Keep Snakes Out of Your Attic

With cold, wet weather prompting mice and rats to take shelter in your attic, there could be something else following them inside: snakes. This is an issue we have been hearing and reading about more lately and—since it’s a petty creepy one—we wanted to make our friends and customers aware of it! Even if they’re not venomous, most people don’t like the idea of a snake on the loose in their home, and we don’t blame them. Fortunately, while it can be difficult to get a snake out of your attic once it’s made itself at home, it is relatively easy to prevent it from coming in and taking up residence in the first place. In pretty much every case, the snakes came in because there were rodents in the attic—generally rats. So, to keep your attic snake-free, you have to ensure it is mouse and rat-free as well!

Long snake skin stretched out on log

While it might seem surprising, snakes really do live in attics. This is even more common with species like rat snakes which are particularly adept climbers and can fit through tiny gaps and cracks in walls or siding to get inside. Snakes have a fantastic sense of smell and rodents live very distinct odors; it’s not difficult for the snake to follow the rat up and into your attic. And once they’re inside, snakes will stay for as long as they can find mice and rats to prey on—which depending on the number of pests in your attic could be months or even years, potentially.

Some people who have had snakes in their attic describe hearing “slithering” noises. However, it is highly unlikely you will ever see the snake. They are shy animals who are easily scared and don’t like attention. They’ll hide under or inside things like insulation or in dark, enclosed spaces, like boxes you may have lying around in your attic. Traditional pest control remedies and the DIY-snake-control remedies you find online—mothballs, strobe lights, ultrasonic sounds—don’t actually work on snakes.

You can buy snake traps online that some people claim work well, but then you still have to grab the snake and bring it outside after you trap it, which can be kind of gross. And while most of the snakes in Oklahoma are completely harmless, there are a few that are venomous and you don’t want to risk getting bit. If there is a snake in your attic, we recommend calling animal control for safe removal.

Our best advice: eliminate mice and their scent from the start and the snakes won’t have any reason to come near your home.

So, first things first. How do you know if you have rodents in your attic? Here are a couple of signs:

  • Debris and Droppings: both mice and rats leave behind droppings that look like grains of brown rice. They also produce similar-looking nests made of soft materials like wood shavings, cardboard, paper, and insulation.
  • Grease: both will also leave grease marks around walls and baseboards as they crawl around.
  • Noise: rodents are most active at night, so pay particular attention to scuttling, scratching and chewing sounds in the walls and ceilings after dark.
  • Footprints: if your attic is particularly dusty, you might be able to see little mouse and rat prints in the dust (if your attic isn’t, then props to you for regularly cleaning your attic).
  • Smell: this one is particular to mice. Mouse urine has a strong smell that is very similar to ammonia.

If you do have mice or rats, it’s time to call in the pest control experts at Emtec before things get out of hand. Remember, mice and rats breed extremely quickly and what starts out as one or two mice can become 30 to 40 mice in two to three months. And the more rodents there are running around in your attic, the more likely it is that a snake will slither its way in looking for a tasty meal. We can have your rodent problem solved in no time.

If you don’t have mice or rats, here are a few things you can do to keep them away:

  • Wipe down countertops, take out the trash and recycling promptly and make sure any and all food in your cabinets or on your counters is stored in airtight containers.
  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home including around pipes and utility lines.
  • Soak cotton balls with peppermint extract—mice hate mint—and put them in areas where mice would be likely to nest (attic, garage, basement, unused closets). And once spring rolls around, plant some mint in your garden or around the foundation of your home to further deter them. Any variety of mint will work.
  • Mice also hate spicy things like Tabasco Sauce. You can sprinkle Tabasco around cracks in the foundation where you think they might be entering your home or in potential nesting areas.
  • Contact Emtec for preventive pest control services. We don’t just get rid of mice and rats, we can ensure they don’t come knocking at all.

If you’re ready to get serious about rodent prevention, contact the experts at Emtec Pest Control by calling 918-663-0613 or by filling out our online contact form. Our service areas in Northeast Oklahoma include Bixby, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Owasso, Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook, Stillwater, Tulsa, and surrounding areas. In Central Oklahoma, we service Edmond, Moore, Oklahoma City, Yukon, and surrounding areas.

At Emtec Pest Control, we are committed to safe and responsible pest control. We understand that your family’s safety is your number one priority, so we make it our priority, too. If you have any other questions about any of these pests or pest control for your home or business, contact your Oklahoma pest control experts at Emtec Pest Control by calling us or by filling out our online contact form. Our service areas in Northeast Oklahoma include Bixby, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Owasso, Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook, Stillwater, Tulsa and the surrounding areas. In Central Oklahoma, we service Edmond, Moore, Oklahoma City, Yukon and the surrounding areas. You can also connect with us on social media for more helpful pest control tips and information. We are on Facebook.