Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

Dealing with Black Snakes Around Your Home or Garden


Black snake crawling on ground

We’ve got two black rat snakes living in our barn, and I recently encountered one of them on a morning walk. This is the only time I’ve seen them so boldly out in the open. More often, we get the “periscope,” a little black head popping out of the grassy fence line or under a barn stall to check out what we’re up to.

I don’t know if black snakes are more common in some areas, or if they’re just easy to spot because of their deep black coloring, large size – up to 6 feet long – and their fondness for climbing trees and rafters. Either way, they’re by far the snake most often encountered by people I know; making them the subject of the most screams, “snake dances,” and unfortunately, the most snake killings.

Black snake with head raised

About Black Rat Snakes and Black Racers

If you’ve got black snakes around your house, chances are they’re either black rat snakes or black racers. Both are nonvenomous black colored snakes with white or grayish bellies that eat mostly rodents and other small animals, and neither are out to hurt you. They’re only around because there’s food nearby, and that food isn’t you.

  • Black Rat Snakes: These snakes are fairly slow moving, and often freeze when confronted. If they get really upset, they might rattle their tail in the leaves as a warning. Some rat snakes are laid back, but others will strike if handled, so it’s best not to mess with them.
  • Black Racers: Black racers, on the other hand, are much faster-moving and prefer escape over conversation. They’re more likely to panic, flail around, and bite if disturbed.

Facts About Black Snakes

    Black snake peering out from behind a container

  • Diet: Black snakes mostly eat rodents, lizards, birds, and bird eggs. Rat snakes are constrictors while black racers generally aren’t. They can climb trees; and, if you don’t protect your bird houses with baffles, will break your heart by invading the nests.
  • Smell: Rat snakes emit a musky smell when threatened.
  • Habitat: Black snakes live in grasses, forests, marshes, and buildings. Wherever there’s food and dark shelter, there might be black snakes.
  • Benefits: Black snakes eat large quantities of rodents. If you can get over your fears, they’re good to have around your garage or barn to keep the mice at bay.

Common Black Snake Myths

Myth #1: Black snakes keep poisonous snakes away.

Having a black snake doesn’t guarantee that there are no other snakes around. Black racers do occasionally kill and eat other snakes. Black rat snakes, however, aren’t known for snake killing. In fact, they sometimes will even hibernate with other species of snakes, including copperheads and rattlesnakes.

Myth #2: Black snakes mate with copperheads.

There’s a common myth that black snakes have interbred with copperheads to create a venomous black snake. That’s not true. Baby black snakes have colored markings that are easily mistaken for copperhead markings; but as they grow, those markings fade to black.

Myth #3: Black snakes are completely harmless.

Just because I think black snakes are good to have around doesn’t mean I want to be bitten by one, any more than I’d want to be bitten by a raccoon, a rat, or a stray dog. Any snake bite – even a nonvenomous one – is likely to be painful and full of bacteria which can lead to infection. So it’s best to treat all snakes respectfully, keep your distance, and avoid being bitten.

Further Information

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107 Comments on “Dealing with Black Snakes Around Your Home or Garden”

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  1. Cindy Says:
    September 8th, 2011 at 9:56 am

    We came a black snake stretched across our gravel drive basking in the sun. As we approached it took off, climbing into the brake portion of our tractor wheel. Poked at it a bit to remove him. It eventually came out but kept trying to go back under the tractor. It was eventually convinced to ‘move on and out’.It then climbed a nearby tree and INTO the bluebird nesting box! Yikes, hope the bluebirds were done nesting for the season. Now, off to build a baffle of some sort to deter further hibernation/sleep overs in there!
    Sept. 7 2011 Rogers,AR

  2. Michael Says:
    January 12th, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Black racer snakes are the most scariest snakes from the family of Florida’s snakes. Yes, they’re non venomous. But their speed and their ability to swallow their preys alive make them rank the top of my “Don’t-Want-to-See-in-Person” list. Source: floridasnakes.net

  3. Onell Says:
    June 15th, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Threes ago i kill a snake which had silver in coloring, my brother say it was a rat snake. Today i saw a black snake which i let live, however how can i tell what kind he is? He was black all over.

  4. Lorraine Rossi Says:
    September 22nd, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Just came up stairs from the ground level of my house (garage, den, laundry room) turned a corner to find a black snake in my hallway. I screamed a lot and let my husband dispatch the snake. How/is, there a way to make sure this does’nt happen again? I don’t think my heart can take it.
    I assume it came in through the basement door and climbed the carpeted stairs and into the hallway because my husband sometimes leaves the door open. He will not take the blame. I’m trying not to have bad thoughts. Any way to keep them away from the house is appreciated. We live in the suburbs of W-S.

  5. don hamel Says:
    February 12th, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    a black sneake with funny eyes like chinese ( sorry )a long sneak great big eyes scary like to know the name of the snake tank you

  6. Kyleigh,Amber,Faith Says:
    April 14th, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    We saw a black snake Sunday the 14th in the grass up the road.

  7. April Says:
    April 26th, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Today there was a racer snake making its way diagonally through my chain link fence. When my cat caught notice of it, the snake darted horizontally through the fence to get away! The craziest thing I’ve ever seen!!

  8. Christina Ortiz Says:
    May 19th, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    I live in the forest and have a garden i just seen a very large black snake i have 3 girl, if i catch him and walk him into the forest will he come back?

