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How to Identify Signs of Snakes and what to do

If you do spot a snake, it will usually be in the warmer season when they are at their most active.

Only gardens with extensive secluded wildlife areas will have snakes. In most garden areas if snakes are seen, they are most likely just passing through.

There are a few 'hard to spot' signs that you can look out for if you have concerns about snakes. These include:

  • Shed skins – Snakes tend to shed their skins soon after emerging from hibernation
  • Winding trails on light dirt or sandy surfaces.

Where You Might Find Snakes

There are certain places where snakes are more commonly found.

  • Reptile Habitats - Nature reserves of rough grassland, disused quarries, large allotments, large derelict urban sites or sunny road and railway embankments with scrub cover.

  • Garden Features - Wood, rock or rubble piles, rockeries, ponds, long grass areas and shrubs.

  • Sunny Areas - Sun trap areas with lots of vegetation cover and places to shelter.

  • Gardens, parks or other grassed areas - Be prepared to find reptiles if you lift up debris or are near features such as hedges, ponds, compost heaps and areas of long grass.

Reptiles are timid and will usually flee to seek cover if they are detected by people or pets.

Know if you are at Risk

  • Snakes are not aggressive by nature and will attack in most cases if threatened or provoked.
  • Puff Adders, Black Adders and Gaboon Adders all have cytotoxic venom which destroys tissue. The Night Adder also has cytotoxic venom, although this is relative low in toxicity.
  • Adders are rarely found in gardens and only occur if you live close to their preferred habitats.
  • Bites from adders are very rare, and most occur when a snake is picked up or provoked.
  • The venomous Cape Cobra, Snouted Cobra and Green Mamba snakes have neurotoxic effects – attacking the central nervous system and affecting cardio pulmonary action.
  • The Boomslang and the Vine snake’s venom are haemotoxic, meaning that it disables the clotting process, causing internal and external bleeding. Unfortunately, no anti-venom exists for a bite from the vine snake.

Snake Repellent Services

Rentokil Kenya supplies snake repellent services. We make use of the Actelic spray application which serves as the best snake repellent when sprayed along the perimeter fence or any vegetation harboring the snakes.

Contact us for snake repellent services.

Deter Snakes from Entering Your Property

To deter snakes there are a few things you can do:

  • Mow grass regularly to keep it short.

  • Clear low growing plants and shrubs that provide cover.

  • Remove rockeries, debris, wood or log piles. Keep compost heaps in a sealed bin.

  • Fill holes that they can hide in; under sheds, patios and walls.

  • Putting close fitting fences or walls around ponds can be a deterrent.

If the snake you’ve seen is an escaped pet, it should be removed by the Kenya Wildlife and the County government, or a trained snake operator for re-homing.

Sometimes exotic snakes are found in gardens, grounds or warehouses, mostly in urban or suburban areas. These species may be escaped or abandoned pets or accidentally imported in goods.

As Rentokil only offers snake repellent services as part of our service package, be sure to contact the Kenya Wildlife and the County government or snake operator if you suspect you have a non-native snake nearby.