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How to Keep Copperhead Snakes Away (8 Tips)

Copperhead snakes are one of North America’s most common venomous snakes. They can be found throughout the eastern half of the country, but they are more common in wooded areas and near water sources. However, if you live near these areas or have pets who like to roam outside, it’s necessary to know how to keep copperhead snakes away from your property to avoid any unnecessary inconveniences.

This article will serve as a quick guide on how to stay safe from these venomous snakes, as well as what you can do to keep them out of your property.

How to Keep Copperhead Snakes Away

Copperhead snake on rocky surface
Copperhead snake on rocky surface | image by Alan & Flora Botting via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Copperhead snakes are common in United States, and if you live in a warm, humid climate, you might see one slithering around your home at some point. If you’re worried that these snakes are taking over your property, it’s time to take action.

Here are the different things you can do to keep these snakes away from your home:

1. Remove trash and debris from your yard

Keeping trash and debris out of your yard is one of the simplest ways to keep copperhead snakes away. Copperheads are drawn to areas where there is food, such as rats and mice.

If you have a lot of debris on your lawn that isn’t being picked up by a recycling or garbage collection service. It can attract small animals and make copperheads more likely to come into your property. Removing trash and other debris from your yard can actually prevent snakes from nesting and hiding there, saving you the inconvenience of dealing with them.

2. Put up a fence at your yard’s entrances

Screen fence barrier
Screen fence barrier | image by oddharmonic via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

If you want to completely prevent snakes from entering your home, you can buy a snake fence barrier and install it at the entrances to your yard. Snake fence barriers should be used to completely close off any openings under or around your deck, garage, or other outdoor structures.

Additionally, you should also keep any loose soils, such as mulch and sand, away from potential entrances and block any possible entry points with something solid to keep these snakes from slithering inside your home,

3. Keep your grass and shrubs trimmed

One of the most effective ways to keep copperhead snakes away from your home is to keep the grass trimmed short and weeds to a minimum. Copperheads prefer to live in vegetation, such as grassy fields and wooded areas.

They also prefer to live near human homes because they frequently find food there, including mice, birds, lizards, frogs, and small mammals like rabbits. The best way to keep copperheads out of your home is to make it difficult for them to find food in your yard or garden.

This means keeping the grass cut short so that it does not provide cover for mice or other small animals that may attract these snakes instead of preventing them from approaching your home in search of food. Maintaining weeds in check will prevent these snakes from using them as cover as they hunt for food outside your home.

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4. Use organic snake repellents

Cinnamon oil with dried barks
Cinnamon oil with dried barks | image by Formulate Health via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

According to APHIS, clove oil, cinnamon oil, and eugenol are very effective at keeping snakes away from any establishment. Simply apply them to your yard or to any other location where copperhead snakes are most likely to nest.

Mothballs should also be avoided as snake repellents because they are ineffective against snakes and toxic to other insects and animals. This will only harm more animals while not being able to target these snakes in your territory.

5. Do not leave pet food or water bowls outside

Making sure there is no food available for copperheads is one way to keep them away from your property. This includes food in trash cans, pet food bowls, and bird seeds. Because these are things that small animals are drawn to, copperheads are attracted to areas where they are available.

If you have a dog or a cat at home, it is important that you do not leave their food bowls outside overnight or when you are not present. Allow your pets to eat inside if possible, so that no leftovers will attract small animals that are part of the this snake’s diet.

6. Avoid overwatering your lawn to keep copperheads at bay

Lawn and water sprinkler
Lawn and water sprinkler | Image by Eric Doroshenko from Pixabay

One mistake people make when trying to keep copperheads away is overwatering their lawn. While it may appear that you are making your lawn greener and more lush, what actually occurs is that you are creating ideal conditions for small amphibians (part of the copperhead snake’s diet) to thrive in.

So what should you do instead? The best way to avoid this is to keep the amount of sunlight that reaches the grassroots in balance with the soil’s moisture content.

Avoid watering at night or early in the morning when temperatures are cool, and humidity levels are low. This will help prevent the over-saturation of water in the soil, which will keep these small animals away from your yard.

7. Grow snake-repelling plants in your garden

Marigold
Marigold

There are several plants that can help repel snakes if you want to keep them out of your property. Planting these plants will not only deter copperheads, but will also attract other beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies.

The following plants are known to repel snakes:

  • Mother-In-Law’s Tongue
  • Lemongrass
  • Marigolds
  • Snakeroot Plants
  • Basil
  • Yucca
  • Garlic

8. Ask for help from professionals

If you have copperheads on your property and want to keep them away, it is best to contact pest control professionals who specialize in copperhead removal. Because these creatures are extremely dangerous snakes that can be fatal if they bite you, it’s crucial not to attempt to remove them yourself without proper training.

Copperheads are easily identified by pest control professionals, and these people can safely remove them from your property. They also know how to keep them away from your home in the future by installing fencing around vulnerable areas or traps outside entrances to your house or garage.

If a copperhead enters either of these locations, it will become trapped inside until someone comes along who is knowledgeable about these things and can safely remove them.

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How to identify copperhead snakes

Copperhead snake in a defense position
A copperhead snake in a defense position. | image by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Copperhead snakes are venomous snakes native to the eastern half of the United States. Its body is brown or reddish-brown and measures between 24 and 36 inches (61 to 90 centimeters).

You can also distinguish these animals by their hourglass-shaped bands all over their bodies and their small, elliptical eyes. The heads of these snakes are also triangular and slant downward at an angle (similar to pit vipers).

Along with having rough, thick, and keeled scales, copperheads also have bellies that are typically gray to pink with darker blotches.

Natural predators of the copperhead

Copperhead snakes’ natural enemies include other snakes (including kingsnakes), birds of prey (including hawks and owls), raccoons, opossums, coyotes, wild pigs, and humans who kill them because they are afraid of them or want them off their property.

Conclusion

To summarize, copperhead snakes are interesting creatures, but they can be highly dangerous if you have pets or children. They are found in unpopulated ares in the wild, as well as around homes, gardens, and farms.

These snakes are venomous and highly toxic, so you should know how to keep them away from your property. There are numerous methods for keeping them away from your home and yard, and the best method is to use a combination of the above. There’s no bulletproof method, but there are certainly some steps you can take.

Although copperhead snakes are not aggressive, they do have an innate fear of people. This means that if you make your property inaccessible to these creatures, they will most likely avoid it on their own.

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