest on your property. In that case, call in professionals experienced in snake nest removal. All snake species in Colorado are protected by law. Our experienced technicians at OMNIS Pest Control have the training and know-how to remove the snake nest and adult snakes, leaving everyone safe and happy.