  9. J ALLMON Says:
    May 29th, 2013 at 5:57 pm


  10. V R Jackson Says:
    May 30th, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Looking out my kitchen window today waiting for my two girls to get off the bus. watched them run down the driveway to the front porch door, where they stopped sundently & started sreaming & crying ” A snakes” ! so i opened the garage door for them to come in ,then we took a look on the front door , There were 2 Big long black snakes!!Hangging down the glass doors of the house !! Talking about CREEPY !!! Only in Hanover VA.

  11. D Lillibridge Says:
    June 1st, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Yesterday two blacksnakes found in tractor garage. We caught them and took them over two miles away. Today we again have two blacksnakes out near the building and caught one other got away. So we took the one we caught 5 miles

  12. Dixie Gunnett Says:
    June 6th, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Last weekend I found a black colored snake with faded brown diamonds in its skin. The belly was silver with yellow spots near the head underneath. He was slow moving and froze when I was checking it out. It was like he was checking me out. I thought it was a Rat snake. Two days later my cat found a smaller one on my back porch so my husband kille it. Today I found that bigger snake again in the barn in a food bucket so I killed it. My horses have been kicking the stalls at night so I figured it was scaring them. I hated to have to do that.

  13. deborah lukes Says:
    June 9th, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    We live in the country in a mobile home their are strip pits around it. This morning i was spraying for insects around the trailor and is saw a snake skin going under the tralor. Does this mean the snake is under the tralor? I am terrified of snakes and it doesn”t matter what kind they are. What can i do to get rid of it.

  14. Paul Halagan Says:
    June 11th, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Today my wife spotted 3 foot black snake curled around her favorite front flower pot. This is a large pot with lots of flowers. He was very comfortable and didn’t want to leave and for some reason he/she was excavating one of the flowers. I turned the hose on and got him to move, but not very far. Now my wife is not happy with the situation. We are in a wooded are and the front has a series of shrubs that cover the foundation. My wife was all set to trim them, but now that job is falling to me. Is there any polite way to find a new neighborhood?

  15. Paul Halagan Says:
    June 11th, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    That is for the snake. Not me.

  16. Tomiko Vann Says:
    June 13th, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    When I came home there was a black snake in front of my garage. When I opened my garage to try and run over it I noticed there was another one already in my garage. I called for help and my neighbors can. All and all there was 3 of them. By the time Animal Control came two had gotten away and they caught one. I understand about the bit however I still do not want them at my house.

  17. Allen Says:
    June 15th, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    This week we found a 5-6′ Black Rat Snake in our front yard removed it, 2 days later it was back on our rock patio. My husband took it about 100 yds away and it was back same area within a few hours… TODAY… my husband found the snake in our hallway of our home!!! We gave it 3 chances and sorry but not sorry it was killed today.. I am freaked out to say the least… We have 3 kids and small dog and I can’t for the life of me figure out why it kept coming back till it was inside my home.. We live in North Georgia Can anyone shed some light on this and should I expect to see more??? like babies???

  18. Ginger Says:
    July 2nd, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    We live in the metro Atlanta area (Stone Mountain side), and my husband returned from library today to see find shedded skin in the drive way. Something made him look further and he found a black rat snake (assume this is what it was), which was approx. 3′ long, in our garage. It took awhile, but he managed to kill it with a shovel. What are the chances there are more? I do know if it had been in my garage long or just happened to go in today as I accidentally left it open (approx. 1 hour). Told husband that I wanted the garage cleaned out immediately so that I can see the floor. Thanks.

  19. Charlotte Says:
    July 4th, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Seems like we have more mice …and more snakes this year. I discovered a snake skin in our basement and found a live black rat snake in our garage yesterday. Is there any reason to remove him? He’s about 3 ft long and hides under our stairs. Frankly, I’d rather have a snake than mice but am mildly freaked out at the thought of it! Any suggestions?

  20. June Says:
    July 14th, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    I have a black snake that keeps popping up around my house. I have railroad ties and there are lizards and frogs there, so I’m sure that’s what’s keeping it (them) around. It has stayed away for a while, because I worked out in the yard a couple of days and kept running it off. So far, it’s been pretty respectful, to take off and stay away if we’re out. But yesterday I saw it in my backyard, slivering very quickly along side my house and down the bank. A little too close for comfort. I have two little dogs that go out the doggie door, and wouldn’t want them to walk up on it.

  21. Charlotte Says:
    July 15th, 2013 at 6:26 am

    Like June, We also have railroad ties – most of them are rotting and we’ve begun to remove and replace them with 6X6 pressure-treated lumber…a slow process. Living on a mountain side, the original owners of the home piled rocks on top of the ties which only adds to the issue. Lizards, spiders, toads, etc., love to live there. I’m trying to be mindful and considerate of nature. In the meantime, I’m making sure there’s no “easy access” into our home. My husband found a rather generous hole in our foundation where the AC pipes go in – I’m sure mice and snakes have used it in the past – it’s now filled!

  22. Paul Halagan Says:
    July 17th, 2013 at 6:32 am

    Our black snake continues to be spotted in the yard, but not the chipmunks. We had quite a colony last year, but I’ve only spotted one this year. So I figure the snake is earning his keep for now.

  23. D Sattley Says:
    July 17th, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    I think snakes can also come in through your chimney, especially if they climb rafters like black snakes

  24. TIFFINEY Says:
    July 24th, 2013 at 9:28 am

    I have an old farm house with the stacked rock foundation wich alows an entrance to my home! I’ve filled every opening unless near elictical wires or pluming n still 5 in the basement this year what else’s can I do to keep them out they donot at all bother me outside but I do not want them inside! Any helpful advise?

