Snakes are legless reptiles in the taxonomic order Squamata and suborder Serpentes. They are overwhelmingly beneficial animals. All snakes are carnivores, and their diets include rodents, ticks, and agricultural pests that do far more harm than the snakes ever will. Even venomous snakes should be humanely captured by wildlife-control professionals (like us) and released elsewhere, rather than being killed, whenever possible.
We have at least 34 species of snakes in Tennessee, of which only four species are venomous:
All the rest of our Tennessee snakes are non-venomous, and if they're just slithering around on your land and not bothering anyone, leaving them be is a perfectly- acceptable option. Consider them a free rodent-control crew.
Of course, unless you're an expert who can accurately identify snakes on sight, you should avoid approaching any snake. It's easy to mistake venomous snakes for harmless ones if you don't know what to look for. In addition, even non-venomous snakes can deliver nasty bites if they feel threatened.
There are three situations in which snake removal is necessary:
One reason why having snakes inside your house is unacceptable (in addition to all the reasons why you don't want any wild animals living in your home) is because snakes inside a house usually indicate a rodent problem. Once in a while they'll come inside because they like the temperature (being cold-blooded animals, they can't regulate their body temperatures any other way); but usually, they come in because they smell rodents and are looking for lunch.
Regardless of why a snake gets inside a house, most people would rather that other snakes not get the same idea. That's why we recommend sealing your home or building to prevent snakes from getting inside even if there's no sign of a rodent problem. Sealing out snakes will also seal out mice and other rodents, however; so the biggest difference between a snake-proofing job at a house without a rodent problem and one with a rodent problem is that if you have a rodent problem, we'll trap and remove the rodents, as well. Sealing up the house is pretty much the same either way.
When you have venomous snakes outside your home (or any snakes at all if you just don't like them), we usually just trap them, take them elsewhere, and release them. Unlike the case with most of our wildlife-control services, we obviously can't guarantee that new snakes won't come around to visit. But we can apply snake repellants that do a pretty good job of keeping the area around your house snake-free. If you just want to keep snakes out of your house, however, we can accomplish that entirely non-chemically.
In a nutshell, venomous snakes in areas that people or domestic animals use, or non-venomous snakes inside a home or building, should be removed and relocated; but whether or not to remove non-venomous snakes living outside your home is a personal decision that mainly depends on how you feel about snakes. In any case, the snakes should be treated with respect and the problem handled humanely and without harming the animals, if at all possible.
Here are a few randomly-selected pictures of snakes we've met in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area and elsewhere.
Rubber snake that customer thought was real
Close-up of a copperhead snake's head
Rat snake outside a house in Chattanooga
Snake in a wall in Jasper
Rat snake removed from a house in Harrison
Copperhead snake removed from a garage
Shed snake skin in Collegedale
Snake skin in an attic in Chattanooga
Snake removed from a house in Signal Mountain
Snake on a sill plate in Chattanooga
Black Kingsnake in a rain gutter in East Ridge
Garter snake in East Brainerd
King snake removal by one of our technicians
Eastern coral snake, one of our venomous snakes
Jason with a mighty snake. Don't try this at home!
Fake snake outside a house in Chattanooga
King snake attacking a rat snake
Baby copperhead snake in a rain down spout
Shed snake skin in a basement in Dunlap
Please contact us to learn more about our non-chemical mouse-control services in the Chattanooga, Tennessee metropolitan area. We look forward to hearing from you.