- There are 24 species in Canada, 15 in Ontario.
- They are most active during warm weather.
- They are beneficial for controlling rodents.
- Snakes hibernate during the winter months but may be seen basking in the sun on an unusually warm day.
- Snakes can get in through an opening ¼ x ½ inches square. Some species are even able to manage half that.
- Their diet generally includes rodents, lizards, bird eggs, baby birds, and insects.
- Some snakes lay eggs. Others have eggs that hatch inside the body and give live birth.
There are no poisonous snakes in Québec.
The only poisonous snake in Ontario is the massasauga rattlesnake.
- Northern water snake, Couleuvre d'eau (Nerodia s. sipedon)
- Northern brown snake, Couleuvre brune (Storeria d. dellayi & S.d. wrightorum)
- Garter snake, Serpent à jarretière (Thamnophis s. sirtalis& T.s. pallidula)
- Northern Redbelly, Couleuvre à ventre rouge (Storeria o. occipitomaculata)
- Green snake, Couleuvre verte lisse (Opheodrys v. vernalis)
- Ring-necked snake, Couleuvre à collier (Diadophis punctatus edwardsi)
- Eastern Milk snake, Couleuvre tachetée (LampRo-Peltis t. triangulum)
IS THERE A PROBLEM? HOMEOWNER SHOULD ACCEPT NORMAL, UNOBTRUSIVE BEHAVIOR
Refer to SELF-HELP if:
- The animal is outside the building.
- It is free roaming.
- It appears healthy.
Refer to PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE if:
- If the snake is injured.
- The animal is showing aggressive behaviour.
- It is contained inside a building or another unsuitable area.
- There is no effective way of eliminating snakes completely and permanently, but the homeowner can discourage them by eliminating their food and shelter.
- Snakes are attracted to locations where they can find shelter. This is usually a cool, damp and dark area. They will also be attracted to an area where prey is abundant.
Removal of Attractants
- Reduce the mulch around flowerbeds.
- Trap out rodents in barns, attics, etc. Anything that attracts rodents into an area attracts snakes also.
- Take away bird feeders or at least clean up fallen seeds from the ground around the feeder to discourage rodents.
Habitat Modification & Exclusion
- Clean up lumber or brush piles and stack firewood off the ground.
- Trim shrubbery.
- Keep lawns mowed.
Use a commercial repellent such as Snake-A-Way. This product is the only product on the market that had been shown to repel snakes. It is a dry granular mixture (7% Naphthalene, 28% sulphur) that is safe and easy to apply around the home. It has a time-release agent that allows it to remain effective for two months under normal weather conditions. Do not apply it to gardens that produce edible food. 4 lbs of Snake-A-Way will treat 250 feet. This product cannot always be shipped to Canada. Try making your own by crushing and mixing a 1:4 ratio of mothballs and sulphur. You can buy elemental sulphur at various nurseries, since it is also used as a fungicide.
ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES, A FACE MASK, AND PROTECTIVE CLOTHING WHEN MANIPULATING POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS PRODUCTS!
Place piles of damp, burlap bags in an area where snake was last seen. Cover with a dry burlap bag to slow evaporation. The snake will be attracted to this area and once inside, can be easily removed.
Other Agencies & Referrals
Wildlife service agents: For a fee, they will remove snakes from property.