How To Get Rid Of Copperhead Snakes In Your Yard

While dealing with venomous snakes isn’t at the top of anyone’s bucket list, there may come a day when you have to do it. Since animal and human encounters are more and more common, wondering how to get rid of copperhead snakes is an increasingly popular topic of conversation.

Unless you are a trained professional yourself, the safest way to get rid of copperhead snakes is by calling in pest control. They’re venomous and can cause serious injury. If that’s not an option for you, then it is possible to scare them away with water and homemade repellents.

The best way to deal with these snakes is by preventing an infestation in the first place.

If you’re a homeowner looking to keep Copperheads out of your yard, then read on to learn how to protect your property from copperheads and what to do if one wanders into your yard.

Key Takeaways:

  • Copperhead snakes live in the eastern and southeastern parts of the US. They are attracted by prey, vegetation, and water sources in your yard or house.
  • The safest way to get rid of copperheads is to call pest control professionals who have the tools and expertise to handle them. You can also try to scare them away with water, smoke, or traps, but be careful not to get too close or provoke them.
  • The best way to NOT attract snakes is to remove their food sources, such as insects, frogs, and mice, by using repellents and insecticides. You should also keep your lawn and hedges tidy and well-maintained, fill in any snake burrows, and use snake repellents regularly.

By the way, our site is supported by visitors like you. Some links on this page may be affiliate links which means if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support! You can find out more here.

Copperhead Snake Identification

copperhead snakes

Copperheads are venomous snakes found in the eastern and southeastern parts of the United States. 

They’re easily recognizable, growing up to 37 inches in length and developing distinct dark brown marks in the shape of an hourglass along their bodies. Their base color is light brown or copper.

While they mostly live in an area with forests and woodlands, where their superb camouflage makes it difficult to spot, they sometimes accidentally wander into human habitats.

Most people are afraid of snakes, and because Copperheads are a venomous species of snakes in North America, it’s a good idea to do everything you can to not only identify a Copperhead snake on your property but quickly know how to get rid of it.

What Attracts Copperhead Snakes To Your Yard

A majority of snakes are harmless and are just looking for an area of your yard where they feel safe. Garden snakes, such as the Garter snake, are often found around your home and garden because there is quite a bit of yard debris they can hide in.

However, Copperheads are more common near woodland areas, so you’re more likely to see them if you live near the woods. They’re attracted by prey, vegetation, and water sources. Here’s what brings this poisonous snake into your yard. Knowing what attracts them in the first place is a great way to keep them at bay.

Small Animals and Insects

Copperheads also eat anything available as long as it can fit in their bodies – this includes insects, caterpillars, lizards, voles, mice, frogs, salamanders, and small birds if they get the opportunity.

Most of these species are common yard pests and a copperhead will instinctively follow them.

Overgrown Vegetation or Debris

These venomous snakes are known to ambush predators – they hide under debris or in overgrown vegetation and strike at their prey as it passes by. If you don’t maintain your lawn, you’re creating great hunting territory for a copperhead.

Piles of Leaves or Logs

All animals require shelter, and snakes are known to rest under logs, piles of leaves or rocks, and in crevices. A pile of wood, for example, is a great hiding spot for a snake.

They usually leave their hiding spot during the day to warm up and only return when their body temperature has increased sufficiently.

Water Sources

While copperheads aren’t aquatic snakes like cottonmouths – a species with which they often share territories -they can be found in swampy regions too. Standing water attracts prey, which is often a picnic hamper treat for these reptiles.

On top of that – snakes need to drink too. If you have a swimming pool or a pond in your yard, a copperhead may use it to its advantage.

How to Get Rid of Copperhead Snakes

how to get rid of copperhead snakes

Safety is a primary concern when dealing with copperheads. This is because they are venomous snakes that can injure you if threatened. 

While their bites are rarely fatal and they are certainly not as aggressive as some other snake species, you definitely do not want to get bit by a copperhead.

One thing to keep in mind about copperheads is that they’re known to freeze when confronted. While 99% of snake species will run when threatened, copperheads often become motionless. 

If this happens, find a safe distance to observe the snake but don’t approach it – it will leave when it’s ready.

Here are a few methods for getting rid of copperheads in your yard.

Spray with Water

While snakes are good swimmers, they don’t like being sprayed with water. So, if you see a copperhead in your yard, you could reach for a water hose and unleash the most powerful stream you can at the animal.

You won’t hurt the snake, but it will most definitely make a hasty escape.

