Do snakes live in those holes I see in my garden?

nickeysOctober 14, 2005

That's basically my question. I regularly see snakes in my yard. I have just about given up my gardening hobby because I am so scared of the snakes. I'm trying to get brave enough to get back out there and garden, but before I do I'd like to know if snakes are living in those holes!

I can't figure out how a snake would dig a hole, but everytime my mom comes over and sees holes in my garden she says, those are snake holes. Of course mom doesn't know anymore about snakes than I do. Are snakes in there? Thanks

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Snakes don't really dig holes, but they will make use of holes that are already available. Filling in the holes probably won't have much effect though since they can slip into very small openings and will find a way to get around.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 2:33PM
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Sharon McKenzie

Snakes do not dig holes. I, too, was told as a child that every hole in the ground was a "snake hole". Later, I learned that this is not true, though that's not to say that a snake wouldn't occasionally take advantage of a pre-made hole, or go down inside one in search of prey. Most of the time, the holes turned out to have been made by rodents, or even large beetle grubs. I've "fished" some really big, fat grubs out of holes that were fairly large in diamter. Pepsis wasps will also dig such holes to stash their larder of paralyzed spiders, caterpillars, or other insects, to lay eggs on, and sometimes the hole's covering gets brushed away, revealing the little "cavern". I myself LOOK for snakes, and I've never found a snake in such a hole. Of course, snakes would be FAR better to have around a garden than either beetle grubs or rodents, since unlike the latter, snakes won't eat the fruits of your labor, or cut through the roots and kill the plants.


    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 12:04PM
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About a week ago, I was walking in the woods behind my house and saw a Rough Green Snake about half way into an old mole hole. It wasn't going any farther in and then he poked his head out of the hole. He then turned back around and pushed for a little bit, and then slowly disappeared into the hole. It was a little early for green snakes to be going into hibernation in Central Missouri, so maybe it was looking for a hibernation spot.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 8:48PM
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I don't mean to split hairs, but correct me if I'm wrong - I think the research has shown that Pine snakes actually do excavate holes to create a nest.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 6:03PM
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We have a one acre pond in the backyard that has perpendicular slits all along it that are about 10 ft. long. This previous spring, water snakes emerged in droves and dispersed far and wide. The pond was like a snake highway for weeks. We are about 35 mi. south of St. Louis and the weather has been quite nice. I'm waiting for them to return.

In all probability, the snakes that you are finding in your garden are keeping the grasshopper, cricket, mice, moles and other critter populations down, spelling for a nicer garden. They want nothing to do with you. Try to overcome your fears and enjoy the benefits the snakes are providing.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 10:48AM
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