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How to Trap Water Snakes

If you're being terrorized by water snakes and want to get rid of them, you can catch them and dispose of them using a number of methods.


  • Step 1: Lure the snakes to a trapping area by piling damp towels or burlap sacks in a corner and covering the pile with a dry burlap sack to keep the pile damp. Go back to the pile at around midday, when snakes are most likely to be there, and scoop the pile into a garbage can with a shovel. Carry the garbage can outside to dispose of the snakes.
  • Step 2: Place a piece of plywood along a wall and shim it about an inch above the floor. Pile grass clippings on the board and throw a few dead mice or mouse droppings beneath the board to attract snakes. Check the trap for snakes every couple of days. Dispose of any snakes you trap and be rid of them for good.
  • FACT: When threatened, the water moccasin, or cottonmouth, vibrates its tails and emits a strong smelling musk.
  • TIP: Apply waterproofing compound to the end of the plank that will be in the water so that it doesn't soak up water and get heavier.
  • Step 3: Place a light, thin plank over the top of a cage with sloping sides. Balance the plank over the cage like a see-saw so that the weight of the snake causes the plank to fall, depositing the snake into the trap.
  • Step 4: Place a cage beneath a sunning site, such as a tree branch, log, or rock. When the snake drops off of the sunning site to get into the water, it'll fall into the cage.
  • TIP: Make sure the cage has sides that slope inward at the top to prevent the snake climbing out.
  • Step 5: Put a brick-sized piece of Styrofoam in a minnow trap, so that the trap floats and allows a trapped snake to breathe. Bait the trap with six or eight minnows, attach a rope to the trap for easy retrieval, and float the trap near the shoreline.

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