Snakes

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How to Identify Signs of Snakes

It is rare to see snakes in Barbados. If you do spot one, it will usually be between July and September 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 of snakes that you can look out for if you have concerns. These include:

  • Shed skins – Adders and Grass snakes tend to shed their skins soon after emerging from hibernation
  • Winding trails on light dirt or sandy surfaces, particularly across heathland areas.

Where You Might Find Snakes

There are certain places where snakes may like to hide on your property.

  • Reptile Habitats - Nature reserves of heathland or 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

  • Grass snakes and slow-worms are harmless and are frequent garden visitors.
  • Grass snakes enter gardens to catch amphibians, such as frogs.
  • 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.

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.

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.

Contact your local Zoo if you suspect you have a non-native snake nearby.