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Imagine settling into bed after a long day, only to hear strange noises coming from your attic. You might try to brush it off as just the wind, but what if it’s something else entirely?
Snakes in the attic might not be something you think about often, but it’s a real problem that homeowners face. Not only can they cause damage to your property, but they can also pose a danger to you and your family.
In this article, we’ll explore why snakes are attracted to attics, the types of snakes commonly found in attics, and what you can do to prevent and remove them. So, if you’re curious about snakes in the attic, keep reading!
Why Snakes Might Be Attracted to Your Attic
Snakes are cold-blooded creatures, which means they need a warm environment to regulate their body temperature. Attics can provide an ideal space for snakes to seek shelter and warmth, especially during colder months.
In addition, attics can also provide a safe and secure environment for snakes to lay their eggs. The lack of disturbance and protection from predators makes attics an attractive location for snakes to establish their nests.
Another factor that can contribute to snake infestations in attics is the availability of food, such as rodents, insects, and other small animals. These prey species can also be attracted to the attic’s warm and sheltered environment, creating a food source for snakes.
Understanding why snakes are attracted to attics can help you take preventative measures to keep them out of your home.
What Kind of Snakes Get in the Attic?
If you’re worried about snakes in your attic, it’s helpful to know which species you may encounter.
Here are some of the most common types of snakes that may find their way into your attic:
Brown House Snakes
The Brown House Snakes are small, non-venomous snakes that can be found in urban areas, including attics. They are known for their slender build and brown, patterned skin, which allows them to blend in with their surroundings.
Brown House Snakes are expert climbers and can easily make their way into your attic through small holes and crevices.
These snakes are not aggressive and are relatively harmless to humans and pets. However, they do have a voracious appetite for rodents, making them a valuable addition to any household.
Rat snakes are another common species that you may find in your attic. They are non-venomous and are known for their ability to climb and move quickly. These snakes can grow up to 8 feet in length and are typically brown or black in color.
Rat snakes are also excellent climbers, which makes it easier for them to access attics.
Copperheads are venomous and should be handled with extreme caution. They are one of the most dangerous snakes that can be found in attics, as their bite can cause serious harm to humans.
Copperheads can be identified by their distinct copper-colored head and the hourglass-shaped markings on their body.
If you suspect that there may be Copperheads in your attic, it’s best to call a professional to safely remove them.
Other types of snakes
There are various other types of snakes that may make their way into your attic, such as black racers, corn snakes, and water snakes.
These snakes are typically non-venomous and are less commonly found in attics than the previously mentioned species.
It’s important to be aware of the different types of snakes that may be in your attic and their behaviors in order to properly handle the situation.
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Are Snakes in the Attic Dangerous?
Having snakes in your attic can pose several dangers, both to your health and your property. Here are some potential risks associated with having snakes in your attic:
Snakes can carry various diseases and bacteria that can be harmful to humans, such as Salmonella and E. coli.
If you come into contact with snake droppings or urine, you may be at risk of contracting these illnesses.
In addition, some species of snakes, such as Copperheads, are venomous and their bite can cause serious harm or even death.
Snakes can cause damage to your property if left unaddressed. They may chew through wires or insulation, creating a fire hazard.
It’s important to take action if you suspect that you have snakes in your attic in order to prevent potential dangers.
How Do Snakes Get Into Attics?
Snakes are incredibly resourceful creatures and can find their way into your attic through various entry points.
For example, they can enter your attic through small gaps or cracks in your roof or walls. They may also use nearby tree branches or vegetation to climb onto your roof and find a way in through the eaves or vents.
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Once snakes have found an entry point, they can use their slender bodies to maneuver through tight spaces, such as gaps in insulation or small holes in the walls. They can also climb up walls and across ceilings using their strong muscles and sharp claws.
Signs of a Snake Infestation in Your Attic
Once a snake gets into your attic, it’s crucial to know the signs of a possible infestation to take immediate action. By identifying these signs, you can ensure that you have a snake infestation and take steps to remove them safely.
So here we will discuss the common signs of a snake infestation in your attic and how to recognize them.
Shed snake skin
Shed snake skin is a common sign of a snake infestation in your attic. Snakes shed their skin several times a year as they grow, leaving behind a translucent, papery membrane.
If you notice shed skin in your attic, it’s a clear indication that snakes have been present. Keep in mind that the skin of different snake species can vary in appearance, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the characteristics of the species commonly found in attics to accurately identify the source of the shed skin.
If you do find shed skin, it’s recommended that you take action to address the infestation to prevent further damage and potential health risks.
Snake droppings can also be a sign of a snake infestation in your attic. Snake feces typically resemble small, tapered tubes, and may contain bones or hair from their prey.
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Be sure to wear gloves and a mask when handling snake droppings to protect yourself from any potential diseases or parasites.
Strange noises in your attic can also indicate a snake infestation. Snakes are generally quiet creatures, but they can make some sounds such as hissing or rattling their tails.
You might also hear scratching or slithering noises as they move around in your attic. These sounds can be especially pronounced at night when the snakes are more active.
