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How to Get Rid of Garter Snakes Without Killing Them

how to get rid of garter snakes

Part of having a yard is dealing with all the critters that wander over to visit you. Some will be cute and furry, while others may have more scaly skins!

Garter snakes are elusive creatures so they're not usually an issue - unless their presence startles you or your pets in some way; then these vibration-sensitive animals can disappear as quickly as ghostly apparitions thanks again for their over-sensitivity.

The problem with having so many snakes around is that they can be pesky. You might have had a few sneak up on your farm without you realizing it, and now there are baby chickens or other small animals gone!

In this guide, we'll show you how to get rid of garter snakes without harming them. This way, you can keep your yard critter-free and still be eco-friendly!

What are Garter Snakes?

garter snake

Garter snake is a small non-venomous snake and is commonly found in the Americas. The Garter serpent is a typical snake native to North and Central America.

Some types of garters of snakes can exist although these are usually small to mid sized in this species of snake Thamnophis.

Understanding the Habitat Of Garter Snakes

Like many reptiles, garters, snakes are usually found in warmer seasons and are often attracted to places where they can hide and eat.

The garter snake has a unique habitat and adaptable nature that is characteristic of reptiles.

They have been common across many places and environments and many are even able to take off and travel during winter to warm themselves up.

Generally, however, garter snakes eat warmer and moister habitats. It is because the animals often eat small fish.

For freshwater residents, the Garter serpent is an excellent swimmer. They like to have food near water as well for safety reasons.

What Do Garter Snakes Eat?

As with all reptiles, non-venomous snakes are cold-blooded animals and can therefore often find themselves in areas where warm weather or food is available.

This slender snake enters a home through very tiny cracks. Garter Snake eats small mammals, including frogs, toads, and frogs.

Although tar can be shown to be effective at controlling pests, many people who discover snakes in their homes are afraid of them.

Where Do Garter Snakes Live?

Harmless snakes are found in a wide variety of habitats, including woods, meadows, marshes, and even suburban areas.

In North America, they're one of the most widespread snakes and can be found anywhere from Canada to Central America.

These creatures like to live in damp environments where there's plenty of vegetation for cover and plenty of small prey to eat.

Do Garter Snakes Bite?

snake bite

Garter snakes are not poisonous, and they rarely bite humans. If you are bitten by a garter snake, it is not likely to cause serious harm.

The bite may bleed a little and might be painful, but it will heal quickly. Garter snakes use their teeth for grasping prey like small farm animals, eat insects, and chicken eggs, not for defense.

Are Garden Snakes Dangerous?

With the exception of a few species, fleas are not poisonous to humans; however, their bites can cause anaphylaxis in some people who are allergic to their venom.

Can Garter Snakes Swim?

garter snake in water

Garter snakes are excellent swimmers and often enter the water to hunt for fish, frogs, and other aquatic prey.

They're also known to eat tadpoles, newts, and even small mammals that come too close to the water's edge.

While they're good swimmers, they're not particularly strong climbers so they tend to stick to areas near the ground.

Signs of Garter Snake Infestation

The best way to figure out if you have a garter snake infestation is to look for signs of them in your yard or home.

Some common signs include:

  • Garter snakes sunning themselves on rocks or logs
  • Tracks in mud or sand near water sources
  • Shed skin near areas where they're active
  • Snake holes
  • Tracks in your dust or dirt from slithering
  • Strange smells in enclosed spaces
  • Snake Droppings

If you see any of these signs, it's a good idea to take steps to get rid of the snakes before they become a bigger problem.

How To Get Rid Of Garter Snakes Naturally?

If you have garter snakes in your yard, you may be wondering how to get rid of them naturally. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to encourage them to find a new home.



Lemongrass is a plant that has a strong citrusy scent. Garter snakes are repelled by the strong scent of lemongrass and will avoid areas where the plant is present.

You can grow lemongrass around the perimeter of your property or use essential oils made from the plant.



Like lemongrass, garlic also has a strong scent that is used as a snake repellent. You can place cloves of garlic around the perimeter of your property or make a garlic spray by mixing garlic cloves with water and spraying it on areas where garter snakes are commonly seen.



Sulfur is another common ingredient in snake repellents. When burned, sulfur produces a gas that garter snakes find unpleasant.

You can purchase sulfur at most hardware stores and light it around the perimeter of your property. Be sure to use caution when burning sulfur as it can be dangerous if inhaled

Essential oils

Essential Oils

There are several essential oils that can help to repel garter snakes including cedarwood, citronella, lemon, and peppermint oil.

These oils can be diluted with water and sprayed around the perimeter of your property or placed on cotton balls and placed in areas where garter snakes are commonly seen.

One of the best natural pest control methods is to encourage predators that eat snakes to visit your property.



Garter snakes are attracted to the smell of minnows, so placing minnows around the perimeter of your property can help to lure them away from your home.

Be sure to check with your local fish and wildlife department before using minnows as bait as it may be illegal in some areas.


Garter snakes are attracted to areas with dense vegetation as they provide shelter from predators and prey.

Creating a maze made out of objects like rocks, logs, or chicken wire can help to keep garter snakes away from your home as they will not be able to find their way through the maze.

Getting Rid of Garter Snakes In Your Garden

Snake infestation on property and gardens is commonplace in California or places in the U.S. When the snakes are in your yard verify they are non-venomous and then act accordingly.

