The One Thing Pet Owners Are Doing That Attracts Snakes Onto Their Property

For most people, the mere thought of snakes gives them the creeps. The way they silently slither around in stealth mode, their ability to scale heights and surfaces they seemingly have no business scaling, their flickering forked tongues and hissing. To top it all off, they shed their skin in one long piece like something out of a sci-fi movie.

Perhaps that’s being too hard on them, as they do serve their purpose in nature and help keep pesky critters like rodents in check. That still doesn’t mean you want to see one in your yard. But if you’re a pet owner, it may surprise you to know that you could inadvertently be drawing them onto your property with this one simple move.

corn snake
Photo: Pixabay/sipa

Feeding Pets Outdoors

Snakes are more active in the spring and fall. In the winter they hibernate and the summer months can be too darn hot for them to want to make an appearance while the sun’s still shining bright. Fall is also the time of year some snakes mate, so they could be out looking for amore. They could also be on the hunt for prey before tucking in for the winter. Regardless of why they’re out, there’s no reason to provide them with an incentive for visiting your home by leaving pet food outside.

According to biological expert Brian Clark, BSN and founder of United Medical Education, “Pet food is typically high in protein, which snakes love. It also has a strong odor that can attract snakes from a long distance.” But why would snakes want to eat dry pet food when there’s so much more on the menu in your yard? They don’t necessarily.

Photo: Pixabay/Alexas_Fotos

Pet Food Attracts Critters

Unfortunately, when we feed pets outdoors, whatever they don’t eat is soon consumed by scavengers. This could be birds, insects, raccoons, stray or feral cats, and — wait for it — mice and rats! Depending on the size of the snake, the diners waiting in line to finish off whatever you’ve put out could soon be dinner for these scaly reptiles.

Exterminator Jack Miller says, “Snakes are carnivorous animals that feed on rats and mice and prefer to have easy access to their food.” As the founder of How I Get Rid Of, Miller went on to note that rats, mice, and other small mammals will be the first to seek out pet food placed outside.

green snake
Photo: Pixabay/Pixel-mixer

Storing Pet Food

And it isn’t just the act of feeding pets outside. Storing it outdoors is also part of the problem. Professionals will tell you to always store feed indoors to keep pest problems to a minimum, but if you must store it outside, keep it in an airtight sealable container that rascally raccoons can’t pry open and rats can’t gnaw through.

So, if you’re going to feed pets on your porch, once they’re done eating, dispose of the leftovers or bring them inside. If there are not a lot of critters to dine on, the snakes will go elsewhere.

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