If you hear any strange noises coming from your attic, it’s important to investigate further to determine if you have a snake infestation.
If you have a snake infestation in your attic, you may notice a distinct smell. This odor can be caused by a variety of factors, including snake urine, feces, and the scent they give off as a warning to predators.
The smell is often described as musky or pungent and can be strong enough to permeate the entire space. If you notice an unusual odor in your attic, it’s important to investigate further to determine if it’s a sign of a snake infestation.
What to Do if You Have Snakes in Your Attic
If you suspect that you have snakes in your attic, it’s important to handle the situation carefully and appropriately.
Here are some quick tips to take before removing snakes from your attic, it’s important to ensure your safety and the safety of the snake.
- Stay calm: Panicking will only make the situation worse. Keep a level head and focus on finding a solution.
- Identify the species: Knowing what type of snake you’re dealing with can help you determine the best course of action. Take a photo or description of the snake if possible.
- Don’t approach the snake: It’s best to avoid contact with the snake as much as possible to reduce the risk of being bitten.
- Keep children and pets away: Make sure that children and pets are kept away from the area where the snakes are present.
How to Remove Snakes from the Attic
Before we delve into the various methods of removing snakes from your attic, it’s important to keep in mind that safety should be your top priority.
We highly recommend seeking the assistance of a professional wildlife control service, especially if you suspect the presence of venomous and potentially deadly species.
However, if you’re confident in your abilities and prefer to handle the situation yourself, Here are some methods you can try:
Use a trap
If you prefer to use a trap to remove the snake from your attic, it’s important to use the right type of trap for the species of snake you are dealing with. You can purchase a snake trap from a hardware store or online retailer, or you can make one yourself using a cardboard box or bucket.
Here are some steps to follow:
- Place the trap in an area where you have noticed snake activity, such as near a shed skin or droppings.
- Bait the trap with a live or dead mouse or another small animal that the snake may be attracted to.
- Wait for the snake to enter the trap to get the bait.
- Once the snake is inside the trap, cover it with a lid or cloth to prevent it from escaping.
- Release the snake back into the wild at a safe distance from your home.
Remember, using a trap can be risky, and it's important to handle it with care to avoid getting bitten by the snake. Additionally, some species of snakes may not be suitable for trap capture, so it's best to consult with a professional before attempting this method.
There are a few DIY methods you can try to remove snakes from your attic, although it’s important to note that these methods may not always be effective or safe, especially for handling venomous species.
One method is to use a snake repellent, which can be purchased from a hardware or garden store. These repellents work by emitting a scent that repels snakes and can be sprayed in the attic or around the house. However, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully and not use too much, as excessive use may cause health risks for humans and pets.
As mentioned above another DIY option is to use a homemade snake trap. This can be made using a cardboard box or plastic container, with holes punched in the sides and bait placed inside.
Once the snake enters the trap to reach the bait, it can be safely removed and released outside. However, this method requires some knowledge of snake behavior and may not be effective for larger or more dangerous species.
If you have some experience handling snakes and feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can also try using a stick or snake catcher to remove the snake from your attic.
However, it’s important to proceed with caution and avoid direct contact with the snake to prevent injury to yourself or the snake. Using a stick or snake catcher, gently and carefully guide the snake into a secure container, such as a pillowcase or plastic bin with a lid.
Once the snake is safely contained, release it into a suitable natural habitat away from your home.
However, it's important to note that handling snakes can be dangerous and should only be attempted by those with experience or under the guidance of a professional.
Call a Professional
If you are not comfortable dealing with snakes or are unsure of how to safely remove them from your attic, it is always best to call a professional wildlife control service.
These experts are trained and equipped to handle snakes safely and effectively. When choosing a wildlife control service, be sure to do your research and select a reputable and licensed company. ‘
They will assess the situation, determine the best course of action, and provide you with a quote for their services. Remember, it is crucial to prioritize your safety and the proper removal of snakes from your attic, so don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance if needed.
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How to Prevent Snakes from Coming Back
After you have successfully removed the snakes from your attic, it’s important to take preventative measures to keep them from coming back.
Here are some effective ways to prevent snakes from returning to your attic:
Seal entry points
You can seal all the entry points that the snakes used to get inside. This can include gaps in the roof, cracks in the walls, and holes in the foundation. Make sure to use materials that are sturdy and durable, as snakes can be persistent and may try to re-enter the attic if they find weak spots.
You can use materials like caulking, foam sealant, or weatherstripping to seal entry points and prevent snakes from returning. It’s also important to regularly check for any new gaps or cracks and seal them promptly.
Keep in mind that it’s important to inspect your attic carefully before sealing any entry points to make sure that there are no snakes still inside. If you do find any snakes, it’s important to remove them before sealing any entry points.
Keep your attic clean
Keeping your attic clean is an essential step in preventing snakes from coming back. Make sure to remove any debris or clutter, such as piles of boxes or old furniture, as these can provide hiding places for snakes.
