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Please be sure to read the product label of any insecticide you choose to use to get information on the personal protective safety gear you will need. In most situations, it is recommended that you wear long pants, a long sleeved shirt, closed toe shoes with socks, chemical resistant gloves, and goggles. In areas where ventilation is poor, a manufacturer may recommend you wear a mask or a respirator. We have put together two different safety kits that will make selecting the correct safety gear easier for you.

How to Get Rid of Snakes

Snake Treatment & Control Guide

By DoMyOwn staff

Snake Removal Options

How to Catch a Snake
NOTE: If venomous snakes are a known issue on your property, we strongly recommend you consult with a professional wildlife removal company prior to any snake inspection or removal efforts.

When snakes are found indoors or outdoors on your property and you want them to be removed you have two choices, you can catch the snake with snake handling tongs or you can deploy snake traps. Both methods allow you to live release the snake and relocate it or choose to eliminate the snake.

***You will need to check with your local wildlife control agencies to see what the laws are for relocating snakes in your region.***
Method 1

Snake Tongs

Picking up a rat snake with snake tongs
You can use snake tongs to catch live snakes and physically remove them from a given area. We highly recommend you practice with a rubber snake or piece of hose prior to trying catch a live snake with the tongs. Snake tongs come in varying lengths. While the longer length tongs will keep you further away from the snake, they are heavier and a little hard to manipulate. When trying to grab a snake with tongs, you want to aim for about 1/3 of the way down the snake's body. Grab too close to the snake's head and you risk injuring the snake and also causing it to struggle and possibly try to escape. Grab too far to the back end and the snake may wind up in striking distance. Once you have grabbed the snake with the tongs you should carefully and slowly lift the snake while keeping the tail of the snake on the ground and gently drag it towards the area you intend to let it go or dispatch it. If you lift the snake all of the way it will likely struggle to get away.

If you intend to transport the snake for release, you can use a 5 gallon bucket with a vented lid to put the captured snake in. Release the snake in an approved area.

Pros and cons: Snake tongs can be used anywhere on your property and inside the structure which makes them very versatile. The downside is that you must come pretty close to snake in order to capture them with tongs.
Method 2

Snake Traps

The second method of capturing snakes that we would recommend is the use of snake glue board traps. Some snake glue boards such as the Cahaba brand can be used outdoors next to the foundation or under structures or in gardens. Other snake glue boards are less hardy and should only be used indoors. Snake glue boards do not contain any bait or lures. This means that the glue boards will only be effective if they are used in areas where snakes are known to frequent or use as travel paths.

Outdoors you should place the Cahaba snake boards in shaded areas in gardens, near foundations, under sheds or other structures, along fence lines and other areas you have noticed snakes frequently. It is important to note that snakes like to travel with one side of their bodies touching against a vertical surface and you should place your boards so that the snake slithers into the glue board. Snake traps should be checked often if you plan to live release snakes that are captured.

After a snake has been captured on a glue board you can choose to toss the glue board in the trash, snake and all, or you can choose to release the snake.


  1. Apply a generous amount of vegetable oil to the snake and the surrounding glue (the oil neutralizes the glue).
  2. Gently wipe remaining glue from snake with a well oiled rag, if desired.
  3. Release the snake in an approved area.

Pros and cons: Snake glueboard traps have the potential to trap non-target animals such as birds or curious dogs or cats. Adhesive on the traps can melt and be ineffective in high heat situations. Snake glueboards do offer the opportunity to capture snakes without having to get too close.

Snake Treatment Infographic

(Click to View Full Graphic)

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