Mexican Black-Headed Snake Control

(Tantilla atriceps)

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 Mexican black-headed snake on your property.

Mexican Black-Headed Snake ID and Habits - Mexican black-headed snakes are very small, reaching 5-8 inches in length, and getting no wider than a pencil even when full-grown. They have tan backs, with yellow, pink, or tan bellies. The back of their heads, but not their faces, are black.

Tantilla are nocturnal, secretive snakes. They spend most of their time buried under moist leaf litter in wooded areas, or hidden under rocks and debris. In Texas, they’re found mainly in Kleburg and Duval counties, in grassland-thorn brush and wooded areas, from desert flats to wooded mountain canyons.

They’re harmless to humans – beneficial, even, since their prey (scorpions, centipedes, spiders, and other insects) are sometimes pests.

If you’re ever bitten by a Mexican 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. You can find a snake removal professional here!

Mexican 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 all entrances to rodent burrows, which black-headed snakes sometimes hide.

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.

Mexican Black-Headed Snake Removal

If you’re confident that you do indeed have a Mexican 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!