An in-ground trampoline is a great way to provide fun and entertainment for your kids. But unfortunately, these pits can attract local wildlife, including snakes. Snakes love small, enclosed spaces, and a trampoline pit is perfect for their needs.
However, if your kids are playing on the trampoline, you definitely don’t want a snake nearby. Here’s how to spot a snake near your trampoline and get them out of your yard.
How To Know If There Are Snakes In Your Backyard
There are a few telltale signs of snakes in your yard. Keeping an eye out for these can help you jump on the problem before it becomes serious.
Tracks In The Dirt
Keep an eye out for any tracks in the dirt that could indicate there are snacks around. These tracks sometimes look like a classic “slither” pattern that you probably imagine when you think of snakes. Others look like a series of slanted lines moving in the same direction.
Everyone knows that snakes shed their skin on a semi-regular basis. Most varieties shed two to four times a year. Though they spend most of their time underground, they make their way to the surface to get rid of old skin.
If you see a large number of snake skins in your yard, it might not necessarily mean you have a large snake population. You may just have young snakes nearby. Juveniles shed their skin as often as every two weeks.
It’s a good idea to learn to recognize snake droppings. Snake feces are shaped like small tubes and may be streaked with white dried urine. Sometimes it is deposited in a long line as the snake has relieved itself while in motion.
Snakes, like most other animals, live underground. If you notice holes in your yard, it could be an indication that a snake has made a home there. Obviously, other animals like mice, squirrels, and rabbits make burrows as well, so look for other signs before you automatically assume you have snakes.
If you notice an odd smell in an enclosed space, like a shed — or under your trampoline — it could be an indication that snakes are living there. Snake droppings, prey, and snake skins accumulating can all result in odors. If you find yourself wondering “What the heck is that smell?”, it’s a good idea to check for snakes.
How To Avoid Snakes In Your In-Ground Trampoline Pit
Ultimately, it’s hard to keep snakes out of your yard if they’re in your area. But there are a few things you can do to reduce the chance of them making your in-ground trampoline pit their new hangout.
Keep Your Yard Tidy
Snakes like to crawl into small spaces for shelter. So the best thing to do is make sure that you have as few of those as possible.
Get rid of yard clutter like toys, outdoor furniture, and other items. The goal is to remove anything that could provide a comfortable shelter for a snake.
Clutter isn’t the only thing to tidy up. Snakes love long grass, thick foliage, piles of mulch, and stacks of wood. These tend to draw the animals like magnets. Clean your yard up regularly. Mow the lawn and clear out any piles of leaves, dirt, mulch, or other items.
Avoid stacking wood in your yard if you can help it. If you have a wood stove in your house, keep the wood in your garage or basement where a snake is less likely to find it.
Don’t neglect your trees, either — remember that snakes can get up trees with no issue. Having lots of overgrown branches and foliage increases the likelihood of them dropping down into your yard.
None of these actions is a guarantee that snakes will stay out of your yard. But they do make it a much less inviting habitat for them. Unfortunately, having an in-ground trampoline pit means that there is one enclosure in your yard that is unavoidable.
Get Rid Of Standing Water
One of the top things that attracts snakes to your yard is any kind of permanent or semi-permanent still water. That includes ponds, pools, and even birdbaths. Not only do the snakes need to drink water themselves, but water sources bring brings, rodents, and other small animals — exactly the prey that a snake is looking to eat.
Treat For Rodents
If you have rodents coming into your yard, you will almost definitely be attracting snakes as well. To avoid this, keep vermin out of your yard as much as possible. Don’t throw food in your yard or feed your pets on your deck. This will inevitably attract local critters and with them, their predators.
Put In a Snake Shield Or Fence
If you live in an area where snakes are a frequent problem, it might be worth it to take preventative measures. Treat your yard regularly to keep the snake population out.
You can do this with a commercial snake repellent or a natural treatment like white vinegar. Just bear in mind that you’ll have to redo it periodically to keep it effective. If you’re particularly worried about your in-ground trampoline pit, spray the repellent around the outside or treat the rim with vinegar.
You can also put in a snake fence. These are made with thick mesh that stops animals from coming into your yard. While no product is perfect, these are pretty effective. They are especially helpful if you live near woods or other thick foliage.
What To Do If There Are Snakes In Your In-Ground Trampoline Pit
If you do spot a snake in your in-ground trampoline pit, you can try to remove it yourself. However, you should never do this unless you’re absolutely sure the snake isn’t venomous. If it is, your best bet is to call a professional to remove the snake.
Here are some things you can try on your own.
Spray a Hose
If the snake seems open to moving, you can try spritzing it gently with your hose. Don’t turn your hose on full blast. You will just end up hurting the snake or getting it angry. Even non-venomous snakes can bite (and yes, that still calls for a hospital visit).
Use Some Snake Repellent
There are both natural and commercial snake repellents that you can use to try to flush snakes from your yard. You can try rimming your trampoline area with sulfur or white vinegar, which will make snakes flee to avoid getting these substances on their skin.
Alternatively, you can find plenty of options for commercial snake repellent.
If you want to try your hand at trapping a snake, there are a few ways to do this. You can always set a snake trap in the hopes of getting the animals out of your yard. There are plenty of options for humane traps that keep the snakes securely inside until you can move them to a new location. These don’t hurt or kill them.
Alternatively, if you’re confident enough to get close, you can try to trap the snake in a garbage can. Don’t use a smaller container, though, as this puts you at risk of being bitten. And of course, don’t attempt this if you have any doubts at all about the snake being nonvenomous.
Snakes are sensitive to noises that cause vibrations, and will often flee an area if they feel them. One of the simplest ways to do this is to grab your lawnmower and turn it on close to where the snake is hiding. It won’t keep them away permanently, but it often drives them away long enough for you to put in some better snake guards.
Alter The Habitat
You can often get snakes to leave your yard on their own by changing the environment a bit. Get rid of any standing water, including ponds, birdbaths, puddles, and pools. This will often drive snakes to seek areas with more access to drinking water.
You can get the same effect by filling in burrows — if you can find them! Doing this means the snakes have no place to take shelter and are more likely to be on their way.
Similarly, fill in any access holes to enclosures like sheds or decks that would provide a comfortable place for snakes to bed. Keep your grass cut, since snakes (and the critters they like to eat) prefer hiding in long grass.
Call a Professional
If the snakes won’t leave, their numbers are too great, or you’re not 100% sure that the snakes are non-venomous, contact a professional. Depending on where you are, your local animal control might be willing to lend a hand. If not, they may be able to direct you to a professional company that offers snake removal for a fee.
Keeping snakes out of your yard is a no-brainer, especially if you have young kids or pets. If you live in a place with a lot of snakes, stay vigilant so you can spot the signs of an infestation and tackle it as quickly as possible.