Southeastern Crowned Snake Control

(Tantilla coronata)

Believe it or not, Southeastern crowned snakes can be great to have around – after all, they love to eat earthworms, 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 Southeastern crowned snake on your property.

Southeastern Crowned Snake ID and Habits

The Southeastern crowned snake is easy to identify: their main color is tan to reddish-brown, and they have a white underside. Their signature black headcap extends from the back of the head downward to corner of the mouth; their chin is black as well. A light-colored band is behind the black headcap, followed by black band 2-3 scales wide. These snakes are slender and short, reaching only 5-13 inches when full-grown.

Southeastern crowned snakes are found in southeastern Virginia, south through Georgia to the Gulf coast in the Florida panhandle, and up through eastern Louisiana and north to extreme southern Indiana. If you have southeastern crowned snakes on your property, you’re actually lucky: they feed on earthworms, slugs, and insect larvae found while underground.

You may not run into them often, though. Southeastern crowned snakes are nocturnal and secretive. They spend most of their time buried under moist leaf litter in woodlands, but may also be found in sandhills. They prefer to hide under hidden rocks, logs, and debris.

If you’re ever bitten by a Southeastern crowned 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.

Southeastern Crowned 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 Crowned 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 may be used by crowned snakes as hiding places and hunting grounds.

Exclusion for Crowned 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.

Southeastern Crowned Snake Removal

If you’re confident that you do indeed have a Southeastern crowned 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!