Even if you’re lucky enough to have an attic, basement, and garage with plenty of storage space, there’s a good chance you still have some items you’re storing outside of your home. After all, a backyard shed can be the perfect place to store your lawn mower and tools.
Likewise, the outside space under your patio can make a convenient storage space for patio furniture in the off-season. But before you get too comfortable loading up your outdoor storage, there’s one thing that if you keep too close to your home, you can invite snakes into your home. Read on to see why you shouldn’t stay too close to your living room.
Keeping firewood too close to the house can attract snakes.
There’s nothing like a roaring fire to take the sting out of the cold winter weather. But according to experts at Utah State University, keeping firewood too close to your home brings snakes into the yard and even inside your home.
Whether a random pile of wood or an orderly cut pile of logs, woodsheds are attractive to snails as the perfect hiding place from predators and humans. It’s also a place to stay calm as the weather warms up. But apart from providing habitat for slithering intruders, they also serve as perfect hiding places and breeding grounds for pests like mice, rats, and other bats.
All these are irresistible food for the snake. Besides increasing the likelihood that you’ll run into it the next time, you’re out to get some wood, having firewood too close to your home increases the chance that a snake will find its way inside through a careless crack, hole, or opening.
To prevent the snake from finding its way from house to house, keep your firewood more than your house.
Let’s face something. No one wants to go far from the warmth of their home to gather firewood on a cold night. But keeping more wood away from your home will make it less likely that snakes will eventually find their way in.
In most cases, choosing an area at the edges of your property, next to a storage shed, or near a perimeter fence can provide a spot that won’t look untidy or cluttered.
Keep all firewood a foot or two off the ground and cover it with a tarp to keep out pests.
While wood piles are naturally attractive to snakes, there are still some simple ways to make them less of a home. The experts at Outdoor Barren suggest storing all firewood in a store-bought or homemade rack one to two feet off the ground.
This will make it difficult for snakes or bats to move in and relax. Covering your high woodpile with a tarp secured with bungee cords can offer more protection. Keeping your fuel dry is a bonus, and your yard looks tidier overall.
Keep only enough wood for one winter and try to burn it all before spring.
Estimating how much wood you’ll need at the start of each winter can still be challenging, no matter how often you like to light your fireplace. But when it comes to stocking up, experts say it’s always best only to get as much as you can burn until spring.
Removing wood piles from your yard entirely, as the weather warms back up, you’re much less likely to play host to rodents or reptiles unknowingly.
Terry Vandeventer, a herpetologist with the Mississippi Reptile Museum, told The Clarion-Ledger in a 2019 interview. “Since snakes eat rodents, we want to get rid of them. Get rid of the shelter and get rid of the food, and they’ll pass right by and go to your neighbor’s ratty house.”