  25. Candi Says:
    August 31st, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    OK on July 4th I had a black snake about 5-6ft long on my front porch.. Today august 31st I was in my basement tanning and when I went to go up the steps there was a little black snake about 5-6 inches long.. I’m scared to death of snakes and always have been. I use to have nightmares about snakes when I was little. My husband killed the baby snake and I am just wondering if there is more in the basement? Does snakes lay the eggs and just leave? And if there is one baby snake in basement is there usually more.. Some one please help me.. I am ready to Move out..

  26. Charlotte Says:
    September 2nd, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Candi – get a grip. Black snakes are just as afraid of you as you are of them. Find out how they’re getting in and fix the problem. In the meantime, you can look forward to fewer mice.

  27. Linda Says:
    September 16th, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    This evening, while walking my dog, I saw a black snake stretched out, hanging upside down on a tree. It looked to be about 5.5 feet long. I ran into the house to get my camera and when I returned, it was gone. I didn’t know snakes could climb. I’ll be looking up, from now on.

  28. gary Says:
    September 29th, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    If you want to try to keep snakes away from your HOME there are granules which you can purchase at your local Feed store or for that matter, WalMart, etc. Also, most snakes abhor sulfur so you can use that around the perimeter of your home. Of course, both methods are NOT rainproof, so, you will have to bear that in mind.

    p.s. The title says “Dealing With Black Snakes…etc” yet the author does not mention ANY methods at all TO deal with them. The title leads one to believe that there will be information provided to keep them at bay, so, how about putting some information in the article which will do just that. After all, the title is misleading otherwise.


  29. Charlotte Says:
    October 3rd, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Thanks for pointing that out Gary. I, too, was hoping to get some advice rather than stories about “sightings.” Having recently spotted a copperhead slithering past our patio door, I’m more concerned about their presence. We have a new puppy so I’d rather keep them away from the house and will be sure to read the label to see about pet safety. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

  30. Jo Garcia Says:
    December 3rd, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I recently went to my 3rd story attic for holiday decorations and found black snake skin shedded in various areas; also, rat droppings! Is this snake likely to live there during the winter to eat the rodents, or is the snake hibernating outside?

  31. PAUL ASKS Says:
    December 8th, 2013 at 2:54 pm


  32. Cassandra Says:
    January 24th, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Oh my goodness. I found baby snakes obviously just born in a drawer in my house in a room I hardly go in. My uncle took them out and got rid of them. There was a hole by my water heater. I moved out the babies where brown and black. A few days before I found the babies, I heard what I thought was amice running along the top of my wall and drop the floor in my hall. I was too afraid to look but I think it was the momma snake. There is both woods and a pond in behind my home and my uncle complained of water moccasins while fishing, I never went back. I just think they made my house a home.

  33. Lynn Says:
    April 30th, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    My daughter was in the bathroom today and much to our surprise there was a black snake…BIG BLACK SNAKE….crawling up the outside wall….he was on the window at the bathroom….about the size of a half dollar and at least 5 foot long….We where so scared….Hope he will not hurt any of us but wanted to leave him alone…I had no idea a snake could climb a wall….

  34. Stacy Says:
    May 12th, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    we have taken in a stray cat that is unfortunately declawed (both front and back). The cat likes to hid under our shed which is where some black snakes like to hang out. very large black snakes! Do I need to be worried with the snake hurting our cat since it is declawed?

  35. Charlotte Says:
    May 14th, 2014 at 6:57 am

    My experience is that black snakes are very shy and retiring. They only bite when harassed or placed in a defensive situation. If you cat has any sense at all, she will know to retreat if she runs into the snake. We’ve de-clawed cats but never front and back. Leaving the back claws in place allows them to climb and scratch to defend themselves. You might want to reconsider allowing her to go outside. I know there might be extenuating circumstances but if there’s any way to make it work, she should come in.

    RE: Snakes in the house – we had a small hole in our foundation where the wires come in from the AC compressors. The mice were coming in through the hole. The snakes were coming in after the mice! Shortly after removing their food source and plugging the hole and trapping the snake, the problem disappeared. So check for holes!

  36. evonne Says:
    May 27th, 2014 at 11:02 am

    I keep hearing a dragging sound at night in the ceiling over my bed in my bed room so it’s hard for me to sleep knowing that something is up there, lately it moves when I am asleep and the house is quiet so I get up and retreat to another room, I called a few pests control companys but they say that it’s not a snake because snakes do not make noise this thing is moving on the top of insulation, what can I do becaus I am not sleeping at all.

  37. james Says:
    June 1st, 2014 at 9:51 am

    I was cutting my grass when I saw a 4ft black snake in my yard. I tried to kill it, but it was too fast and ran into the woods behind my house. Will it come back to my yard?

  38. Charlotte Says:
    June 3rd, 2014 at 7:06 am

    James- don’t be afraid of black snakes! They are so beneficial – they eat mice & insects!! Be brave! He was SO afraid of YOU that he quickly ran away! Keep an eye out for them so you don’t startle them. It will be ok!

  39. brenda Says:
    June 5th, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Do black snakes kill each other..we saw 2 mating one day and a few days later found one dead and the other one about a foot away…didn’t know of one was a female or was it 2 males and one killed the other…saw no blood or cuts on dead snake

  40. Amy Says:
    June 22nd, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    My husband has killed two very lengthy black snakes in our back yard, one got away a couple of times but came back over and over and finally he was able to kill him, and then he killed another just a few days afterward, and now today we saw another one in the back yard in which crawled back into the wood before my husband could get to him, what is making these snakes come into our yard this year, we have been here for about 9 years and have never seen anything like this ?

