Copperheads are venomous snakes–you don’t want them hanging around your property. In this article, we’ll talk about how to get copperhead snakes out of your yard and house.
What You'll Learn Today
What Attracts Copperhead Snakes?
The first step to getting rid of copperheads is to understand what attracts them in the first place. Once you know what they like, you can set out to eliminate these attractants from your home and yard, which may cause the snakes to go away on their own.
Some of the most common things that attract copperheads include:
- Thick growth: If you have areas of dense shrubbery or other thickly-growing plant life, you may have copperheads hanging out in them. Copperheads love these areas because they provide plenty of hiding places and probably house other small animals for the snakes to eat.
- Wood piles: Snakes in general love having a place to hide, and wood piles often provide the perfect cover for them. Copperheads are no different in this regard, so if you have a pile of wood in your yard, beware that it may be housing these poisonous snakes.
- Garbage: If there’s a lot of garbage or junk lying around your yard, this will provide ample hiding places for copperheads. These areas may also attract copperheads’ prey animals, which in turn may attract more copperheads.
- Other hiding places: Flower beds, brush piles, sawdust, hay bales, and other hiding places may also attract copperheads. Any part of your yard or house that is cluttered or wild-growing can provide cover for these snakes.
- A reliable food source: Wild or cluttered areas of your yard may also attract mice, rats, toads, lizards, and other small animals that copperheads hunt for food. If you have a lot of these small animals in your yard, or even in your house, you may find yourself dealing with a copperhead problem.
How to Get Rid of Copperheads in the Yard
According to experts, these are some of the most effective methods for getting copperheads out of your yard:
- Clean up your yard: If you have a lot of junk lying around your yard, get rid of it. Clean up and trim back any areas of thick growth.
If you remove as many of their hiding places as possible, copperheads will most likely move on from your yard on their own.
- Remove food sources: By cleaning up your yard, you may also drive away other animals like mice and lizards because you’ll be removing their hiding places as well. If they don’t leave on their own and you see signs of having a pest infestation, you may want to have it professionally removed.
Getting rid of their food sources is a great way to send copperheads scurrying out of your yard.
- Set up traps: If you have cleaned up your yard and removed pest animals as much as possible, but you still notice copperheads hanging out in your yard, you may want to use a trap to catch them. We’ll talk more about how to capture snakes with minnow traps later on in this article.
- Use a repellent: There are many different things you can use to repel snakes, including copperheads. We’ll talk about these repellents later on in this article.
- Put up a barrier: If you think you’ve successfully removed all the copperheads from your property, you may want to put up a barrier such as a snake fence to keep them from coming back. Snake fences use a mesh material that is too small for snakes to pass through, effectively keeping them out of your yard.
How to Get Rid of Copperheads in the House
Copperheads try to avoid people, so they rarely come into the house. But if they do find their way inside, you may take them by surprise, prompting them to strike without warning.
If you are bitten by a copperhead, go to the hospital immediately–you will need an antivenom treatment and can worry about removing the snake later. If you find a copperhead in your house but manage to avoid being bitten, here are some tips to remove it:
- Clean up the house: Areas of your house that are full of junk, piles of wood, or that are simply cluttered can provide ample hiding places for copperheads and their food sources. To keep copperheads from taking up residence in your house, reduce their available hideouts by cleaning up these areas.
- Remove food sources: You don’t want mice, rats, or other pests in your house to begin with, but especially not when you consider that these animals may attract copperheads. If you have any kind of pest infestation in your house, have it removed as soon as possible to reduce the risk of adding snakes into the mix.
- Use a repellent: Some snake repellents can be used indoors. Make sure to double check that the product you’re using is approved for indoor use, and follow the directions closely to avoid dangerous fumes and chemical exposures.
- Set up traps: You can use traps inside your house as well as out in your yard. Let’s talk about how to set up and use minnow traps for catching copperheads.
How to Trap Copperhead Snakes
Minnow traps are the most humane and effective method for trapping snakes.
These traps are composed of two mesh baskets clipped together with a mesh funnel on each end. The snake slides through the funnel but can’t get back out on its own.
To use minnow traps to trap copperhead snakes, follow these steps.
- Clip the baskets together: The two mesh baskets clip together using hook and loop connections. If you want, you can put a bait such as farm fresh chicken eggs inside–these eggs will still have the scent of the chickens on them, so they will be more effective at luring copperheads to the trap.
- Set the traps where snakes are likely to encounter them: Place your traps anywhere you might have seen copperheads in the past, or in any of their likely hiding places. You may want to secure the trap using a rope so larger animals such as raccoons or foxes can’t run off with them.
- Check back frequently: Check your traps every few hours throughout the day, or early the next morning if you leave them out overnight.
- Relocate any trapped snakes: If you’re successful at trapping your copperheads, leave them in the traps until you have transported them some distance from your property. Release them into wooded and unpopulated areas.
- Call a wildlife professional: If you trap the snakes but aren’t comfortable with releasing them yourself, you can call on local wildlife professionals to do the job for you. They are trained in how to safely handle and release venomous snakes.
Check out this video for more information:
How to Repel Copperhead Snakes
There are many different repellents you can use to get rid of copperheads. Let’s take a closer look at some of these repellents.
Store Bought Repellent
There are many commercial repellents available at your local home and garden store. Many of them are not made specifically for snakes but will work to repel both snakes and other types of animals.
Many of these repellents are chemical-based, so be sure and follow the instructions for using them and pay special attention to any warning labels.
Some items you may already have at your house can be used as snake repellents. Some of the most effective home products you can use for repelling copperheads are vinegar and ammonia.
Do not combine these repellents, and they may cause dangerous chemical reactions. Simply decide which one you’re going to use, then spray it in the desired areas around your yard or house.
You may not know that many types of plants can repel snakes. Some of these plants include marigolds, lemongrass, garlic, and snakeroot.
You can plant these plants around your yard or (in some cases) keep them in pots in your house. This is one of the easiest and safest ways to keep snakes away from your house and yard.
What to Do If a Dog Gets Bit By a Copperhead?
If your dog is bitten by a copperhead, get the dog to the vet immediately.
Copperhead bites are venomous and may be deadly to pets. Acting quickly will increase the chance of survival.
The vet will administer antivenom and treat your dog’s symptoms as necessary. The sooner your dog receives this treatment, the better.
Do not attempt to self-treat by putting ice or a tourniquet in place–this may cause further harm. The best thing you can do is to drop whatever you’re doing and rush your dog to the vet.
There are many things you can do to get rid of copperheads in your yard and house. Some of these methods include using traps, using repellents, cleaning up the area, and removing the snakes’ food sources.