Regularly vacuuming or sweeping your attic can also help remove any potential food sources for snakes, such as rodent droppings or insects.
Additionally, make sure to properly store any food or pet food in sealed containers to prevent attracting rodents that can, in turn, attract snakes.
Install snake fencing
Installing snake fencing is another effective way to prevent snakes from entering your property and attic. This type of fencing is typically made of mesh or wire and is designed to create a barrier that snakes cannot pass through.
To install snake fencing, first, determine the area that needs to be protected and measure the length and height required for the fence. Choose a material that is sturdy and can withstand the elements.
Next, dig a trench around the perimeter of the area, making sure it is deep enough to bury the bottom of the fence. Install the fence posts at intervals along the trench and attach the mesh or wire fencing to the posts.
It is essential to ensure that the fence is buried deep enough and is flush with the ground to prevent snakes from burrowing underneath. Additionally, make sure to inspect the fence regularly for any gaps or damage and repair as necessary.
Keep in mind that while snake fencing can be an effective solution, it may not be practical or feasible for all properties.
Keep vegetation trimmed
Keeping vegetation trimmed is another important step in preventing snakes from coming back to your attic. Snakes are known to use tall grass, shrubs, and bushes as hiding spots and pathways to reach your attic.
By keeping your yard and surrounding areas of your house trimmed and well-maintained, you can reduce the amount of cover available to snakes and make it harder for them to reach your attic.
Be sure to trim any overgrown plants, remove any debris or clutter, and keep firewood piles away from your house. By doing so, you can create a less hospitable environment for snakes and discourage them from returning to your attic.
Using repellents is another way to prevent snakes from coming back to your attic. There are many types of repellents available in the market, including chemical and natural ones.
Chemical repellents typically contain naphthalene, sulfur, or other chemicals that emit an odor that snakes dislike. Natural repellents include essential oils, such as cinnamon, clove, and cedar, which can be sprayed or applied in the attic.
When using repellents, it’s important to follow the instructions on the product carefully and use them as directed. Keep in mind that repellents may not be effective for all types of snakes, and some snakes may develop a tolerance to certain repellents over time. Therefore
Control rodent populations
Controlling rodent populations is essential in preventing snakes from coming back to your attic. Snakes are attracted to places where they can find food, and rodents are a primary food source for many snake species.
To control rodents in your home, you can start by eliminating any food sources, such as stored pet food or unsecured garbage cans. You can also seal any potential entry points for rodents, such as gaps or holes in walls, floors, or roofs.
If you’re having trouble controlling the rodent population in your home, consider contacting a professional pest control service for assistance. They can help identify the source of the infestation and implement effective control measures to prevent snakes from returning to your attic.
Having snakes in your attic can be a scary and stressful experience, but it’s important to remember that they are a natural part of the environment and can be safely and effectively removed with the right precautions and methods.
It’s crucial to identify the signs of a snake infestation and take the necessary steps to prevent them from coming back. By sealing entry points, keeping your attic clean, installing snake fencing, controlling rodent populations, keeping vegetation trimmed, and using repellents, you can create a less hospitable environment for snakes and discourage them from returning.
If you do find yourself facing a snake infestation, it’s always best to seek the assistance of a professional wildlife control service for safe and effective removal. Remember to always approach snakes with caution and respect, and appreciate their important role in the ecosystem.
Is it common to have snakes in the attic?
It is not extremely common to have snakes in the attic, but it can happen, especially during the warmer months.
Can snakes climb up your house?
Yes, snakes are excellent climbers and can climb up walls, trees, and even the sides of houses.
Can a snake live in a hot attic?
Yes, some snakes can live in hot attics, especially if there is an available food source. However, they may also seek cooler areas of the house during the hottest part of the day.
What do snakes in the attic sound like?
Snakes in the attic may not make much noise, but you may hear slithering or rustling sounds as they move around.
What are little black snakes in attic with an orange ring around it?
The little black snakes with an orange ring around their neck are likely Ring-necked Snakes. These snakes are harmless and primarily eat small insects and other invertebrates. While they may be a surprise to find in your attic, they do not pose a threat to humans and can be safely removed or left alone if they are not causing any damage or disturbance.
Do Copperheads go in attics?
Yes, copperheads and other snake species can go in attics if there is a suitable entry point.
Can snakes cause damage to my home?
Snakes themselves typically do not cause damage to homes, but their presence can lead to other problems such as foul odors from droppings, potential health risks, and damage caused by other animals that may be attracted to the snakes.
What should I do if I find snakes in my attic?
If you find snakes in your attic, it is best to stay calm and avoid disturbing them. Contact a wildlife control professional to safely and effectively remove the snakes from your home.
How can I snake-proof my attic?
You can snake-proof your attic by sealing any potential entry points, keeping the area clean and free of debris, installing snake fencing, controlling rodent populations, and trimming back vegetation that may provide a pathway for snakes to enter your home.
Resources – (for further reading)
Oregon State University – Snakes In and Around the House
Mississippi State University – Reducing Snake Problems Around Homes