One Quick, Simple, & Dirty Way To Deal With Snakes


A few days ago, my buddy Nick Gillick from pointed me to an article that showed how someone managed to find an ingenious way to get rid of the snakes that were raiding his hen house.

I wanted to share this with you and get your thoughts.

While this article was posted on a forum based around people who owned chickens, this type of trap can easily be used just about anywhere!

How To Deal With Snakes?

It looks like this is a fairly simple trap to set up.

All you need is a standard wire minnow trap like the one here:


And a few eggs to use as bait.

The snakes can find their way into the trap but, just like the minnows, they have a hard time finding their way back out.

Once you catch them, you have a few different options.  You can release them away from your home, kill them, and dispose of the body, or make a few snake kebobs and hat bands out of them.  The choice is really up to you.

From the comments on the forum, one of the easiest ways I can see to dispatch the snake is to just take the trap and dip it completely underwater for a few minutes.  This will take care of the snake and keep you out of harm's way.

Just make sure that you know the difference between poisonous snakes and the good ones ( like king snakes, that eat other snakes).

Feel free to check out the article below ( click the link at the bottom to see all of the pictures)

I already had two of these very common minnow traps at home but I stumbled on to one at Walmart that was cheap and thought “I bet that would work!”
I set it along the wall inside of my coop and 2 days later had a rat snake in it.

A couple days later a copperhead and then another.

So I dug around till I found the two old traps and set them inside also and today I had two more copperheads, I knew I had snakes but didn't know it was this bad, and am really loving the effectiveness of the Minnow/Snake traps.

I figured if anyone else hadn't already thought this one up I'd share it and maybe it can help others save a few birds and eggs.

View the original article with pictures

Can you think of any other inventive ways to get rid of snakes around your home?

P.S. If you want to make sure that you keep snakes out of your yard to begin with, take a look at a product called Serpent Guard.  I got a bottle of it after finding a couple of Copper Head snakes in my garden and so far it seems to have done the trick.  Feel free to check it out and let me know what you think.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 29, 2013, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

31 Responses to :
One Quick, Simple, & Dirty Way To Deal With Snakes

  1. Dienekes says:

    Snakes are NOT “poisonous”, you can eat as many as you want without a problem. Some are venomous, and their bite is dangerous. It’s a pet peeve over misnomers, just like “hot water heater” or “canadian geese”. As you don’t need to heat hot water, it’s a water heater. And geese do not have a nationality (unlike bacon), they are properly called canada geese.

  2. gena says:

    I live in a rural area and one of the neighbors has three cats and he leaves one window partly open so his cats can come and go at will. He has told me that one of his cats, Lucky, I think, has brought him three different baby rattlesnakes, actually bringing two of them, still alive to his bed to present him with. I would have had an immediate massive heart attack and died but he has just gotten out of bed, killed the snakes and it didn’t seem to faze him too much. AND, believe it or not, he still allows his cats to come and go at will. They have also brought him mice, scorpions and other nonpoisonous snakes, which I could not deal with.

  3. Terry Johnson says:

    We always used “blow” an egg (poke a small hole and empty the egg’s contents) then fill the egg with salt. Snake eats egg, salt kills snake.

  4. samnjoeysgrama says:

    I forgot to say that the venomous snakes all have elliptical pupils, like a cat’s eye, other than the two I mentioned.

  5. Jane says:

    Thank you for your postings, Samnjoeysgrama. Here in sunny Fort Lauderdale, we have a BIG rat problem because the idiots killed all the beautiful helpful rat snakes. In a nut shell, KNOW what you are doing before you act.

  6. CoralCobra says:

    A few problems with this article, for one thing, snakes are not poisonous. Some are venomous but, there is no such thing as a poisonous snake. 2, trying to drown them doesn’t work very well and is a very inhumane way to kill them. Many snakes can hold their breaths for a long time (some for a couple of hours).

    Learn about the snakes native to your area so that you can identify them and if you catch a nonvenomous snake, release it (if you are afraid of them, release them about a mile or so from your house). If you catch a venomous one then you could release it a couple miles out from your property (or anybody else’s) or if you must kill it, then take a gun (a .177 caliber pellet gun will do but a .22 would probably be better) and shoot at the center of the top of their head. That should kill them instantly but if they keep moving put another shot in about the same spot as quickly as possible. Note that killing them, more often than not, can be easily avoided. And it is desirable to keep snakes (not the venomous ones) around your property. (depending on the species) they eat rodents, birds such as starlings, squirrels, rabbits, slugs, snails, and other pests.

