Garden Maintenance: Snakes in my garden

In order to maintain my integrity and that of my company, I dare not tell a lie in regard to this matter.  Let me start first of all by reiterating the fact that there is no purposely manufactured commercially produced snake repelant that is effective in repelling snakes, there are no plants or herbs that would deter snakes from coming to your garden. 

There are three things that would encourage snakes to come to your garden, availability of shelter, water and food. I would then start by saying in order to discourage snakes, you would firstly need to ensure that your garden and home don’t offer them any shelter, this is extremely difficult as every home and garden has some sort of drain system, you also have ceiling space, pool pump covers, electric gate motors, retaining walls, flower beds and trees, and numerous other structures that could supply a snake with a home, so now let’s cut out the water supply, a little tricky as every drain would have to be covered in such a way that it allows no access, the pool, fish pond, water feature and bird bath will have to go, we would also need to stop all rain, dew and water precipitation not easy at all.  Ok let’s starve the little buggers!  So kids no hamsters, mice, pet rats, moms canary, cockatiel, all the mossies in the roof, bats, again the birdbath the fish pond (that calls frogs) will have to make a plan with the dustbin so that doesn’t attract any rats and mice, you can’t put on any lights either that calls frogs, toads, lizards and geckoes, no flowering plants and fruit bearing trees!  mmmm don’t see that working! 

mozambiquan spitting cobra | snakes in my garden | eco balance landscaping

Let’s face it, snakes are a necessary evil, in every balanced garden.  A truly balanced garden will contain an adequate food chain, the trick (and the challenge) is to manage the species of snakes that are safe and useful to have around your garden. South Africa is blessed with some 170 species and sub species of snakes of which only 13 are considered of medical importance.  In any given area you will never find more than 7 dangerous species occurring.  Surely anyone of reasonable intellect can learn to identify seven species?  On the Dolphin Coast east of the N2 freeway the species to be concerned about are: green mamba, boomslang, vine snake, forest cobra, Mozambique spitting cobra, night adder and stiletto snake.  In order to learn to identify these dangerous species a visit to your local reptile park could assist you, a decent snake book could prove invaluable, doing a snake awareness course could go along way to allaying your fears. 

Most of us make use of motor transport on a daily basis, this even though the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident is some 36% and risk of being bitten by a snake is some 0.01% yet we will all admire the neighbours new ride, and shriek in terror when we see a harmless bush snake in the garden! We've got our priorities wrong folks! Snakes are not bad nasties waiting to bite us. Bites are in fact rare!