  41. Charlotte Says:
    June 23rd, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Someone once told me that, like most wildlife, snakes follow the food. If you’ve seen an increase in mice, they may be after them. If you have moles or voles, same thing. Last year we had a ton of tunnels from moles in our yard and saw an unusually large number of snakes. This year, with the new addition of two large-breed puppies (who unfortunately like to dig), the moles seem to have vacated and to date, we haven’t seen a snake. Of course, I’m sure we will.
    It saddens me to read about many readers who are trying to and succeeding in killing black snakes. Of course, there are extenuating circumstances, but in general, they are the good guys – eating insects and all sorts of other vermin. They’re actually quite shy and don’t really want to have any thing to do with you. I hope you’ll all do some reading about them and think twice before attempting to kill one.

  42. Lesa Says:
    June 24th, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    My daughter found a baby black rat snake today. We caught it, put it in an aquarium and are taking pictures of it before we release it back where we found it. Such a good learning experience and we have been extremely gentle with the snake and handling it with gloves.

  43. Charlotte Says:
    June 25th, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Thank you Lesa! Your email gives me hope!! And, thank you for introducing your daughter to snakes in a safe and positive way!

  44. Sandy Says:
    July 13th, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    I live in a condo in SW Florida and this morning I watched in shock as one of my cats chased a small black snake that slithered under my bed! It moved so fast. I have no idea where it is now, but don’t feel very comfortable about the prospect of sleeping with it in the house. I doubt that I can afford a professional to come out, find and remove it. How long can it live without food? Any recommendations?

  45. Charlotte Says:
    July 13th, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Google “how to catch a black snake” –

  46. Beth Says:
    July 22nd, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Was cleaning my basement today went outside to get the hose saw a small black snake with broken white lines scared the hell out of me my son told me he saw it while he was mowing lawn but didn’t know where it went

  47. Karena Says:
    July 25th, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Today I got up @ 7am & walked barefoot on my screen porch to have my tea & there was black snake !!! Ten minutes later a HUGE black snake was hanging from our next door neighbors tree 20 feet in the air. Sorry folks but can’t deal with spiders or snakes this close. We have two small yorkies. Went to lowes & got snake away. Hate snakes.
    Live in southern delaware

  48. Sue Hutson Says:
    August 8th, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    The ignorance in these comments is unbelievable to me. They are big beautiful harmless snakes, and you people freak out and kill them? It’s the 21st century, educate yourself to the world around you.

  49. Charlotte Says:
    August 8th, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Sue – I agree with you 100%. Thank you for your comment!

  50. Carmen Says:
    August 21st, 2014 at 9:43 am

    3 days ago, I saw a black snake crawling behind the dry wall in my garage. We have left both doors open to the garage for the last 3 nights, but he seems to either not leave, or keep returning. Do they find a home they like and stay there? I don’t mind him in the yard, but rather he leave the garage.

  51. Charlotte Says:
    September 1st, 2014 at 7:51 am

    My guess is that you may have mice or some other snake “food” living in your garage. That was our situation – we got rid of the mice and the snake went elsewhere. A word of caution – “snappy” traps seem to work the best. I would avoid poison, especially if you have a dog or cat.

  52. Jimmy Says:
    September 2nd, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Yesterday I was working in the basement making a path for a new dryer to be delivered through the bilco door. I had the bilco door open for about 2 hours and when closing it for the night I found a black rat snake on the 2nd step. I closed the bilco door for the night and trapped the snake in the stairway area between the regular door and the bilco door. This morning I found the snake coiled up and resting quietly on to top edge. I gently picked it up about half way back and dropped it in a laundry mesh bag. The snake was released in the shed about 50 yards away. He/she was docile and not aggressive at all. If I see it back near the house I will release across the river, about 2 miles away.

  53. CMAubinoe Says:
    September 2nd, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Have an approx. 6 ‘ black snake skin in my pantry by the door which is in my kitchen. Is it outside or inside and how do I catch him?

  54. Denise Says:
    September 19th, 2014 at 1:35 am

    The neighbor kids found a baby black rat and stepped on him. He has broken ribs, noticeably bad. One of the kids brought him, still alive, to us since we have pythons as pets. We live in a very urban area, with some abandoned property around. I have seen evidence of both black rats and garters this year, all babies. So there must be rodents around. So anyways I’m keeping the little guy for now, monitoring his health. He’s been doing well for a couple of months. These guys are usually nice, but this little dude is feisty with a fiery temper. Eventually he will probably be released, but in a very rural area as our area isn’t safe – too many people. Ignorant comments like the majority of the ones on here solidify that — people are too stupid to understand that both spiders and snakes are their friends. I also don’t kill any spiders in my home. I remove widows to the outdoors if I find them, or keep them during the winter and release them when it’s finally warm (wouldn’t want them to freeze), and leave the more harmless types to wander as guests in my home. They do wonders as far as being pest control. And guess what — they never bother me!

  55. michele Says:
    October 14th, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    black snakes are your friend..id have 100 of them if i could …will they kill or drive away copperhead or rattlers i do not know but i have had none of them on my n/e tn mtn top….one that i have ranges all over a 30 acre range and i am ok with it…it can not kill or hurt me or my dogs so i am ok with it…i have picked up mine a few times safely and moved it.i do not know of a cave in my area so i think that is the reason no deadly snakes so far.