    If you want snakes to stay off of your property in the first place then keep your property as clear and well kept as possible. They like cluttered areas to hide in, as well as weeds and tall grass. Also plant cedar trees and use cedar mulch around your property. They hate cedar and will avoid it. All of this will keep the number of snakes around your property about as low as possible.

    Also, like others have mentioned, almost all venomous snakes in North America have elliptical (cat-like) pupils and nonvenomous ones have rounded, human-like pupils. There are exceptions though, like coral snakes (venomous and have round pupils, but they are rarely seen) and rosy boas (nonvenomous and have cat-like pupils). Just learn about the snakes found in your area so that you can differentiate them.

    Lastly, (I know my comment is a bit extensive already) an egg is a good bait for general purposes but a lot of snakes eat other types of prey. If you raise rabbits then try buying a pre-killed rat/mouse from a pet store for bait. Or kill one yourself. You might also want to try fish (any kind including minnows). A lot of snakes in the U.S prefer either of those over eggs.

  7. John R says:

    How about diatomaceous earth? I’m told it will kill insects that have to craw through it. A snake has to craw. Can you just sprinkle a border around your hen house? I don’t know. I’m looking for answers.

    1. CoralCobra says:

      John R,
      Diatomaceous earth is harmless to reptiles. It is only harmful to invertebrates. If you really want to keep snakes away then keep your property as clear and well kept as possible. They like cluttered areas and tall grass and weeds to hide in. Also plant cedar trees and use cedar based products (like mulch) around your property. They hate cedar (it is toxic to them and any other reptile). So if you put a lot of cedar based products around the hen house and keep the area around it as clear and organized as possible snakes should avoid it.

  8. Don says:

    Please don’t use the salty egg trick. If it indeed does kill the snake, it does so indiscriminately. I understand that most people are afraid of snakes, although it is an irrational fear. If you fear any, just fear the venomous ones. Pit vipers in the U.S and coral snakes are really very easy to identify. Most snakes are helpful in that they get rid of pests. Many, even rattlesnakes, eat mice, rats and rabbits that cause millions of dollars worth of damage to crops annually. Kill the venomous ones around your house if you must, but please let the harmless ones live. Relocate them if you don’t want them around. Personally, I will not kill any snake, except for a venomous one that is a danger to people. Even then, if possible, I will rather relocate it to a non-populated area. I like to have the harmless species around the house. Some make excellent pets. I have had several as pets through the years.

    1. Bruce says:

      No such thing as a “harmless” rattlesnake. Kill every one you can.

  9. LB says:

    We released a Rat Snake under our coop and found him dead in the pasture the next day. Our donkey killed him! Glad to know he’ll take out a threat!

  10. chazmo says:

    If you want to know the ingredient in snake repellant is the same stuff found in Moth Balls. Just buy a couple of boxes of regular odor included. They are very sensitive to the odor. They will vacate the area post haste and will not return. Do this every 3 months and remain snake free. All species are sensitive to the odor.

    1. Sue says:

      It isn’t the odor. Mothballs reduce the oxygen content of the surrounding air. They have trouble breathing. It does work. I had a snake in my backyard in Florida. I made my yard look like it snowed mothballs. Workmen found the snake on top of my fence, trying to escape!

  11. Nick Lenarz says:

    I’m sorry to disappoint all the reptile lovers in the audience, but if I find a snake eating my eggs – ANY snake – that is one ex-snake. The fact of the matter is, if a non-venomous snake such as a bull or king snake starts eating eggs, they will STOP eating just about everything else. Why? EGGS DON’T FIGHT BACK. You don’t have to chase an egg, or sneak up on it. Easiest meal they’ve ever gotten, and they get used to being lazy.

    Last year, I harvested two black snakes, both of them still IN the nest boxes. One was over six feet long! No, they don’t taste like chicken, they taste like frog legs.

  12. Emily says:

    Avian Liquidator, an expensive liquid you dilute 20 to 1 with water and spray on birds, which does not harm their eyes like other mite killers do, kills reptiles. Oh, it’s expensive. I sprayed my peafowl with it for many years. There’s a warning on the label not to spray reptiles. Yes, it kills them all.

  13. Kara says:

    My dad said when the settlers wanted to clear land, they would turn the pigs in the area for a week, or so, as viper venom doesn’t effect pigs… but pigs just love snake for dinner!!! He also said constrictors are a farmers best friend (They like snake for dinner, too!) He also taught me the thing about round pupils, no neck – constrictor; triangle head, definite neck, cat’s eye pupil – venomous.

