Getting Rid of Snakes!
Getting Rid of
Squirrels in the Attic
We recently bought an old house. When we were buying the place, we started to do some planning for desired renovations. When my husband went into the attic, he found several black snake skins! Therefore, the attic was cleaned out in the spring. Recently, my husband and a friend went into the attic to see if they could find where the snakes were getting in, and they found a live snake. While they were up there, they counted at least nine black snake skins. We are not fond of snakes, so we are going to take at least a month before we move in. How can we get rid of them and know they are gone before we move in?
Cindi in Salem, NJ
The black snakes are there to catch rodents. Remove the mice and rats and the snakes will leave. In the meantime, I would suggest you go through every room and make sure all holes are patched so the varmints (rats, mice, snakes) cannot get into your living quarters. Pay special attention to drain and water pipe holes. When there is no food for the snakes, they will leave of their own accord.
Carolyn in Arkansas
Black snakes climb trees. If there are any tree branches near or touching the house, the snakes can easily get in. Remove all branches close to the house. The snakes that are in the house will most likely find a way out of the house and will not be able to come back in. There are probably mice in the house, which is what attracted the snakes in the first place. When the mice are gone, the snakes will leave to find another food source.
Place mothballs in your attic. Not only does the smell keep moths from eating clothing, but it also repels snakes. Just make sure that small children and pets do not have access to the mothballs.
I work for a pest control company and there are two things that we recommend. One is a product called SnakeAway. It can be bought at home improvement stores like Lowe's. The other is less expensive. Throw around some mothballs. The snakes cannot breathe around them and they will stay away.
Ask your County Agent to bring sulphur gas foggers out and set several off on each floor and underneath the house. We live in Texas and there was no charge. The sulphur odor will permeate the entire structure and all pests will leave. Then spread water-soluble granulated sulphur about 12 inches out from the perimeter of the house and also the perimeter of the yard. We spread it throughout our yard because ticks and fleas trouble us during the summer. Sulphur is not harmful to people or animals, but it will make most undesirable "varmints" leave the premises. Then the granulated sulphur will prevent them from returning. Water the sulphur into the ground after spreading. When you no longer can see the granules, it is time to reapply.
First of all, it sounds like you have "rat snakes," which also means you have rodents of some kind living up there or close by. When you get rid of the snakes, you might have a mouse problem on your hands. I suggest that you try to get rid of the mice, and the snakes should leave on their own.
There is a product called "Snake Away," which should be effective in getting rid of them, but it can be expensive. In typical stretcher form, I'll tell you what's in it. It contains Napththalene, which is also found in mothballs.
Napththalene also repels bats and many other ground crawling animals. By virtue of the fact that it works on bats, I would think that it might work on mice as well. The only drawback is that your attic will smell pretty strong for awhile. Once your critters have left, be sure to plug the holes.
The easiest way to find the holes in your house is to put a super bright light source in the attic at night, turn it on, and go outside to look for shafts of light.
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