  56. John Says:
    October 21st, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    moth balls in and around your home should keep the snakes and mice away
    you should replace them every 6 months or so.

  57. grace Says:
    December 6th, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    What will happen if a black racer bites your cat?

  58. Anita Trout Says:
    December 7th, 2014 at 11:17 am

    I was working trimming and weeding in a small bed in our front yard. There is a 12 foot palm tree and a sago palm in the bed. I was trimming the evergreen ground cover and was in the bed at least an hour, when my husband came out to help and looked up on the palm tree and a branch at almost eye level had a curled up black snake on it. I had finished working in the back yard curling up a hose when a black snake went streaking my me at the foundation of the house. We went out to look and see if it was the one I had seen earlier, in the tree, but it was still there. Later in the day we went out to check on the snake there were two black snakes, one laying on top of the other. We wonder what attraction that black snake had to bring another one.

  59. Diana Hill Says:
    January 25th, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Had a black snake come out from my closet and scared me to death. Have been told they do not emit an odor but my dog seemed to smell it. We safely removed it but was curious about the odor. I smelled nothing

  60. David Jackson Says:
    February 21st, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Hey you guys listen up! For those of you in GA it is illegal to kill any non-poisonous snake. Please follow the law. It is important that all people realize and teach their children emotional intelligence “Fear is the absence of knowledge therefore educate yourself about reptiles. You will find that rat snakes are beneficial; period dot. Just because you can do something does not mean you should; use your intellect. Teach your children compassion, empathy, and respect for all creatures. The bible says that God appointed man to be a steward of his creation. Ask yourself what/how a faithful steward behaves? We are only here for a short time and these animals are under threat due to man; deforestation, roads, and human ignorance. These animals are a natural heritage we must preserve for future generations to purposefully cause their demise is failing our children, ourselves, and our creator.

  61. Samantha Says:
    March 5th, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    I know there are many types of “black snakes” but, I panicked and didn’t get to see the whole snake. I live in Florida in a wooded area and in a trailer. I was outside for a while and went inside for about five minutes. I then was going back outside and as I opened the door and stepped one foot outside I happened to look down and saw the tail and a bit higher up of a snake slithering underneath my stepps. The part I saw was black and somewhat thin. I do not have reception in my house, so in order to make a call I have to sit or stand outside. Plus I smoke so again I go outside. Unfortunately due to my financial issues I have to live here with the spiders, palmetto bugs/roaches, lizards, skinks, and now snakes. We have a bunch of squirrels but. I haven’t heard or seen any mice/rats. I’ve been here a little over a year and have only seen a snake skin and now this snake. I am terrified of this snake coming inside my trailer. There are holes and easy access points where they could come in but, I am renting this trailer and do not have the financial means to be blocking these animals out. I’m not used to this type of environment or living style and I’m 21 years old so I am still slightly irrationally neurotic. Please help me to understand how to keep these critters out of my house and how to know if it’s a rat snake, king snake, or garter snake without having to inspect it close up. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!!

  62. gina Says:
    March 24th, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    my hisband found a black snake on our porch deck and killed it out of fear. he hates them! i heard if u kill a black snake bad luck will come to you. probibly just an “old wives tale” but, a week after killing it we totaled our car, lost certain expensive non replaceable items from our home by theft. all within a 3 week period. so i’m a believer

  63. reena Says:
    March 29th, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Port st lucie Florida has so many today 29 th march it have three at our front door tataking sunshine

  64. Dave In Virginia Says:
    April 3rd, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    I live in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia and this has gotta be the black snake capital of the world! I see dozens and dozens of them all spring/summer/fall. I find the babies in the late spring which are gray with mottled markings…kinda similar to a copperhead but not the right coloring….they quickly turn all black as they mature.

    They can be fierce if cornered or threatened…don’t think because they are non-poisonous that they wont put up a heck of a fight if bothered…but usually they will wander off to be alone…I’m sure they’re more afraid of me than I am of them.

    I’ve had them in the house a few times and here’s a great way to catch’em. Have a large heavy quilt and throw over them..quickly pick it up through the quilt and keep it covered as much as possible as you take it outside. Take it FAR FAR FAR away from your home if possible before releasing it or it will come right back to its feeding grounds.

    Happy Trails,

  65. Dave In Virginia Says:
    April 3rd, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    I will add this to my post. If you want to get rid of snakes (and I’ve had my share of both black snakes and copperheads)…get yourself some cats! Don’t get those old sissy cats that sit on your lap, you need a couple of ‘barnies’ (barn cats)…they will quickly reduce your rodent population…when the food is gone, so are the snakes! I got three barn cats from the local animal rescue for free, they were already fixed and had their shots. I acclimated them in my shed and they’ve had run of the property since last July…and NO SNAKES! I use to see literally hundreds of snakes throughout the spring/summer on my 30 acres but since I got the barnies I have seen none around the house at all.

    I think the moth ball and powdered lime tricks is an old wives tale…I’ve tried that around the house and I didn’t see any difference…but by golly those barn cats made a huge difference….and there is plenty of places for the snakes to go and live their lives happily.

  66. Ashley Says:
    April 8th, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Hey Sue,
    Your comment about them being beautiful harmless snake is about the craziest thing is ever heard. Snakes no matter what kind how big or small are disgusting. I have three small children and have spotted black snakes for the first time and am not comfortable with them because now my kids can’t go outside to play…..

  67. linda Says:
    April 8th, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    I had a baby blacksnake in my guest room this morning. Where did it come into the house on the second floor. I got rid of it, BUT hopefully there are no more. Any suggestions on what to do ?

