Do you live in snake country?
The you might have heard people chattering about something called a “snake fence”.
They’re not talking about a fence made of snakes.
So what is a snake fence?
It’s a fence made for snakes. It’s meant to keep them out of certain areas, most commonly, your property.
Snake fences can take a few different forms. Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about them.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is A Snake Fence?
- 1.1 Do Snake Fences Work?
- 1.2 How To Make Sure A Snake Fence Works
- 1.3 How Tall Should A Snake Fence Be?
- 2 Snake Fence: Final Thoughts
What Is A Snake Fence?
A snake fence is a specialized type of fencing (made of wire mesh or hardware cloth) designed to keep snakes out of a specific area.
The most common uses for snake fences are to exclude serpentine predators like rat snakes from chicken coops. They also help make a barrier around homes to keep rattlesnakes away from pets and kids.
Not all snake fences are the same. One of the most popular and effective types is ¼” wire mesh. Once installed, these are surprisingly efficient in excluding a wide variety of species.
But these barriers are not effective at excluding all types of snakes.
This is mainly because most snake fences are designed with rattlesnakes in mind. But not all species are as big and heavy. And juvenile rattlesnakes are also much smaller, but still dangerous.
Species like garter snakes, gopher snakes, and kingsnakes, are slender and significantly more agile.
Their athleticism gives them the ability to climb over the fence.
Fortunately, there are additional precautions you can take to keep out these types of snakes. You might also be able to find specialized snake fences for such species!
Do Snake Fences Work?
Snake fences are among the most effective exclusion methods for managing snake populations in or near your property. They are a natural way to keep snakes away.
They are far more effective than snake repellents. Does snake repellent work at all? It can, but it is usually not consistent. Fences are a better bet.
Of course, your experience with the fence and the level of success (“success” meaning it keeps snakes out of the protected area) you achieve by installing it will heavily depend on a few things.
If you live in a big city, you are unlikely to encounter too many snakes in your day-to-day life. Well, at least not anything more threatening than the occasional garter snake.
Naturally, you’ll have more success than someone in a rural area, where these animals live in greater numbers (and with higher species variation).
Type(s) Of Snake(s)
As mentioned earlier, some snakes have an easier time getting around these barriers than others. If you live in a region with smaller, faster, more nimble species, your fence won’t work as well as someone who’s defending their property from larger variants.
There are many different ways to install a snake fence. Ideally, you should bury the lower portions of the wire mesh at least 6″ into the ground at a 30° outward angle, because snakes will often enter buildings from underneath. Failing to do so will likely lower your success rate.
Suppose you have lots of snacks (AKA, rodents, or other small critters) scurrying around your property. If so, nearby snakes will be far more motivated to gain entry.
Clearing the area of these prey species will improve your chances of keeping snakes out for good.
Keep in mind that, no matter where you live, most snakes can climb. Yes, even rattlesnakes can climb trees and other objects, like fences.
This is why a snake fence should not be your only means of exclusion, but part of a larger exclusion system. Snake fences can be highly effective, but only if used correctly and in conjunction with other measures.
How To Make Sure A Snake Fence Works
There are a few things you can do to ensure that your snake fence works according to plan. We’ve already covered one key: burying the bottom 6″ of the wire mesh in the soil. (This is in addition to attaching the mesh to an existing fence or structure.)
Burying this bottom portion ensures that sneaky snakes can’t get into the chicken coop by sneaking up from the ground.
In addition to this precaution, there are three more things you can do to ensure that your fence fulfills its intended purpose.
Remove Vegetation From The Area
Pay attention to where you install your snake fence. Note if there are any large plants nearby. If so, get rid of those suckers.
I know you don’t want to be reminded of this again, but snakes can climb! The fence won’t do a dang thing for you if the snake can find a route over or around the barrier.
Close Any Holes In The Building You’re Defending
You want to close up any holes or cracks in the building for an extra layer of protection. If you have any extra ¼” wire mesh, measure the unwanted opening’s size and cut the mesh to fit over it.
Modify The Habitat Near Your House
Snakes love hiding away underneath piles of junk. Take a walk around your property and check if you’ve got anything lying around.
If so, clear the area and keep it organized. Please be careful when doing so. You never know if a slithering friend will be there to greet you.
Note: This is not to scare you. It’s just a realistic precaution to take. Wear gloves and boots for safety in case you do run into any unexpected visitors.
It is also a good idea to minimize trees or other avenues snakes can use to get up on your roof. From there, they can enter the ventilation system. That can lead them into the house, or even into the drainage system, from which they can pop up through your shower drain.
How Tall Should A Snake Fence Be?
A snake fence should be at least three feet (36″) tall. This height will significantly improve your chances of keeping these buggers off your property and away from your kids and pets.
But remember that the fence cannot always function alone. Ideally, you’d install a snake fence of these dimensions on the bottom half of a chain-link fence, or the outside (or inside) of a wooden coop, for example.
Such structures provide a second layer of defense and a sturdy frame to support the wire mesh.
If you want to install a snake fence on its own, you can attach the mesh to stakes to hold it taught and upright. Please keep in mind that this method is a lot less reliable than attaching the snake fence to an existing structure.
This vulnerability is mainly attributed to the lack of a cover and how easy it would be for a rambunctious child or pet to knock it over. Plus, there’s no telling how high the snakes in your area can climb.
For these reasons, I wouldn’t recommend installing a snake fence on its own. It’s best to look for a sturdy existing structure on your property, like a wall or other fence, and add the wire mesh there.
Snake Fence: Final Thoughts
A wire mesh snake fence can be very effective in keeping snakes away from a certain area. If you live in a region with many snakes and you have problems with them entering your property, a correctly installed snake fence can change that.
Don’t rely on myths you may have heard, like the one that snakes are afraid of braided ropes. They aren’t. Read “Will A Snake Cross A Braided Rope?” if you don’t believe me. The only other option that works well apart from a fence is a good snake deterrent.
Elizabeth Nyumbu says
Thank you for the detailed information.
I have read and understood, only that we have very lethal types of snakes here in Africa especially in the farming areas. What type of fencing material would you recommend and probably the most reliable suppliers of such material.