Missouri Homeowners Beware: Rat Snakes on the Rise

What Are Rat Snakes?

Rat snakes are a type of non-venomous snake found in Missouri and other parts of the United States. They are typically gray or black in color, with a white or yellowish belly. Rat snakes can grow up to five feet in length and have a slender body with a pointed head. They are also known as corn snakes, pilot black snakes, and chicken snakes.

Rat snakes are beneficial to humans because they help keep rodent populations under control by preying on mice, rats, and other small animals. However, they can become a nuisance when they enter homes and yards looking for food or shelter.

Why Are Rat Snakes on the Rise in Missouri?

The number of rat snakes in Missouri has been steadily increasing over the past few years due to several factors. One of the main reasons is that rat snakes have adapted well to human-altered habitats such as suburban neighborhoods and agricultural areas. These areas provide plenty of food sources for rat snakes, such as rodents, birds, insects, and even pet food left outside.

In addition, rat snakes have few natural predators in Missouri due to the state’s mild climate and lack of large predators such as coyotes or bobcats. This has allowed rat snake populations to thrive without much competition from other species.

How Can Homeowners Protect Themselves From Rat Snakes?

Homeowners should take steps to protect themselves from rat snake infestations by making their property less attractive to these reptiles. Here are some tips:

• Keep your yard free of debris such as wood piles or tall grass where ratsnakes can hide;
• Seal any cracks or openings around your home’s foundation;
• Remove any bird feeders or pet food dishes that may attract rodents;
• Install motion-activated lights around your property;
• Use rodent traps around your home; and
• Contact a professional pest control company if you suspect an infestation.

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Taking these steps can help reduce the chances of having an unwelcome visitor on your property. If you do encounter a rat snake on your property, it is important not to panic – they are not aggressive towards humans unless provoked. The best course of action is to leave it alone and let it move on its own accord.

Conclusion

Rat snakes may be beneficial for controlling rodent populations but they can become a nuisance when they enter homes looking for food or shelter. Homeowners should take steps to make their property less attractive to these reptiles by keeping their yard free of debris, sealing any cracks or openings around their home’s foundation, removing bird feeders or pet food dishes that may attract rodents, installing motion-activated lights around their property, using rodent traps around their home, and contacting a professional pest control company if necessary. If you do encounter a rat snake on your property it is important not to panic – just leave it alone and let it move on its own accord!