  68. T Taylor Says:
    April 10th, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Been in my home for about 7yrs and about 4yrs ago there was a black snake and we chased it away. Now just today I walked out and was passing my palm bush to only find 4-5 of them, all balled up and acting very aggressive which I assumed they were mating. I ran and got a shovel and when I got back they started unraveling I was able to hit 2 but the others moved so fast and in the name of their namesake they raced like hell out of here. I know they will be back so I am looking to find a pest removal service because I can’t deal with that many. 1-2 maybe but 4-5 is way too many!!!

  69. Tina Says:
    April 16th, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Your kids can play outside. These snakes are harmless. Please instill in your children a respect for wildlife so that they will neither fear nor harass any animal. Most people who are bitten by any kind of snake are bitten because they are trying to kill it (you have to get close to it to kill it) or are picking it up. Over 80% are males between 18-35 years old. Give them a healthy understanding – nor senseless fear and hate for God’s creatures. They do control rodents which are much more likely to harm or make your kids sick.

  70. joseph Says:
    April 17th, 2015 at 6:05 am

    I stay in Zeekoevlei, Cape Town, near the Vlei in Fishermans Walk. I have a drive-thru garage. The front door of the garage was locked, so I opened the rear garage door and found a small black/dark brown 25cm snake in front of the door. I took the yard hard broom and sweep it away with the intention to kill it. It landed curled on its back. It was silver on the tummy. Please somebody is this a venomous snake, and how did it come laying on my paved backyard as if it belong there. If that is the baby, where is the parents of it. Is this thing dangerous and somebody just help!!! I’m sorry I cant take snakes I somma decided to sell my house. Give advice please!!!!

  71. Sue Says:
    April 19th, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    I have several black snakes that have been around for years as well as a rather large King snake. I do not mind having them around however, in the spring they get up into the bushes and eat the baby birds/eggs. How can I keep them away from the birds nests? The other day I shoo’d one away with a broom to the other side of my house but this morning sadly I see he came back and my cardinals eggs were all gone and so is Momma.

  72. Bet Says:
    April 19th, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    How long is mating season for these snakes. I’m going crazy. Three came on my carport today and I almost had a heart attack. I was told its mating season.

  73. Jackie Says:
    April 26th, 2015 at 1:22 am

    Just saw a black racer on my driveway at night! That was strange to me. I know they are good snakes that kill rodents and such so I wouldn’t dream of killing one. Rats are disgusting and eat my chicken eggs when they can. I know these snakes bite and I know therefore to respect their space. My dogs have tangled with them in the past and one time killed one. I think they think they are something to play with. The last time I caught them doing that both dogs had it pinned against the sliding glass door so I went out, called them, and that one got away. My son and husband are freaked out by them. I just have an issue with it being around at night. It’s harder to see them. I lnow it is probably hunting the group of Bofu frogs that hang out catching insects under my spotlight. I say enjpy the buffet. Those frogs can poison my dogs!

  74. rosalind robinson Says:
    April 30th, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Last week my daughter-in-law and myself came to my apartment. As she screams out and runs in. I’m asking what’s wrong, she replys snake baby snake. As I go to the door I see it slithers Away fast. A baby black snake, OK I’m scared now. In the court yard around my trees and door. I started calling around, only been in Florida 10 months. They telling me to get sulfur, mothballs and all. I did just that and then took out time to Goole as I seen it again today just crossing over. I’m not as scared anymore. It a blk snake or blk racer. There are a lot of baby lizards imma let them stay away and do their thing. Thanks so much for the information. It was needed.

  75. Becki Says:
    May 10th, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Saw a four foot black snake at the foot of my neighbor’s driveway today. I’d heard black snakes are good to have around, so as long as it doesn’t startle me (I saw it first this time!), no problems. A little unnerved to learn they can climb and have been appearing IN people’s homes, but as long as this fella doesn’t come inside, he’s welcome to all the rodents he can pick up in the yard.

  76. Tom Says:
    May 11th, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Saw a black snake draped over the cement floor of my porch, head portion going down over the side, tail portion coming up from a post, so all I could see was part of the body, and it was really thick – probably would barely have been able to touch my fingers together had I encircled it with my hand, though I didn’t. Hit it with a hammer – all I had at the time – and it slithered away. Was worried it might attack one of our cats that likes to escape and run away until he’s ready to come in when he comes back. Otherwise he’s very sweet – not sure if he’d survive taking on the snake if he encountered it, though he’s taken on mice and won, and downed a bird once. But after reading some of these comments, maybe it’s good the snake got away — as long as it stays away. We have plenty of lizards, seen a couple of dead mice (from the cat), but first time seeing a snake. Does this type of snake take on cats? Should I be worried?

  77. carole kheder Says:
    May 18th, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    I stepped into my garage at about 8 pm where I have a small mosaic studio and there was a snake just under the chair where I sit to work. He was brown/grey, thin and several feet long with diamond type markings. I chased him and threw an upended trash can over him to move him out and there was immediately an awful odor. I went back inside and left him there and he slipped out under the rubber trashcan. The following day when I righted the trash can he was gone but the odor was overpowering. I don’t know what kind of snake it was but it was obvious that it was producing this odor in response to stress and maybe to ward of attackers.

  78. Chris Says:
    May 19th, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    We moved to 12.5 acres this year we have seen a ton of critters. Coming from Florida I was not surprised to see a VERY large black snake. Maybe 6 ft or more. We saw it twice and left it alone. But today found the skin in my chicken coop. Now I know why egg production is down. I can’t have it eating the eggs hurting my chickens or startling them. It has to go. I didn’t want to kill it but if I can’t catch and release that’s what will have to happen. Any ideas on how to find it around the property?