Snake Trap

You can build a snake trap using a large bucket, some wire mesh, and bait. The best baits include:

  • Small rodents like mice or rats
  • Frogs
  • Worms
  • Insects like crickets or grasshoppers

To make the trap, cut a hole in the side of the bucket that is big enough for the snake to fit through. Cover the hole with wire mesh and secure it in place with duct tape or zip ties.

Place the bait inside the bucket and wait for the snake to enter. Once the snake is inside, it will not be able to escape and you can release it into a more suitable habitat away from your home.

When you contact pest control services and wish to remove the snake at the same time, you can place them in the trash with an overturned trash container. Once more, try to make sure it is nonvenomous.

Spray it with a hose

Drenching the snakes from the distance. They can go without hurting themselves. Please note that this is just a temporary option and that the snake can still come back.

Eliminate food sources

Snakes feed fish, frogs, chickens, birds, and insects. It's possible to eliminate any animals that reside on your property to reduce the chances of snakes.

Get rid of standing water

The water in the pond attracts the flies. The snakes should not be allowed to come back.

Do mothballs work to get rid of snakes?


Mothballs are designed to repel moths, not snakes. The truth is that they might work for a short period of time, but they are poisonous and can harm your family, pets, and the environment.

Does vinegar get rid of garter snakes?


Vinegar can be very effective in getting rid of garter serpents from sources of water. When your garden or residence has a water source white vinegar should be added around the perimeter to help keep garter snakes out.

Try Natural Snake Repellent

There are various types of commercial snake repellent to help eradicate the garter snake and other wildlife from your property.

These are effective but sometimes they smell a bit odorless for humans. It is important you remember that many repellents haven't proven their effectiveness and will not prevent spiders from entering your garden unless it is formulated correctly.

There's also an option to use organic substances if you do not like spraying landscaping with synthetic chemicals.

You can buy it at stores and you can also make homemade snake repellent that will kill Garter snakes if needed.

Liquid Fence Snake Repellent

Last was the popular Liquid Fencing System. Various types of repellents are produced by these brands but these particular repellents will keep various kinds of Snakes out of your house and yard.

These snake-repellent granules work in removing garter snakes by causing them to smell harmless to children and pets and tap the snake's senses and alert the snake to the danger.

If used properly these grains are able to cover up to 250,000 square feet for many weeks. The ingredients contain essential oils, such as Cedar Oil.

They also do not contain naphthalene, which is toxic to pets as well as to children.

Whemoalus Snake Repellent

If you're interested in finding a way to remove garter snakes from your home or from the outside, try these specialized snake-repellent balls by Whemolaus.

It is an alternative product for dogs and kids for snake repellent that can also be placed in the garden! The scent of the snake is diffused by the time that the snake hates but loves the people.

It is made using an aromatherapy oil which is pleasant smelling but disgusting to the eyes. This is a safe product that can be used within two weeks.

It prevents garters from circling the place they are located, but it prevents nesting.

How to Prevent Garter Snakes in the Future?

If you have ever found a garter snake in your home, you know it can be quite a nuisance.

These pests are not harmful to humans but can be a scary surprise, especially if you have young children or pets.

Here are a few tips on how to prevent garter snakes from getting into your home in the future.

  • Seal up any cracks or holes on the outside of your home, especially around doors and windows.
  • Keep your yard clean and free of debris, tall grass, and rocks where snakes can hide.
  • Remove any standing water from your property, including pools, birdbaths, and rain gutters.
  • If you have a pond on your property, consider installing a fence around it to keep snakes out.

By following these tips, you can help prevent garter snakes from getting into your home in the future.

If you do find a snake in your home, contact a professional pest control company for assistance.

Talk to a Pest Control Company Today

If you have a garter snake problem, the best thing to do is contact a professional pest control company.

They will be able to identify the source of the problem and help you get rid of the snakes for good.

Don't try to handle the situation on your own, as this can be dangerous. Leave it to the professionals to get rid of your garter snake problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Garden Snakes Have Teeth?

Although they have a few rows of small teeth, which can most certainly bite, their bites rarely become infected if cleaned and cared for properly. Some people are allergic to their saliva, but this is quite uncommon.

Do Garter Snakes Eat Mice?

They will certainly eat them if they’re small enough but prefer to stick to smaller prey like slugs, and frogs.

Does salt keep snakes away?

Salt does not repel snakes as is commonly thought. Because they aren't slugs, they won't dissolve when they come into contact with sodium chloride.

Final Thoughts

So as you have seen, there are a few different ways that you can get rid of garter snakes.

You can use snake-repellent granules, liquid fence, or Whemoalus Snake Repellent balls.

You can also prevent them from getting into your home in the first place by sealing up cracks and holes and keeping your yard clean and free of debris.

If you have a garter snake problem, the best thing to do is contact a professional pest control company.

They will be able to identify the source of the problem and help you get rid of the snakes for good. Don't try to handle the situation on your own, as this can be dangerous.

About The Author:

Meet Mark Calhoun, a seasoned pest control expert in the realm our pest control company. With over 10 years of dedicated experience and Managing Editor. His primary mission is to furnish you with precise and invaluable DIY insights, ensuring your home remains pest-free while aiding you in distinguishing various household pests.
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