|Western Terrestrial Garter Snake, photo courtesy Colorado Herping|
Garters are the type of snake most often seen by urban and suburban gardeners. Garter snakes generally breed in the spring and give birth to live young in the late summer or fall. Often, young are not seen until the following spring, after they emerge from hibernation after their first winter.
Most young garter snakes don't survive into adulthood, they are killed off by predators, cars and lawnmowers. The following are tips to make your property garter snake friendly:
- Walk your lawn before you mow it to scare the snakes into hiding. Lawn mowers are deadly to snakes because they can't hear like we do. Rather, they feel vibrations.
- Provide habitat for snakes if you have room. Old plywood or corrugated metal roofing left loosely on the ground in an out-of-the-way place on your property provides hiding and nesting places for slithering creatures. Old stumps and large rocks also make good snake habitat.
- Don’t use chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers in areas used by snakes.
- If you have pets, the likelihood of attracting snakes is minimal.