I can’t believe I’m doing this. Seriously. In this video I’m talking about snakes in Arizona….
…because you guys keep asking about them and I want to set the record straight.
But wait! I’m not going to be talking about what kinds of snakes we have here, or even what kinds are venomous or not, because the truth of the matter is, I’m not qualified and more importantly, I’ve never stuck around long enough to ask one. Nope, I’m the person who couldn’t run to lose a pound if my life depended on it, but if I see a snake, I can basically fly.
I don’t like snakes, nope, nope, nope.
So, instead, I’m going to be sharing five easy things you can do to live snake free in Arizona, because, let’s be honest, that’s what you really want to know.
They do their thing over there, you do your thing over here, and all is right with the world.
If this is your first time here, welcome! My name is Lindsay and I‘m a proud Anthem resident and your local REALTOR® with the Wise Move AZ Team at Realty ONE Group. On our YouTube channel and blog, we have a lot of fun talking about all things Anthem and real estate, and we would love to have you along for the ride. Tune in for new blog posts and videos every single Thursday!
Welcome to Arizona
Okay, that was kind of a bit, but in all seriousness, I absolutely love that we have such diverse wildlife in Arizona… snakes included! In fact, I did a whole video on the different kinds of wildlife we have in Arizona, so feel free to check that out by clicking here.
My Experience with Snakes in Arizona
Arizona is an absolutely incredible place to call home, and apparently snakes think so too. We get SO many questions about snakes in Arizona from folks considering a move. Unfortunately, snakes are a fact of life in Arizona. To put things in perspective, I don’t like snakes, I don’t want to encounter a snake, and Arizona is still hands down, one of my absolute favorite places to call home. I would take nearly 300 days of sunshine a year, and a chance of seeing a snake, every time.
Truthfully, I think I’ve only seen 3 snakes up close, the whole time I’ve lived in Arizona. One was in my parents yard, one was on a hike, and the other one was dead on the road. I guess I’ve also seen snakes at the Phoenix Zoo, but those don’t really count.
Make your Yard a Snake-Free Zone
Our goal with this video is to help you make your home and yard unappealing to snakes. I don’t want anybody hurting snakes or disturbing them. I just want to make it so that when they pass by your yard, they don’t want to stop because it’s not that hospitable for them.
You know how they say, don’t make your guest room too nice, otherwise your guests will stay too long?
Yeah, it’s kind of like that, but with my yard and snakes.
Don’t be Afraid
I know you’ve heard it a million times before, but they really are more afraid of you, than you should be of them. Snake bites are rare and there is so much you can do to avoid an encounter in and around your home.
I’ll also give you a bonus tip of what NOT to do to avoid snakes at the end of this post, so stick around.
Tips to Avoid Snake Encounters
Alright, let’s talk about the things you can do right now to greatly reduce your risk of seeing a snake in your yard.
Tip #1: Barricade your Home & Yard
Don’t make it easy for snakes to get into your home or yard in the first place. Walk around the perimeter of your yard and see if there is anywhere they could get in.
Our home backs on to a wash, which means we’re more susceptible to getting snakes and other wildlife in our yard. If you’re like us, run some steel mesh fencing along any view fencing on your property. If you have block wall fencing around your home, just make sure that it’s properly sealed. Additionally, if you have a gate, make sure that it’s as snug to the ground as possible.
If you have drainage holes in your fencing, you may pile rocks in front or use the steel mesh. If you put ANYTHING in front of these drainage holes be careful. They are there for a reason, so you need to take responsibility for ensuring they can properly divert water away from the home in a rainstorm.
Lastly, make sure that you are leaving your doors closed, when they’re not in use. This includes your garage door. I heard a story of a family that loved leaving their patio doors open and one night the woman went to the bathroom, to find a snake wrapped around the bottom of the toilet. Eek!
Tip #2: Take Away their Hiding Places
Snakes won’t want to hang out in your yard, if there are no good hiding places for them. Now that you’ve secured the perimeter, walk around the yard and clean up everything you can. This means trimming shrubs and bushes up, and removing any dead branches and leaves.
You also want to pick up any toys or tools that are laying around the yard. Even storage sheds, containers, and outdoor furniture can provide a good hiding place for snakes. There was a news story last summer about snakes hiding in the holes in the middle of pool noodles. Can you imagine!?
You could also consider adding lights to any paths in the front or back yard to make it even less snake friendly. Lighting is great because it allows you to see where you are going and can prevent an unwanted encounter with a snake.
Anyways, I definitely still want you to be able to enjoy your yard, that’s the whole point, but I encourage you to clean up anything you can. Don’t go reaching into any dark places without checking first.
Tip #3: Take Away their Food & Water
Snakes aren’t going to want to stick around if there’s no food or water in your yard. Firstly, make sure that you don’t have any standing water or leaking water in your yard. It’s important to check your automatic watering system for leaks and to make sure that your hose isn’t leaking either.
Some snakes may be drawn to your pool, if water is particularly scarce, so I just encourage you to check the traps and edges before jumping in. If a snake gets in your pool, you can usually use your pool skimmer to fling it out or you can call the fire department.
Get Rid of Rodents
As for food, many snakes eat rodents, so you’re going to want to make sure that you don’t have any rodents in your yard. If you have evidence of rodents you may want to call an exterminator. If not, just be careful not to leave trash out or anything that would attract pests. Additionally, bird feeders can attract more than just birds, so I don’t recommend them.
Tip #4: Protect your Pups
Your dogs may be more at risk for a snake bite than you. Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep them safe. There are Rattlesnake Avoidance Classes you can enroll them in and there are also vaccines. I recommend that you talk to your vet about both of these to see if they would be a good fit for your dog.
Additionally, I recommend that you keep your dog on their leash when out for walks and avoid walking through tall grass or brush where you can’t see their paws. You also want to make sure you keep emergency contact information on hand, in the event of a snake bite.
Tip #5: Pay Attention
This is just good advice in general, but when it comes to avoiding snakes, pay attention. Whether you’re walking, hiking, or just stepping out of the car, know that you could accidentally get too close to a snake. You want to look around when you’re walking but also listen. Rattlesnakes for example may make a rattling noise if you get too close. Additionally, you may be able to hear a snake moving out of the way before you see it.
If you see a snake, please leave it alone. They want to hang out with you, about as much as you want to hang out with them. If possible, get yourself at least 10’ away and allow the snake to pass.
What Not to Do
I didn’t forget that I promised you a tip of what not to do to avoid snakes. Don’t put a ton of mothballs out in your yard and around your house. It smells so bad and I don’t think there’s much proof that they work for preventing snakes. I
think the tips we listed in this video will be more effective and it will make it so that you can still sit outside and enjoy your yard, because that one of the reasons you move to Arizona in the first place, right?
So, there you have it! What do you think? Are there things you can do around your home to make it a little less appealing to snakes? We’ve done most of these things, and knock on wood, we’ve never seen a snake in our yard.
Also, if you want to make sure you’re truly prepared for life in beautiful Arizona then you’ll want to click this video where I break down the pros and cons of living in the Grand Canyon State, or if you’re on a bit of a pest kick, you’re going to want to click to watch this video with tips on how to prevent scorpions in your Arizona home.
Enjoy those, stay safe out there, and I’ll see YOU next Thursday!