Q: I am trying to find a solution to our snake problem. I live in a townhouse; my unit is bordered by a deep drainage ditch. I’ve had snakes come up onto the patio as well as around the rest of the property. What would be a good solution to at least deter them from my patio?
A: Whenever you have a pest, your first question should be “Why is it here on my property and not somewhere else?” The answer most often is that you are providing food, shelter or water for the creature.
That’s your case: your patio gives snakes a place to sun and the nearby ditch provides everything else they need. You can buy a sulfur based snake repellent but the label clearly states that it is not expected to consistently repel corn snakes, rat snakes, cotton mouths or copperheads.
The best way to repel snakes is to remove anything that serves as food or shelter. Take away log piles and rock piles near your home. Keep the grass mowed regularly. Control crickets and mice, on which snakes feed. In the unlikely event one does come inside, open the doors and stomp around. The snake will get out as fast as it can!
Remember too that all non-venomous snakes in Georgia are protected by law. Killing them is illegal, no matter how much you dislike them.
The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory has an excellent website devoted to identifying snakes, frogs and other amphibians.
See Snake Control