Grass snakes (Natrix natrix) are non-venomous and prefer damp habitats close to water like river banks, ponds and meadows. They like to feed on frogs, insects and rodents and play an important role in our ecosystem by controlling the rodent and insect population. Grass snakes populations have declined in the UK, but they may occasionally venture into gardens, particularly those with a fish pond. As the grass snake is protected by UK and European law, getting rid of it from your garden has everything to do with eliminating the places on your property where they may feel safe.
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Things you need
- Snake fencing
Eliminate safe spots on your property. Grass snakes are always looking for cool places to hide out. A compost heap or wood pile can attract snakes because they provide the perfect place for snakes to cool off and be safe from their own natural predators.
Keep your lawn trimmed at 5 cm or shorter. Grass snakes love to hide in tall grass because it provides the perfect place to cool off. Tall grass is also an ideal feeding ground for snakes' favourite meals like rodents, grasshoppers and other insects.
Deter grass snakes from coming onto your property by getting rid of small rodents. Snakes may be slithering into your yard because they're on the scent of their next meal. Keep your rodent population down by planting mint around the perimeter of your garden. Mice have an aversion to this smell and will stay away.
Buy snake repellent to keep grass snakes away. Snake repellent has components that emit a strong odour that repels snakes. Sprinkle it around your house, garden and yard. These repellents are not harmful to pets and children.
Install a low fence only a couple of feet high that goes all the way around the area you want to keep grass snakes out of.
Tips and warnings
- Grass snakes usually pass through gardens rather than take up residence, so sit tight and see if they leave before taking any action.
- The grass snake is protected under the UK's Wildlife and Countryside Act, and the Council of Europe's Bern Convention.
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