How to Get Rid of a Garter Snake!

Garter snakes are commonly found in places you may not want them, like your yard. This can be alarming and can cause confusion and panic! Don’t worry, I’ve researched how to get rid of those perhaps unwanted guests. 

How do you get rid of a Garter snake? It shouldn’t be too difficult to relocate them. Some quick ways to get rid of Garter snakes are:

  • Have a Well-Maintained and Clean Yard
  • Trap and Relocate
  • Build a Snake Fence
  • Snake Repellent

Keep reading to learn more about garter snakes and how to get rid of them.

Why You Might Want to Get Rid of Garter Snakes

Garter snakes, although helpful to your garden, sometimes in keeping those unwanted pests away, can overpopulate or just simply come around too often for your liking. They are annoying and for those of you who don’t enjoy the idea of free-range snakes slithering around your yard at their heart’s content, you probably want them out.

I am here to help you with that and have done some research on many ways you can solve this problem of yours.

Garter snakes love to hide in taller grasses and in piles of stuff that may be in your yard.

Examples of commonly loved hiding places for them are piles of firewood or rocks that you may have laying around or even miscellaneous debris or items you might have across your yard for a multitude of reasons like kids or a project in progress.

All of these are totally okay to have in your yard and totally reasonable, but the snakes will especially appreciate this. Snakes love hiding because it makes them feel protected and secure. By having all of these places for them to hide, especially long grass, you are making your yard a safe haven for these slithering creatures.

Now, garter snakes are good for your yard too. Having a couple in your yard, specifically in your garden area, can be good! They actually help to keep unwanted pests and bugs away which can greatly benefit your plants’ health.

Enough is enough though. You don’t want multitudes of garter snakes just having a hay day across your yard. 

A great way to first look into to help get rid of these pests is to ensure your yard is well maintained. Make sure your lawn is cut short. This will eliminate most of their hiding places by taking away any and all tall grass. Also make sure any unnecessary piles of any sort are cleaned up. That is their next favorite place to hide.

Now, we know it is unrealistic to throw out a perfectly good wood pile or get rid of that beautiful rocky pond scenery you just put in. We aren’t asking you to do that. We totally get it and there are other ways to help if simply cleaning your yard isn’t working.

One alternative way of getting rid of them is trapping and relocation. Hopefully, it’s just the same few snakes that keep coming into your yard in which case this method should help.

You set a trap by where your unwanted friends usually hide and just check it frequently to see what you catch. When you catch a snake simply relocate it to a park or wooded are away from your house. A few good miles should do the trick. If you are looking for a cheap trap to buy and set, here is one I found on Amazon.

Another way to help get rid of these nuisances is to build a snake fence around your yard. But, what the heck is a snake fence?

A snake fence is simply a short little fence that keeps the unwanted vermin out and from slithering through nooks and crannies that your normal fence doesn’t cover. You would put one of these up after relocating the critters that you have caught. This, however, can be an expensive method so I would recommend this as a last resort.

Another great and well-recommended way to get rid of these snakes is snake repellent. Yes, it does exist! Simply get some from the store or even online and spray the areas where you have seen these pesty snakes!

I’ll also give you a link here to some snake repellent I found.

Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) with its tongue sticking out

What Are Some Natural Ways to Get rid of Garter Snakes?

I can totally understand not wanting to use any methods of removal that might possibly harm your scaly, unwanted friends with chemicals or other physical harm that might come about. I took the time to research some natural remedies for you as well. After all, these poor snakes are still helpful to us, even though we may not want them around.

I found this all-natural snake repellent recipe that should do the trick:

Combine about 5 or 6 drops of clove oil into a gallon of water and spray this remedy like you would any other snake repellent and that should do the trick!

You might be wondering, “Where do I get clove oil? That’s a thing?” And I am here to help you with that too! Here is a link to a 5-star reviewed, 100% clove oil bottle at a decent price from Amazon.

It may help to get a spray bottle from the dollar store or something to pour smaller amounts of this natural repellent in so you don’t have to carry around a gallon of water whenever you find a new hiding spot you need to spray for snakes. Work smarter not harder, right?

What if the Snakes Are Under My Deck?

Now for those of you who have decks in your yard, this can cause a little extra fuss with removing your scaly friends because this is going to be one of their favorite places to hide if they can get under it.

Getting rid of them is simpler than you might think though. You simply have to use your desired repellent and spray or sprinkle it around the perimeter of your patio and that should get rid of them.

If you have enough room to, I would also recommend setting traps up so you can ensure that they are completely fished out from under your outdoor safe haven.

Make sure you keep that repellent going until they are gone too though! The top of your patio may be your happy place, but underneath the that same patio is very likely to be theirs too. 

Is it Dangerous to Move a Garter Snake?

It can be dangerous to handle a snake if done incorrectly because if they feel unsafe they will strike.

Ways to avoid that, however, are to use a net or forked stick to pick up the snake. If handling it by hand make sure the snake has enough range of movement to feel safe and unrestricted.

Remember to also be slow and steady with your movements because if you move too quickly or jerk the snake will not feel safe and possibly hurt you to ensure its safety.

Also, make sure you are wearing long sleeves and the proper gloves.

Related Questions:

Should I call animal control for garter snakes?If your methods of removal are not working then you should and can call animal control to help with your problem. Always make sure you stay safe and let the professionals do their job so that you stay safe!

Do moth balls keep snakes away? Moth balls can be found in the snake repellent isle in your local yard or tractor supply store and can be used as a good snake repellent. It is often one of the components of snake repellents.

Are garter snakes poisonous to humans?Garter snakes are not a venomous snake. They kill their prey with a mild paralysis toxin, but it isn’t nearly enough to effect humans. If bit just clean out your wound like yo would any other and go to a doctor if it gets infected.

Danielle Newsom

Hey guys! I am an English major studying in Southeastern Idaho and loving every second of it. I love blogging and strive to help others with my colleagues to have ease of access in one place to anything they may want to know about snakes. I have some experience with snakes and have done crazy amounts of research in the areas I lack to help you guys get the best quality answers possible.

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