Flat Head Snake Control & Removal

Flat-Headed Snake Control & Removal

(Tantilla gracilis)
Believe it or not, flat-headed snakes can be great to have around – after all, they love to eat scorpions, centipedes, spiders, and other insects. But if they move inside our homes, or their numbers become too abundant, something must be done. Here’s what you need to know when dealing with a possible flat-headed snake on your property.

Flat-Headed Snake ID and Habits


Tantilla are nocturnal, secretive snakes. They spend most of their time buried under moist leaf litter in wooded areas, or under hidden rocks and debris. The flat-headed snake is slender, reaching only 7-9 inches - small enough to be mistaken for an earthworm. It is brown or tan, with a salmon pink belly. The head is slightly darker than the rest of its body. It prefers to stay hidden under rocks or logs in wooded areas. You’ll find the flat-headed snake from extreme southwestern Illinois to eastern Nebraska, south through Oklahoma and Arkansas, then east to Texas. It prefers rocky prairies and wooded hillsides, from sea level to 2,000 feet (600 m). It hunts for scorpions, spiders, centipedes, insects, sow bugs, and snails in rotting stumps and logs and under slabs of rocks, making them a good snake to have around (well, for us, anyway).
If you’re ever bitten by a flat-headed snake, make sure to get it checked out. These snakes are not venomous, but with any wild animal bite there’s a risk of infection.

Flat-Headed Snake Control

There are several steps to dealing with snake problems: making your property less inviting to snakes, and dealing with any snakes that are already there.
Before undertaking any control measures, however, call your local fish and wildlife department, or a professional snake control company, to learn about the conservation status your snakes might have and which control measures are allowed in your situation.

Habitat modification for Flat head Snakes

In settings where snakes are common, eliminate stands of tall vegetation and remove piles of rock, lumber, and debris that might attract snakes to search for prey or to seek shelter or hiding spots.

Flat head snake Exclusion

Structural gaps and crevices within three feet of grade should be closed off – snakes can pass through very small openings.
Crawlspace vents should not have screens with larger than 1/4 inch mesh.
A thorough search should be made for cracks in the foundation, unscreened crawlspace vents and gaps around basement window frames.
Check clearances under doors, and look for improper sealing where plumbing and utility lines penetrate the foundation of the building.

Flat-Headed Snake Removal

If you’re confident that you do indeed have a flat-headed snake in your house, and you want to deal with it yourself, try this: place a trash can on the side of the snake, and use a broom or a similar tool to gently sweep it inside the trashcan. Relocate it well away from residential areas, and seal up any openings in your house where it can get back in.
If you have any doubt about which kind of snake you have, or if you suspect several, a call to a snake control company is warranted. They can also advise you on effective control and exclusion measures and trapping techniques. Take advantage of their expertise if you want to deal with your snake problem quickly and effectively!