Use Traps

Snake traps are an effective way of dealing with slithering intruders and in particular, glue traps are commonly used by professionals due to their effectiveness. Essentially, they glue the snake down as it enters the trap. 

Once caught, the snake will then need to be released safely and in line with local restrictions for your area.

Use Smoke

Another method employed by professionals is smoking the snake out of its shelter. Copperheads are pit vipers, which means that they have heat-sense organs. 

When exposed to smoke, the snake will not only run from the fumes for fear of choking but also because it will effectively blind them as the temperature rises.

Animals run when something starts messing with their senses, and copperheads are no different.

Experts will either use smoke bombs or simply light a rag and waft the flames near the entrance of the snake hole or make-shift den.

Seal and Fill Burrows

While they’re not burrowing animals, a copperhead will invade the burrow of another animal and use it for shelter. Sealing the burrow with soil will not only prevent the snake from getting in but will also alarm it to the potential threat, causing it to seek alternative accommodation arrangements.

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Copperhead Snakes

Copperheads have a great heat-sensing ability on top of their sense of smell, and if either is overwhelmed, can be used to the trappers’ advantage when attempting to get rid of them from your property. 

The smell of ammonia, for example, is likely to drive a copperhead away as it is a smell that they are known to detest.

Lighting a small, controlled fire can also overload the animal’s heat sense. Once affected, a Copperhead is likely to slither away from the fumes in order to come back to its senses.

Use Effective Repellents

According to USDA cinnamon, oil, and clove oil are effective snake repellents. Causing them to retreat when sprayed directly with these oils. 

Call In Professionals

Snake removal is dangerous, so seeking expert assistance is my primary recommendation when it comes to Copperheads for one reason only – these are one of the most dangerous types of venomous snakes. Even if you know your way around snakes, a single mistake could lead to a disaster.

Professionals have tools – tongs, and hooks – that allow them to handle the animal from a distance. They also use traps to catch them, staying safe and disallowing the animal from hurting them or you and your family.

While this may be the more expensive option in comparison to the other things we mentioned, it is by far the safest option for you. Plus, they are going to do everything they can NOT to kill the snake, so if you want to get rid of it without harming it, this can be a great option.

Getting Rid of Copperhead Snakes in Your House

how to get rid of copperheads

The first thing you have to understand about handling a snake inside the house is that the snake doesn’t want to be there any more than you want it there. There is likely to be little or no food for it (it’s not like the copperhead will open the fridge and make itself a sandwich) and the habitat is completely unknown to them.

Luckily, copperheads are particularly rare in residential communities – they prefer staying in the wilderness where they belong. So, if there is a copperhead in your house, it most definitely ended up there by accident.

The first thing you should do after identifying a snake in your home is clear the house immediately – have everyone (including pets) leave.

If possible, keep visual contact with the snake from a distance. Copperheads aren’t quick snakes, and even if they were, the snake doesn’t want to come near you since you are about 40 times larger than it and it sees you as a predator.

The best solution to your copperhead problem is calling pest control and having them come pick up the snake. I do not recommend handling a snake if you’re not a professional.

The safest method used by professionals when handling a snake is by grabbing it with a tong, keeping it at a safe distance at all times, and taking it outside. 

They will then keep it contained in a crate, a barrel, or something else large enough so that it can’t climb out.

Non-venomous snakes are typically placed in cloth sacks, while venomous snakes have to be placed in large trash bins or large pails. Keeping the snake out of direct sunlight to avoid overheating and death is advised, especially during the summer.

Once that’s done – a professional will check for other snakes in the house too.

Animal Control will then arrange for the snake to be released in a nearby forest or woodland and only in accordance with local wildlife enforcement rules.

How to Keep Copperheads Away

Getting rid of snakes is one thing, but learning how to keep copperhead snakes away for good is just as important. Prevent snakes from entering your home and there won’t be a need to remove them.

Here’s how to keep Copperheads and other poisonous snakes out of your home.

Remove Food Sources using Repellents and Insecticides

This is the definition of getting two birds with one stone. Nobody wants mice and frogs around their house, right? Well, the good news is, if there are no mice and frogs around the house, there won’t be any copperheads around the house either.

Frogs are attracted to insects, so using insecticides to minimize insect population will cause the levels of frog population to drop as well. You should also maintain a healthy yard with no overgrown vegetation or still water, as both of those are necessary for insects to thrive.

