Polk County Conservation

Garter Snakes

  • I've had lots of garter snakes in my yard so far this spring and summer. What can I do to make my yard unpleasant for them; I'd like them to move on to someone else's yard. Does the snake repellent you can purchase at Earl May work? Any help is appreciated.

    Often the best way to remove snakes from your yard is to remove their food source. Garter snakes love to eat insects and small rodents. Clear debris like brush or wood piles, in which rodents and insects might occur, away from the vicinity of buildings or human-use areas. Trim shrubs and trees to create a space of at least 6 inches between the ground and the first branches. This removes hiding spots for the snakes and their prey. Keep grass short throughout the yard. The larger the mowed area, the lower the chance of having snakes near the house. Some snakes may be attracted to your property because of cracks or holes in your house foundation. Garter snakes go into these holes to find a warmer place to overwinter. Most snakes can fit through a ½ inch wide crack. Sealing these cracks eliminates this problem.

    Moving the snakes from your yard into someone else's yard is not a good solution because they just become someone else’s problem. Most snake repellents simply don't work and may contain ingredients that can be hazardous to your health. Good luck!

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    Administration Office
    12130 NW 128th St
    Granger, IA 50109

    P: (515) 323-5300
    F: (515) 323-5354

    Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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