  79. namcdonald Says:
    May 24th, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Just came across to black – very long and large snakes in my tree- gave me a heart attack. I let live because i dont like to kill wildlife but OMG!!!! They were wrapped together in the tree and when they came down one went one way and the ohter back under the outdoor fireplace But now I m concerned I will have little baby snakes. I walk barefoot; have a pool and lots of flowers- just creepy and agree dont want to be bitten by one. They didnt even flinch when I tried to shoo away! Also have dogs, and dont want them near my house! How to keep them away but let them live???

  80. Brenda Kopec Says:
    May 27th, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Help! I’ve had small garter snakes before BUT…last week was doing yard work and had a BIG black snake (5-6 ft. long and bigger around than a golf ball). Had a heart attack! Had a few black snakes quite a few years ago, but this is the first big one in a while. I knew they were attracted to mice, but someone said moles also. THIS year we have a LOT of mole holes, and right up close to my house. Do you think the moles could be why? Would getting rid of the moles help? And HOW do you get rid of moles? I live in southeastern Indiana. Thanks

  81. Cassie Says:
    June 15th, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Thank you for this information it was very helpful. I just had an appraisal done for a house that I have contract on and they found a black snack in the back yard by the trashcan. I am terrified and I no longer want the house. I know it sounds extreme but I’ll be living alone. Who is going to go out there to take out the trash? Not me! Who can I call to get rid of it? What if it gets in the house? What if it gets in my washing machine or toilet? Can you provide any comfort? I like the house but I might go back to a condo.

  82. S Says:
    June 18th, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    I get that they are usually harmless, but I still think I’d rather have our “cute” little lizards and toads in the back yard than the 2 enormous black snakes I saw today. I’d rather have to catch a mouse once a year than be unexpectedly freaked out by these over-3-foot things that may or may not bite my kids!

  83. Hildi Says:
    June 20th, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    I just heard thrashing under my bouganvilla (mulch/leaf litter at bottom)…grabbed binoculars and saw a HUGE (around 5 feet), thick black snake then a skinny snake tail and realized it was constricted around another, smaller snake. Didn’t know they kill each other! Feel bad :( Man, that thing was huge. I wanted to get a picture so you could help identify but too scared to get close – especially in the midst of his hunting. Thunderstorm rolling in now…going back to peek before the rain…Know what it is?

  84. kc Says:
    June 21st, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    We found a small rat snake today outside our basement door. It was about 8 to 10 inches long. Should I worry about finding siblings now?

  85. Ken Says:
    June 28th, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Well I went out to get my mower out of the shed and a large black snake poped out of a box as if to say hello then backed away and disappeared didn’t think anything thing of it and started mowing after getting back to the shed almost done for the day just cutting around the shed I accidentally run over the very snake I felt so bad watching it suffer but what could I do? I didn’t see it guess I’ll have some kind of bad luck now.

  86. Carmen Says:
    June 28th, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Was wondering if you could tell me what kind of snakes will hibernate in a hose for the winter? Also would like to know why Snake Away says: do not use if snakes have already been seen in an area? Thanks

  87. Jim F Says:
    June 29th, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    My daughter saw a 4 foot black snake in our yard and I simply scooped it up with a snow shovel and moved it to my fire wood stack far away from our house. I’ve seen a few field mice around there, so I thought that might keep him occupied. I think it was feeding on chipmunks that had a nest nearby..

  88. rita Says:
    June 29th, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    I saw a black snake in my house. Do not know where it’s hiding, and I saw a mouse bitten and dead. could it be the snake? Can a black snake stay in your house for a longer time without been seen?

  89. onesenuf Says:
    July 14th, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Cleaned out the shed in my back yard and while returning some of the contents I lifted an item and laying right under it, on top of another item, was a beautiful,shiny black snake all coiled up. He gracefully crawled back into my shed and I’m okay with that. I feed birds and the squirrels try to get their food so maybe my new friend will help control the squirrels! Trying to think of a name for it – any ideas?

  90. Janie Says:
    August 1st, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Ever since we have lived here (15 yrs) in Lee’s Hill, Sposylvania Co., VA, I have smelled a foul odor in the warm months when I work or even walk by the flower bed in front of our deck and even walking on the deck. I have seen quite large black snakes and others nearby and once watched on drop from a tree limb onto a blue bird house, go in, help itself to baby birds and leave. I guess my question is, is the foul smell coming from the snake(s)? At first I thought it might be the tortoise. Sometimes it is really bad, other times I don’t smell it at all.

  91. Teagan and brody Says:
    August 2nd, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Where we live there a giant snake in our backyard. it is huge, massive, and it looks very deadly. Can you guys tell me what to do if there’s giant snakes in your backyard please

  92. Andrea Says:
    August 8th, 2015 at 10:19 am

    I have a black snake eating my chickens eggs, anyway to stop this?

  93. Janet Moore Says:
    August 8th, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    This is six years living here. At first we never saw any snakes. This year they keep coming. One was poisonous and very large. Snakes are my biggest fear. I can’t even look at pictures of them without my heart racing. Why are we getting so many this year? If one gets nto my house I will really freak out. Lillington NC

  94. Claudette Says:
    August 10th, 2015 at 6:18 am

    I HATE SNAKES!!!!! Came home today from vacation and my husband found a very large black snake on our screen enclosed pool deck. I screamed while my husband and our neighbor coaxed it out the door with the pool net and the garden hoe. Made my skin crawl. I hope it doesn’t come back.