Mice are omnivores and they’ll eat anything – dealing with them is a bit more difficult. However, keeping garbage bins and pet food safely stored, as well as cleaning your yard from any edible debris will keep mice away.

If there’s no food for copperheads in your yard, there won’t be any copperheads in your yard!

Keep Lawns and Hedges Tidy and Well Maintained

Copperheads prefer living in woodlands because their copper camouflage makes them borderline invisible there. A copperhead in the grass is much more obvious.

However, if you let your lawn, hedges, and other vegetation overgrow, a copperhead can still effectively use it for camouflage. It can hunt and move around without being seen, and that’s what it really wants.

To avoid this – regularly trim your lawn and your hedges.

Fill In Snake Burrows

If there’s a burrow in your yard that another animal left behind, a copperhead might move in. They don’t dig their own burrows, but they’re not going to say no to a free house.

To prevent this from happening, fill all burrows in your yard with soil. They’re not going to dig this up and you’ll be safe from an infestation.

Use Snake Repellents Regularly

Snake repellents have proven effectiveness, this is mostly due to the scent of the repellent being so intense, it overwhelms the snake’s senses and it has to get away in order to get back to its normal self.

Aside from cinnamon and clove oils, you could also use a solution of vinegar or ammonia combined with water.

While this may work just the way you want it to – it is important to remember to refresh the repellents regularly. They get washed away by rain, and they evaporate on their own every two weeks even if there is no rain.

You can also use repellent plants like onions, marigolds, lemongrass, clove basil, garlic, and many other snake repellants that have a strong odor.

If you enjoyed this article, here’s another article you may also like.

Verdict: How to Get Rid of Copperhead Snakes in Your Yard

Altercations with copperheads are rare, but if there is one in your yard, remember to stay calm and keep your distance. They can easily be frightened away with a strong spray of water or repellents.

They also run from smoke, or they can be carried away with snake-handling tools. The safest way to handle them, though, is to let the professionals do it.

 Frequently Asked Questions: Keep Snakes Away From Your Yard

What Makes Copperhead Snakes Go Away?

Copperhead snakes, like most snakes, are generally shy and prefer to avoid human interaction. To encourage them to go away, you can try removing clutter, debris, and tall grass to eliminate potential hiding spots. You may also want to remove any rodents or potential food sources like trash or garbage.

What To Do If There’s A Copperhead In Your Yard?

If you encounter a copperhead snake in your yard, the first thing you should do is keep a safe distance away from the snake. Make sure you do not provoke or try to handle the snake. Also, make sure to keep pets and children away. And finally, call a professional or local animal control who has the experience and tools to safely remove the snake.

What Scares Away Copperheads?

Copperhead snakes, like other snakes, can be deterred by vibrations, loud noises, and natural repellents like mothballs, sulfur, or garlic. They can also be scared away by predators like owls, opossums, and raccoons.

What Attracts Copperheads?

Copperheads, like other snakes, are attracted to environments that offer suitable shelter, food, and water sources. An overgrown yard, small water sources like ponds, and food sources like small rodents, frogs, and lizards are all things that might attract copperheads.

How can I get rid of copperhead snakes in my yard?

There are several ways to keep copperheads away from your yard. You can use snake repellents, set up snake traps, or create a snake-free environment by keeping your yard clean and removing potential hiding spots.

How can I identify copperhead snakes?

Copperhead snakes have distinctive features such as copper-colored heads, hourglass-shaped bands on their bodies, and vertical pupils. It’s important to exercise caution when trying to identify snakes, as many non-venomous species resemble copperheads.

What are some snake repellents that can help keep copperheads away?

There are various snake repellents available in the market that can help repel snakes. These repellents are usually made with natural ingredients and emit strong scents that snakes dislike, keeping them away from your property. We recommend using the Exterminator’s Choice – Non-toxic Snake Spray for the best results. 

Is it safe to use snake traps?

Snake traps can be an effective method to catch snakes, but it’s crucial to ensure they are designed and used safely. If you decide to use snake traps, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and place them in appropriate locations.

Are copperhead snakes venomous?

Yes, copperhead snakes are venomous. Although their venom is relatively mild and their snake bites rarely result in serious medical consequences, it’s essential to exercise caution and not approach or provoke them.

Can snakes climb walls and get inside my home?

Not all snakes can climb. Some snake species, including copperheads, have the ability to climb walls and enter homes through openings or gaps. To prevent this, it’s important to seal any entry points and regularly inspect your home for potential access areas.