There are about 8,000 venomous snake bites in the United States every year, and as many as 12 people will die as a result of these bites. Rattlesnakes are responsible for most of the bites and deaths, and frighteningly enough, you don't need to venture into the wilderness to encounter a rattlesnake. These deadly snakes can be found in your own backyard. Here are three ways to keep these scary snakes out of your yard and away from your family.
Get rid of their hiding places
Rattlesnakes like to seek shelter in cool, dark places during the day, and they venture out during the cooler evening hours in search of food. If there's nowhere for them to hide in your backyard, they'll need to go somewhere else. Landscaping features like logs, decorative rocks, or thick shrubbery may look nice, but they all give rattlesnakes a place to hide. Rattlesnakes can also seek shelter in long grass or underneath leaf litter, so make sure to mow your lawn regularly and clean up leaf litter promptly.
Control the rodent population
Rattlesnakes eat rodents like rats and mice, and rodents are attracted to human settlements. Even if you don't have rodents living inside your house, they may be living in your yard. Rodents are attracted to your yard because of the easy access to food, like your garbage cans, bird feeder, or bowls of pet food. Make this food harder to access by getting garbage cans with tight-fitting lids, getting rid of your bird feeders, and not leaving bowls of pet food outdoors.
If getting rid of food isn't enough to get rid of the rodents, you may need to use traps or baits. If you use bait, make sure to read and follow the package directions since rat poison is dangerous.
Build a fence
If you are still encountering rattlesnakes after getting rid of their hiding places and food sources, you may want to build a rattlesnake fence. This fence needs to surround the entire perimeter of your backyard. It needs to be built slightly into the ground to prevent rattlesnakes from slithering underneath it. It also needs to be impossible for snakes to climb, meaning that it needs to be either very smooth or sloped outwards.
Rattlesnakes are very dangerous snakes, but it's possible to keep them out of your backyard. If a rattlesnake does make its way into your yard, make sure to call a pest control company to safely remove it since doing it yourself is very dangerous.