Southwestern Black Headed Snake Control

Southwestern Black-Headed Snake Control

(Tantilla hobartsmithi)
Believe it or not, black-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 Southwestern black-headed snake on your property.

Southwestern Black-Headed Snake ID and Habits - The Southwestern black-headed snake is uniformly brown in color except for its trademark black-colored head. It is completely harmless to humans. Black-headed snakes are slender and short, typically averaging around 8 inches long.

You’ll find the Southwestern black-headed snake in California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, as well as in northern Mexico. They are nocturnal, secretive snakes, spending most of their time buried under moist leaf litter, rocks, or debris, where they hunt soft-bodied insects and centipedes.

If you’re ever bitten by a Southwestern black-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.

Southwestern Black-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 Black Headed 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. Close off entrances to rodent burrows, which are sometimes used by black-headed snakes as hiding places and hunting grounds.

Exclusion for Black Headed Snakes

Structural gaps and crevices within three feet of grade should be closed off – these 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.

Southwestern Black-Headed Snake Removal

If you’re confident that you do indeed have a black-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!