Having a yard is one of the many benefits of being a homeowner. A peaceful space to relax outside can be a welcome break from a hectic week. Your moment of zen can easily be disrupted, however, if you notice a movement in the grass that indicates something much larger than an ant or a butterfly has come for a visit. In what might be the worst-case scenario, you could have an unwelcome guest in the form of a rat or a mouse—or even a snake.
When you find yourself in this situation, you probably want a quick solution to keep any rodents or snakes off your property. When you think over your options, you might have a few questions: What do I have handy that will keep these creatures from sticking around? Will lime keep rodents away? Does lime keep snakes away? What else can I do to enjoy my property without having to worry about these unexpected encounters?
Lime, also known as pelletized lime, is a powder-like material made from limestone which you can purchase at a home improvement store. Gardeners use lime as a fertilizer when they want to increase the pH level of their soil. Lime has also shown some effectiveness as a natural insecticide, since it causes insects to dry out and suffocate. Unfortunately, lime kills all insects, including beneficial ones, and it can also kill your plants if you use too much.
Since it’s used to keep insects away, homeowners often wonder if lime can be used to keep larger pests away, including rodents and snakes. Some people believed that the strong smell would deter these animals. No evidence has been found, however, to indicate that lime is effective to keep certain types of wildlife away.
The risks of lime to these animals are similar to the dangers of putting lime on your yard and having pets. Respiratory problems can occur if the powder is inhaled and some types of lime products can cause chemical burns, if not handled properly. Other than those potential problems, lime is generally considered to be relatively non-toxic.
Does Lime Keep Snakes Away?
As we’ve already discussed, there’s been no evidence to support claims that lime is a natural snake repellent; the same is true for sulfur. What started this idea is the fact that snakes do not like strong smells. So, naturally, elements and oils that contain a strong smell would deter a snake from slithering onto your property. But again, like we mentioned above, lime hasn’t been proven to deter snakes, so that is also a myth.
Now that we know that lime is not an effective deterrent to wildlife entering your property, what other steps can you take to keep rodents and snakes away?
What Types Of Snakes And Rodents Are In Your Yard?
Before we discuss how to keep these reptiles away, let’s go over the most common snakes you are likely to find in a residential setting.
One of the most common snake species you’ll find in your backyard or garden is the garter snake. You might also know them as a garden snake. These small, thin snakes aren’t poisonous to humans and come in varying color combinations. Some are checkered or striped and often have a number of colors as well. While some contain orange, yellow, and red colors, others can be turquoise, brown, black or gray.
Other snakes you might find in your backyard include the gopher snake and pine snake, both of which belong to the same family as the garter snake. Still, though, these two snakes are relatively larger than the garter snake and can grow up to seven feet long. And while they might surprise you, these snakes are considered good for your garden. They’re known for keeping rodents away, which is usually good news if you are growing vegetables or other plants these animals might enjoy nibbling on or otherwise damaging.
Speaking of rodents, the rodents you are most likely to run across are roof rats, Norway rats and house mice. Roof rats are also called black rats because of their grayish-black fur. Norway rats are also called brown rats, as their fur tends to be browner in color. Brown rats have an almost hairless tail. House mice are much smaller than rats, with large ears and a pointed nose. When comparing a roof rat vs. Norway rat, you’ll notice that Norway rats are larger than roof rats, with smaller eyes and a shorter tail. In general, rats are larger than mice.
Why Are Rodents And Snakes Coming to my Yard?
Your lawn might be attracting a snake or a rodent for a number of reasons. A snake might be drawn to a well-irrigated lawn. Snakes seek out damp, cool areas and a well-watered, mulched area—like your garden—offers the perfect habitat, especially in the hot, dry summer months. That’s one reason pest control companies tend to get a lot of questions from customers about how to keep snakes out of your pool.
Rodents enjoy your property for the same reasons we do—because it provides food, water and shelter. Although that bird feeder and birdbath might be attracting your local feathered friends, you are also putting out a welcome mat for rats and mice who also love to munch on the birdseed and sip from the birdbath. Once rodents make their way onto your property, they can inspect your home’s exterior to find if there is a way to come into your attic and crawlspaces.
An un-manicured lawn is inviting for snakes and rodents, as the overgrown grass and weeds offer protection from hawks, possums and other predators. Any leftover debris or piles of wood that have been left and forgotten is exactly what snakes and rodents are looking for to make their home.
How Do I Get Rid of Rodents And Snakes?
Because snakes and rodents seek out shaded areas and possible spaces to hide, it’s important to keep your lawn and garden clean. If you wnt to make your property less inviting to these unwelcome visitors, keep the following in mind:
- Piles of wood, rocks or other debris make a perfect home for wildlife, so you’ll want to remove these as soon as possible.
- Cut your grass often; short grass doesn’t offer the protection they’re looking for, and as a result, your lawn will seem less appealing.
- As we already mentioned, keep bird feeders clean and away from your home’s entrance and be sure to keep garbage to a minimum.
- Ironically, reducing other rodent populations will also reduce your chances of finding a snake around your home.
Similarly, you’ll also want to ensure all entryways to your home or backyard shed are closed and tightly sealed. A hole no wider than your finger is all one of these animals needs to make its way indoors.
ABC Can Show Uninvited Guests The Door
While precautionary measures can help keep snakes and rodents off your lawn, there’s still a chance you might spot these creatures on your property. If you do see one, give ABC Home & Commercial Services a call. Our experts will inspect your lawn and carefully remove these uninvited guests from your property. We’ll rid your home of snakes and ensure it’s pest and rodent-free in the future.