Q: Please evaluate pine straw versus chip mulch in attracting snakes to an area.
A: Whenever you have a nuisance creature in your landscape, the first question to ask is “Why is it here and not somewhere else?”. Snakes come to an area where they can find things to eat like crickets, toads, and worms or where they can find shelter in a stack of firewood or a pile of stones. I suppose a thick layer of pine straw would offer more shelter and food sources than a layer of chips would. But if you eliminate food and shelter, snakes are unlikely to be seen.