  14. Carroll says:

    Thanks for all the post. I learned a lot of useful information.

  15. Michael says:

    I have a friend in Texas who has chickens and his eggs get raided by snakes. He places white golf balls out for the snakes who think the golf balls are eggs. The snakes die and he finds golf balls in many different areas around his ranch. Mostly rattlesnakes in his area.

  16. FlaGirl says:

    In the country, back in 1930’s – farmers & country folk used to buy a glass egg & put it in the henhouse. Snake eats the egg, he dies real quick!

  17. Methane says:

    My area in Central Texas is a haven for Copperhead and Rattlesnakes. Periodically, I scatter Moth Balls (the white stinky kind) and that seems to keep them at bay. Seems to work great other insects also. Cheaper than a lot of other repellants on the market.

  18. Scouter says:

    Used to look for good survival books. Once found a Professional Guides Association handbook. One tip is in snake country, bury an empty 55 gallon drum standing with the top level with the ground. Leave the bung hole open. Snakes seek the hole, slither in, and can’t get back out. Holds a lot of snakes… The book also cautioned to never leave basement windows open… again you wouldn’t want a basement full of snakes!

  19. Voyagernok says:

    We had some rattlers under an old building we needed to get out and came up with this that worked well: We took some large pieces of cardboard and glued (we used liquid nails because we had it there)page sized things of sticky fly traps to the cardboard. We then placed these under the building near the foundation on each side of the crawl hole. When a rattler would crawl onto one of the sticky traps it would bring another part of its body up to push with and stick that and would end up in one big ball stuck to the fly trap. Multiple fly traps on each cardboard insured catches and we were quickly out of rattlers.

    No, this method is not discriminatory, but when we had seen a large ball of rattlers under the building, we really didn’t believe there were other species there. The stuck snakes were easy enough to dispatch.

    Re: the comment above about hogs; here in OK where the wild hog problem is getting really serious, we have observed that rattlesnakes seem to be stopping rattling when approached but coil and lie silent. We have speculated that the noisy ones are getting killed off and not reproducing as it is difficult to believe a snake could “learn” this maneuver as a mistake would have already proven fatal.

  20. Echo says:

    i use to have a pig running around that killed all the snakes it could find! only bad part was that it didn’t care what kind of snake it was it just killed them all!!!

  21. Emily says:

    Thank you folks for the reminders. My pig dug rattlesnakes out of their holes. His huge pen was peppered with old snake hides. I live by Rattlesnake Creek, and raise small rabbits, chukkars, chickens, ducks, geese. Some cats and dogs kill even large snakes. A Pyrenees digs snakes out, grabs them by their heads, and repeatedly throws them in the air until dead!
    If moth balls are the ingredient in the snake repellent, then you could make a slurry of it and spray it. Serpent Guard says its ingredients are nontoxic.
    The golf ball work only for a while.
    Your donkey has special talents: Here, horses get bit by rattlers, and one of my deer died of a bite to her mouth.

  22. Holly says:

    We caught one in our chicken coop but after more than ten minutes under water it still would not drown!

  23. Victor Albright says:

    Thanks for the tip! It never dawned on me to use my minnow trap! Rattlers are protected where I live…..thankfully, no confrontations to date – so far the ones I have seen have steered way clear of Family and pets, unlike the copperheads. My .45 with snake loads works fine on copperheads. I don’t kill the non-venomous ones…to date, our biggest issue has been allot of garters in the lawn, and the old school forked stick behind the head pins them and works fine so you can safely grip them and relocate them… the bigger black snakes, milk snakes, racers, etc. are allot stronger and you better have a good grip with utility gloves on, because they can hurt some….. when using the minnow trap, do you dispatch the snake, or if you release it live, how do you keep from getting bit?

  24. georgia says:

    Its mind blowing the cruelty and ignorance displayed on this page. Advising someone to drown an animal is cruelty in illegal in all 50 states and INHUMANE.

    stupid inbred rednecks

  25. Ken says:

    In IL, drowning skunks is the state preferred method of dispatching the pests. It is illegal to transport them live away from where they are trapped. You can trap them in a specially equipped PVC pipe with a trap door which encases the skunk and you place it under water for 10-15 minutes and dispose of them in a plastic bag in the garbage. The pipe is perfect since a skunk cannot spray if it cannot raise its tail. There is no odor using this method. Meat is the attraction to the trip mechanism.

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