How to Get Rid of Snakes in Basement?

Cool and quiet, a basement makes an ideal place for snakes to rest and hide. Have you been wondering how to get rid of snakes that have been lingering in your basement? You’ve come to the right place! We’ve made in-depth research about the issue and compiled the solutions that actually work.  

If you saw or encounter snakes in your basement, some effective methods you can try to get rid of them include:

  1. Snake hook
  2. Snake tongs
  3. Snake traps
  4. Snake repellent
  5. Use smoke
  6. Eliminate food source

If you are unfamiliar with these techniques, there's no need to worry, as we’ll dive deep into each of them. But before that, let’s discuss the reasons and how snakes get into your basement in the first place.

A captured snake in basement, How to Get Rid of Snakes in Basement?

What Attracts Snakes to Your Basement?

As mentioned, the basement serves as the perfect hibernation spot for snakes. Being cold-blooded animals, snakes lack the ability to adjust their body temperature. So during cold or hot days, they like to slither through damp and quiet places, which includes this area.

Rodents are another factor that attracts snakes to your basement. They are the primary food of snakes along with rabbits. Mice infestation in your basement will definitely invite hungry snakes.

How Do Snakes Get into Your Basement? 

Animal control officer capturing a snake found in basement

Frequent thawing and freezing can cause the ground to shift, creating gaps on the foundation of your home. These cracks and crevices serve as entries of snakes and other reptiles.

But that’s not just it, they can also enter uneven doors and windows. Being naturally flexible, snakes easily navigate through these holes.

Common Types of Snakes Found in Houses

Black rat snake looking in sliding glass door on back porch

Out of 150 snake species found in the US, only a few make it to your home. We have categorized them as non-venomous and venomous.

Non-venomous Snakes

Kingsnake: These are medium-sized snakes that possess yellow and brown colors throughout their body and grow up to 4 feet long. They usually kill prey through constriction. 

Garter snakes are small to moderate snakes that can grow up to 3 feet long. They usually have vertical yellow or red stripes. Though harmless, they can strike and release foul discharge through the tail when triggered.

Rat snakes range from black, yellow, orange, and gray colors. They are characterized by their whitish belly that turns checkered toward the tail. These medium to large-sized snakes can grow up to 6 feet. 

Gopher snakes are heavy-bodied snakes with up to 66 brown and red patches on their back. They have a noticeable black stripe that runs from the front of their eye down to the jaw. The most type common you can find is medium-sized, but they can grow up to 9 feet long.

Corn snakes are a variation of rat snakes characterized by their bright crimson and orange colors with dark red blotches as well as the maze patterns on their belly. They can grow 4 to 6 feet long.

Venomous Snakes

Snakes into the house

Rattlesnakes: Out of more than 15 rattlesnakes species, 13 live in the southern region of the United States. They are recognized by their diamond-shaped head and a unique rattle at the tail.

Copperhead snakes are pit vipers characterized by their reddish-brown patterns with hourglass or saddlebags shapes. They also have “heat pit” or deep sockets in between the eyes. Generally, they have mild venoms.

Coral snakes are the second most venomous snakes. But only less than a hundred cases were reported as these snakes tend to retreat and shy away from humans. 

Cottonmouths are semi-aquatic snakes with gray or brown colors. They are distinguished by their huge, triangular head and elliptical pupils. 

Yellowbelly Sea snakes are venomous species that live in the Pacific Ocean, but a few slither away to the United States. They are recognized by their yellow underbelly and black dorsal. Though they spend most of their lives in the water, they sometimes hydrate from land-based water sources. 

Do Snakes Go Away by Themselves?

A beautiful little rough green snake moves across a lawn in front of a rural log cabin

Snakes can enter your basement and might stay and rest there for a month or two. They curl themselves in between the walls to hide. Once the weather changes or they get hungry, they leave on their own.

In some cases, snakes might find your basement the perfect spot to nest, which can be traumatic for you and your family. So it is important to drive them away as soon as possible.

6 Ways to Get Rid of Snakes in Basement

Before attempting to try any of the following techniques yourself it’s best to identify the type of snake that invades your basement. If it’s venomous, you might need additional assistance. But if it’s non-venomous, you can proceed with caution.

Snouted cobra coiled around snake tongs

1. Snake Hook

This tool allows you to capture and transport snakes at a safe distance. The downsides are the hook cannot grip the snake and it poses a snake bite risk. So wear protective gloves and boots beforehand.

Slowly and calmly move towards the snake. Then simply hook the snake in the middle to prevent it from sliding off and put it in a sack or bucket with a lid.

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2. Snake Tongs

Snake tongs make snake removal easier for inexperienced homeowners. Just stand far away enough, ensure that the snake is calm and rested, then gently grab the snake in the middle with snake tongs.

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3. Snake Traps

This is basically a cardboard sheet with a layer of glue. Once the snake crawl across it, it gets stuck. To release the snake, just pour vegetable oil on it. 

Releasing the snake

You should have a plan to release the snake, too. Make sure to label the sack or bucket if the snake is venomous prior to the release to avoid accidents.

Release the snake a mile away from your home to ensure that it won’t come back. But don’t release the snake too far away as it reduces the chance of it surviving.

4. Snake repellent

These are usually made of strong scents that snakes dislike such as: 

  • Peppermint
  • Cinnamon
  • Lemongrass 
  • Clove 
  • Orange

You can spray in the area or directly on the snake. Just leave the door open so the snake can exit easily.

5. Use smoke 

Snakes have a powerful sense of smell, making them ultra-sensitive to odor and fumes. Try smoking your basement for a few days to drive snakes away.

6. Eliminate food source

Rodents in your basement will keep snakes coming back to your home. But eliminate their food source and they will have little to no reason to stay.  Here’s how to get rid of mice in your home

What Will Keep Snakes Away from Your House?

Garter snake on gravel beside a house

Supposed you’ve successfully gotten rid of the snakes in your house, it's important to keep them out of your house permanently, and the possible ways to do that are through:    

Sanitary measures

Eliminate unnecessary piles and clutter such as bricks, metals, and tires from your house. Snakes usually use them to conceal themselves, particularly when hunting for food. 

Mechanical exclusions

This covers barrier installation and filling the crevices and gaps in your home to block all the possible entries of snakes. It can also prevent other pests and unwanted visitors from invading your home.

When to Call a Professional? 

Asking the assistance of a professional is advisable if you are unable to recognize venomous snakes and the infestation is serious that it puts you and your family in danger. Experts can quickly identify the type of snake that enters your house and take the necessary steps to get rid of snakes.


It is uncommon for snakes to be found indoors. But sometimes uninvited guests in your basement might surprise you. Don’t panic. Assess the type of snake that invades your home first.

If it’s non-venomous, you can try any of the methods above that works best for you. But if it poses a serious risk, don’t hesitate to call the help of a professional.

If you like this post, you might also like our other articles:

Does A Crawl Space Need A Sump Pump?

Can A Crawl Space Be Too Dry?

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