How To Create A Snake Proof Fence & Yard To Protect Your Family

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Australia is famous for its deadly snakes, which will happily slither into your yard in search of food, water, and shelter. They usually get into a yard in two ways: up or through your fence, or via another object like a tree or climbing plant. So you’ll need a sturdy snake proof fence to prevent the critters from entering.

You’ll never completely snake proof your fence or yard because the buggers can enter in countless ways. But you can certainly make it harder for them, and make your yard a place where they don’t want to visit.

There’s two main things that you can do to prevent snakes from getting into your yard:

  1. Create a snake proof fence
  2. Snake proof your yard by removing things they like, and adding things they don’t like

How to create a (somewhat) snake proof fence

Before we jump into our snake proofing tips, it’s important to note that snakes don’t want to hurt people. Humans are not natural prey for a snake. We are bigger, badder, and smarter than they are, and they usually slither into your yard searching for a juicy mouse, a drink of water, or shelter from the sun. They can, however, carry the most powerful serpent venom in the world, so yourself, your kids, and your pets will need to keep well away from them.

Again, we’d like to remind you that there isn’t such a thing as a 100% snake proof fence. Snakes are resourceful creatures who will exploit the smallest cracks or holes, or somehow find a way over the fence instead of through it. But you can definitely make a fence that works as a strong deterrent. Here’s how.

Add snake mesh to your fence

Wire mesh can help to keep snakes out, especially when it curves outwards. Image from Pinterest

Snake mesh can be highly effective when it is installed tightly and without any gaps. It should be installed at ground level for about a metre upwards, buried about 10cm in the ground, and if possible, curved outwards by about 20cm. This setup takes work, but is incredibly tough for snakes to climb.

You’ll also need to seal any holes and cracks in your fence before installing the mesh.

Use vinyl fencing, and slope it outwards

Example of vinyl fencing

The grainy and rough surface of a wooden fence is perfect for a snake, it gives them plenty of grip to climb it before dropping into your yard. The same goes for brick.

Vinyl is one of the best materials for keeping snakes out because it’s flat and slippery. If you can afford it, and you’re happy with how it looks, consider replacing your entire fence with vinyl. You might also consider sloping it outwards to make it even harder for the snake to climb. This can be tricky to do, and you’ll probably need a professional fence installer to complete the job for you.

If you combine vinyl fencing with snake mesh, you have a strong deterrent for local serpents.

Fill gaps and cracks

It goes without saying that you’ll need to remove any gaps and cracks from your fence, to minimise the number of entry points for snakes. This includes gaps between fence panels and posts, between panels and gates, and other small cracks.

The entire length of the fence should be as tightly sealed as possible, and you’ll need to check it regularly for new openings, especially after heavy bouts of rain.

How to snake proof your yard

Snake proofing your yard means removing things that the snake wants, like water and cover, and adding things that the snake hates, like predators. The goal is to make your yard an awful place for every snake that slithers by.

Remove water sources

A leaky outdoor tap is an excellent source of water for a snake

When the Australian summer sun has been pounding for weeks on end, water sources for snakes can quickly dry up, and the ponds, leaky taps, and bromeliads in your yard will be a welcome find. So it’s essential to remove as many water sources from your yard as possible. This is one of the best things you can do to deter snakes from getting into your yard.

Get rid of rodents

Snakes love to eat rodents, which may be the reason they venture into your garden. If you find mouse or rat droppings anywhere, greasy stains along surfaces, or suspicious little footprints, you’ll want to fix the problem quickly before you attract more hungry snakes to your yard.

Keep your yard clear

Garden rubbish is a good place for a snake to hide

Snakes don’t like being out in the open, so be sure to remove as many hiding places from your yard as possible. This includes leaf litter, rubbish piles, scrap metal, bricks, and rocks. Keep your yard perfectly clear, and the snakes will be much less comfortable.

Keep grass short and remove creeping plants

Long grass and creeping plants like myrtle or wisteria serve as excellent hiding spots for snakes, who will happily wait until the coast is clear before dunking themselves in your swimming pool.

Try to keep your grass nice and low, and if you aren’t attached to them, remove any plants that provide groundcover.

Remove vegetation from fences

Wisteria and other plants can be easily climbed by snakes

If you have vines or other vegetation growing up your fences, these will be excellent for climbing snakes. Keep your fence completely clear of any kind of vegetation, to make it as hard as possible for the snake to climb up.

Remove overhanging tree branches

Trees are easy work for snakes, who can quickly clamber up them, make their way down a branch, and then drop into your garden. So if you have tree branches hanging over your yard, get rid of them. You might want to get the help of an arborist rather than a tree lopper, as they have more consideration for the tree’s health while removing branches.

Fill in retaining walls

If your retaining walls are made of rock, there’s a good chance that a snake can make its way through. Unfortunately, the only real way to fix this is to backfill the entire wall, which can take a lot of time and effort.

Plant trees that attract kookaburras

A kookaburra with a slithery lunch

The rotund chucklers we know as kookaburras love to eat snakes, so it’s a good idea to attract them to your garden by planting their favourite trees. This includes blueberry ashes, bottlebrushes, golden wattles, paperbarks, and gum trees.

Of course, their cackling may wake you up in the morning, so be sure to consider this before trying to attract them.

Do snake proof products work?

There are plenty of products that claim to repel snakes with chemicals, soundwaves, and even organic plants. But the jury is out on whether they work, with snake catchers and other experts believing many of them to be a waste of time.1 Be sure to read plenty of reviews from a few different sources before committing to any of these potentially expensive products.

References

  1. Samantha Turnbull, How to keep snakes out of your home, ABC

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