Hi! I have thoroughly enjoyed my little black garden snakes for 15+ years. They’ve been in a certain relatively unused area of our yard with stacked rocks, an old railroad tie wall, and lots of sunlight.
In autumn, that area is going to get plowed up and a new garage is going to be built there. I feel really bad for the snakes and want to know how to get them to move along prior to our build.
I love to hear from people who appreciate snakes. They are so good for the garden! Now is the time we expect to see the neonates (this year's offspring).
Encouraging snakes to relocate
Here is what I would do to encourage them to move:
- Remove all of the cover you have in the area. That includes railroad ties, rocks, weeds, branches and anything else they can use to hide in or under. If all that's left is bare dirt, the snakes won't spend much time there.
- One exception is if you have rodent burrows. In the summer heat, those are their favorite places to hide; cool, moist and they even have a few slugs to eat. There is not much you can do to discourage them from entering burrows.
- Set up a habitat in another section of your yard where they will want to move to. Creating rock or brush piles in a sunny location is ideal. This provides protection from predators. If you want them to stay year-round dig a large hole 14 inches deep and then build your rock pile on top of it. During the winter, they need to be able to escape the cold but unlike the Midwest, they do not have to go down far to be below the frost line. In the spring, the rocks will warm and get them moving.
Good luck with the snakes... and the garage project!