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Getting Rid of Garter Snakes

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Small plastic container

  • Beer

  • Screen or mesh

  • Staple gun

  • Snake Trap

Garter snakes are a small, non-venomous snake of which there are many subspecies. They are common snakes found throughout North America. Those with phobias of snakes may not want them near their homes, even though garter snakes are harmless and beneficial because they eat rodents and problem insects.

Trim or remove any long grasses, shrubs that provide cover, piles of leaves and rock or wood piles. The snakes may be living in these spaces, and removing these sources of cover will deter the snakes from making their home on your property.

Take action against the rodents and insects the garter snake may be eating. Typical garter snake prey, depending on the species, will include insect larvae, other snakes, mice, rats, slugs, birds, frogs or fish. Remove any garbage or food that may be attracting rodents and seal up any small cracks into your home to help remove the rodent problem. Seal cracks with screen or mesh and a staple gun.

Place containers of beer around your garden, which will attract and drown slugs and snails.

Remove stagnant water like non-running ponds or birdbaths to prevent frogs and birds from infiltrating your property. Garter snakes will stick around if there is a food source nearby, so removing their food source will make your property even more inhospitable to the garter snakes.

Professional-grade live snake-trapping devices, usually sold under the name Snake Trap, are available to use if the garter snake is inside of your home. If it's cold outside, snakes may seek shelter in warm spaces like a home. These traps allow snakes to be humanely relocated outdoors.


  • Garter snakes are important to the ecosystem, eating rodents, insects and providing predators with a food source. It may be illegal to harm or kill where you live, and deterring garter snakes rather than killing them is a far better option.