  95. Shelia Mendez Says:
    August 10th, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    I live in Florida and just saw a black snake with yellow stripes on the sides. What kind of snake is this?

  96. Kelly Mac Says:
    August 11th, 2015 at 7:17 am

    omg 2 days ago we had a black racer in between the screen and window of our Florida home. So my hunny popped the screen and away he went.. I was freaked. So yesterday sitting on the sofa looking out the back window there was a Big Black racer on the window ledge dancing like a cobra does trying to get in (at least that’s what it looked like). Omg I screamed and again Hunny walked out and it took off. Is it possible its living in my Deck Box? ( I don’t want to look ) and why do they keep coming to the windows trying to get in? Help help help. I’m so creeped I don’t want to walk my pups or go out to the pool. I’m more ready to pack and move back to NY.
    Thanks in advance,
    Fear in Florida

  97. LeAnn King Says:
    August 11th, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Something made it’s home in a bedroom fireplace (not used) decided it was a black snake as my dogs and cats made a circle around the area and watched intently, and that something raided the bird houses on my porch. It is confusing because in cleaning out the closet and boxes in that room….they were full of hoarded dog food. Do black snakes hoard dry dog food? It stayed all winter but never really smelled or made much noise??? suggestion?

    Do snakes leave poop sort of like a rat but 2 colored? Also a pair of pants had fallen in the floor in the closet and there was yellow stuff all over them?? sure would appreciate some help.
    thank you, LeAnn

  98. Lynne Johnson Says:
    August 16th, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    While viewing a potential retirement home in Florida, there was a 5ft long black snake in a cobra like position about ten feet away among the shrubs at the side of the house. I know most of these creatures are harmless and can be beneficial to have around your home but I really would prefer that they remain outside. I really do like the house but I need reliable advice on how to prevent snakes from coming into the house.

  99. B Terry Says:
    August 19th, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    sitting down after cleaning with door to carport open. I was allowing the fumes from the cleaning products to clear the house when I notice fire ants. I closed the door to prevent the fire ants from entering got powder to kill fire ants stepped out on the carport and wow! I saw this long black snake. I immediately ran back inside close the door and peaked outside the kitchen window I could not see him anymore. I am so afraid to step outside to my car for work. I live in a wooded area with plenty of trees. You can tell by the trees in the area that at one time this was a area full of trees. I also had rat poison place down and witness a dead rat on my patio several months ago. You know what they say if you see one there is more. So rat poison stay down since I don’t have any pets at this time. I appreciate your article because I was freaking out this article calmed me a little knowing something about the lack snake. If he or she stays away from me I will do the same with no problem what so ever. I pray he is not anywhere on my car to crawl on the inside. Now I will be looking constantly around in my car which is dangerous.

  100. K Says:
    August 21st, 2015 at 4:44 am

    LeeAnn- snakes don’t hoarde dog food, but mice and rats will. I would put out some mouse/rat traps around that area (press and set are the best traps we’ve used)

  101. Susie B Says:
    September 5th, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    We have had our house about four years and have had several snake encounters. Two in the house and today while digging around an old tree I uncovered a two baby snakes about twelve inches long. My husband continued to dig from inside the tree and rolled out eight snake eggs. These eggs were just hatching. With these little snakes that make a grand total of sixteen. I’m ready to move.

  102. Barbara Says:
    September 9th, 2015 at 9:34 am

    I have a lake cabin in middle Tennessee. My gardner found a black snake backing out of a hole in my stone fireplace that he accidentally nipped with the weed wacker. It got aggressive and he ended up killing it but they aren’t strange to the cabin. I was there in the Spring and saw snake skins in my unfinished basement. I back out and went upstairs but after I got to thinking about it, I was glad because these snakes have kept my rodent problem at bay. Obviously there are where they are for a reason so I respect that I provide them a food source and they provide me rodent control.

  103. Debbie Says:
    September 10th, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Hi, I live in Philadelphia, Pa. Today I was down in the basement cleaning and about to exercise on my treadmill and there was a black snake about 15 inches long under the treadmill. I called animal control about 7-8 hours ago and they still are not here. I have children and a cat in the house. Does anyone know what kind of snake this is I have lived here for 13 years and never ever saw a snake. We had a lot of slugs and I mean a lot, and oddly this summer there were hardly any or those gross black water bugs you see outside. Please someone help me, what should I do? Can they come upstairs through duct work.

  104. Debi Says:
    September 15th, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    I live in the woods and just saw a black slender shinny snake go under my trailer, I think it was a racer. I’m afraid it will get inside, what should I do? It’s the first time in 15 years I’ve seen a snake close to my house.

  105. Jen Says:
    September 18th, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    As a snake owner and a wildlife rehabilitation volunteer, black snake/rat snake bites don’t hurt. If you’ve been scratched by a cat, it actually feels 10x worse. There is a chance you might bleed a little bit, but like any minor injury, just washing it with antibacterial soap will clear it right up.

    I am 100% not recommend anyone to handle them unless you must or at least know how to properly handle a snake. Black snakes are completely harmless and are way more scared of you, than you are them. In most cases, they will slither away if you go near them.

  106. sam Says:
    September 24th, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Need to know about BLACK SNAKE 20 inch around the house. How dangerous is it please?

  107. Eric Says:
    September 28th, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Black snakes are more scarier than you are. I’ve had an encounter with a black snake and they were frightened, they ran away.

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