Corn Snake Control (Elaphe guttata) (a.k.a Red Rat Snake)
Believe it or not, corn snakes can be great to have around – after all, they love to eat rodents! But when they move inside our homes, often something must be done. Here’s what you need to know when dealing with a possible corn snake on your property.You can find a professional corn snake control & removal professional here!
The corn snake is a species of rat snake that subdues its prey by constriction. There’s some debate about the origin of their name; some believe that the name comes from the similarity of the markings on the belly to the checkered pattern of kernels of maize or Indian corn.
Wild corn snakes are most commonly orange, with black lines around red colored saddle markings going down their back, with black and white checkered bellies. They can get to be somewhat large, reaching 4-6 feet at maturity.
Corn snakes are found in a wide variety of settings in the eastern United States, from southern New Jersey south through Florida, west into Louisiana and parts of Kentucky. Corn snakes are nocturnal, often hiding under loose bark and beneath logs, rocks, and other debris during the day. Areas that provide abundant rodent populations, such as wooded groves, rocky hillsides, meadowlands, woodlots, barns, and abandoned buildings, are their most frequent haunts.
Corn snakes are active during the day, perfectly willing to climb trees and entering abandoned buildings in search of food. Their primary diet is mice and rats, but they also eat birds, frogs, small snakes, and lizards. Corn snakes are numerous around farmland, leading to the erroneous nickname chicken snake. Most of the time, though, they prefer to prowl underground rodent burrows.
When threatened, they shake their tail; when this happens in dry leaves, it can sound very much like a rattlesnake. If you’re ever bitten by a corn snake, make sure to get it checked out. Corn snakes rarely bite and are not venomous, but with any wild animal bite there’s a risk of infection.
Corn Snake Control
There are several steps to dealing with snake problems: making your property less inviting to snakes, which means making your property less inviting to the rodents they feed upon; and dealing with any snakes that are already there.
Habitat modification for Corn Snakes
In wooded, rural and riparian settings where snakes are common, their presence can be discouraged by eliminating stands of tall vegetation and removing piles of rock, lumber, and debris that might attract snakes to search for prey or to seek harborage on the property in question – especially close to buildings. The closing of all entrances to rodent burrows make an area less attractive to snakes. It also helps if one is persistent in controlling rats, mice, and field rodents around residences and other buildings.
Corn Snake Exclusion
Structural gaps and crevices larger than 1/4 inch and within three feet of grade should be closed off because snakes can pass through very small openings. Crawlspace vents should not have screens with larger than 1/4 inch mesh. If snakes are gaining access into a building, a thorough search should be made for cracks in the foundation, unscreened crawlspace vents and gaps around basement window frames. It is important to check clearance under doors and look for improper sealing where plumbing and utility lines penetrate the foundation of the building.
Rodent Proofing Your Home
Repair or replace damaged ventilation screen around the foundation and under eaves.
Provide a tight fitting cover for the crawl space.
Seal all openings around pipes, cables, and wires that enter through walls or the foundation.
Be sure all windows that can be opened are screened and that the screens are in good condition.
Cover all chimneys with a spark arrester.
Make sure internal screens on roof and attic air vents are in good repair.
Cover rooftop plumbing vent pipes in excess of 2 inches in diameter with screens over their tops.
Make sure all exterior doors are tight fitting and weatherproofed at the bottom.
Seal gaps beneath garage doors with a gasket or weatherstripping.
Install self-closing exits or screening to clothes dryer vents to the outside.
Remember that pet doors into the house or garage provide an easy entrance for rodents.
Keep side doors to the garage closed, especially at night.
Keep your trees trimmed, and your bushes and vines thinned. Make sure trees are trimmed back from the house at least 4 feet.
Keep lids on garbage cans.
Clean up all debris in the yard and storage areas.
Seal around your attic.
Don't leave pet food outside, especially at night.
Pick your citrus as soon as it is ripe. Remove any fallen citrus from the ground.
Store wood at least 18 inches above the ground and 12 inches away from walls.
Eliminate standing water and fix leaky faucets.
Corn Snake Removal
If you’re confident that you do indeed have a corn snake in your house, and you want to deal with it yourself, try this: place a trashcan 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.