It's snake season! Here's what you can do to keep them at bay

(WSET)

DANVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- If you haven't heard, the snakes are back out.

So is there anything you can do to keep them away?

Extension Agent Stephen Barts says getting rid of snakes is all about habitat modification and preventing them from having areas of cover.

"Tall grass, wood piles, places they can hide, places that they can lay their eggs," he said.

So make sure to cut that tall grass in your yard or steer clear of it.

But if you don't want them around, Barts says you should get rid of their food source all together.

"If you can control the food source, meaning the mice other small mammals that they may be feeding on, then you can prevent the snake from having a desire to be in that area," said Barts.

You could buy repellents or other snake deterrent items like a snake guard, but it may be a waste of money.

"Most of the success stories that you'll see with those repellents are anecdotal, they're not repeatable results," Barts said. "These products are being put in the environment right? So if it's a sulfur based product you use it to make a barrier around your house and it rains, the sulfur has been diluted by the rain water and the effectiveness would be reduced."

He also says to eliminate possible entrance points in your home.

"Even a quarter inch gap, a small snake can make their way through that," Barts added.

Also remember, avoid killing snakes, they are valuable to our ecosystem.

Illegally killing a snake is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail, according to the Virginia Code.

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