Growing up on a farm at least an hour’s drive from the nearest city, finding snakes wasn’t exactly a novel experience. In fact, we were lucky enough to have a snake farm as our neighbor, which meant if we didn’t get enough interaction with the snakes the farm manager often brought around for the kids to see, we’d definitely get more than enough of seeing them in our garden.
To this day, I remember my dad having to climb up a tree to get an incredibly venomous boomslang out of the branches before it bit someone.
Living in a rural area near the coast meant snakes were a part of our daily lives. Whether they were non-venomous house snakes or fear-inducing cobras, we ran into them. A lot.
All of this contact with snakes of all species and ages meant we quickly learned how to deal with an encounter. Stay very still, call out for help, and whatever you do, don’t run unless the snake looks like it’s about to strike. We also knew to stay away from piles of rocks, bricks, or wood, where snakes would often hibernate during the winter.
And if you found a baby snake in your garden? Be sure there are a few more. The younger the snake, the more likely it didn’t move far from its egg, and its brothers and sisters are probably around.
However, if you’re looking for a more scientific answer to the question “I found a baby snake in my house, are there more?” than my childhood anecdotes provide, we probably need to start at the beginning and discuss snake reproduction.
How Do Snakes Reproduce?
The simplest description of snake reproduction is that it happens a lot like all other animals reproduce, except with, well, snake parts. Male snakes typically impregnate female snakes by the male extending his hemipenes into the female’s cloaca. The two snakes can stay joined for anything between an hour and a day.
Once the eggs inside the female snake are fertilized, there are two ways she may go about giving birth. The majority of snake species will wait for the eggs to develop to a certain point then lay them somewhere safe. Snake eggs are usually quite soft and leathery and covered with mucus that allows them to stick together and not roll away.
Once the mother has laid the eggs, she will leave, trusting that her babies have the instincts they need to survive once they hatch.
Another birth method involves the female snake giving birth to live young, although this is not as common as the egg-laying method.
No matter the reproduction method, according to the species and individual snake, between one and 100 eggs can be laid at a time. This means if you’ve found a baby snake in your house or garden, there’s as good a chance as any that there may be between one and 99 others around.
What Does It Mean If I Find A Baby Snake in My Yard or House?
If you find a baby snake in your house or garden, it simply means a female snake probably laid her eggs in or near your property. Usually, you shouldn’t expect any fully grown snakes around as the mother leaves her eggs or babies as soon as she’s laid them, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care.
In fact, venomous baby snakes may not be able to control the amount of venom they inject during a bite, and although more often than not, their venom isn’t nearly as strong as an adult’s, this means they could still do quite a lot of harm.
If You Find A Baby Snake In Your House or Yard, Are There More?
Yes, it is likely if you find a baby snake in your yard or house, there are more around, especially if the baby snake is still very young. If you want to find its nest and possibly relocate the other babies, you should look for a pile of loose sand or soil, which is likely where their mom left them.
How Do I Know If There Are More Snakes in My House or Yard?
Finding one snake is typically a good indicator there may be more. If you suspect your house or garden is hosting more than one baby snake, look for piles of leaves, loose sand, soil, or a dark, safe spot the mother may have chosen to lay them.
While searching is an excellent way to find the nest, you should be careful as some venomous snakes go against the grain and actually stay with their offspring, which could leave you with a rather unpleasant surprise should you locate them.
What Should I Do If I Find A Baby Snake In My House or Yard?
If you find a baby snake in your house or yard, there are a few steps you can take:
- Don’t kill it: I know the fear and urge to destroy any creature that could harm you is strong, but killing a baby snake for simply existing doesn’t seem like the most morally upstanding thing to do.
- Try to identify it: Do this without approaching the baby or picking it up as it may be venomous. Look at the markings on its body, the shape of its head, and its size and use these properties to take an educated guess at the species of the snake, which may be helpful if you’re calling in a professional to deal with them. The section below discusses how to identify baby snakes and eggs.
- If you are 100% certain the snakes aren’t venomous, you can find the nest by yourself. This may take some searching outside and inside, but the key is to look for dark, enclosed spaces easily accessible to a snake.
- If you find the nest and the mother snake is still there, leave them be and call a professional. The two snake species that most commonly stay with their eggs are cobras and pythons, both of which could be dangerous when provoked.
- Call a professional snake catcher or your local snake farm or sanctuary. They know how to deal with snakes of all species and can ensure the snakes are removed from your property without any harm being done to the snakes or to yourself.
The important thing is to get the snakes out of your yard or house without hurting them, your property, or yourself and your loved ones.
Identifying a Baby Snake
Identifying baby snakes can be tricky, especially considering they may not have their adult markings or colors yet.
The best way to identify them is to take a hard look at their head shape, colors, patterns, and size and enter this information into your web search engine. Look for pictures of baby snakes that look most like the one you spotted, and you could identify the snake successfully, especially if it has distinguishing colors like red or white.
It is also important to note many venomous and non-venomous snakes may look almost exactly the same, like the coral snake, which has a powerful venom, and the scarlet kingsnake, which is mostly harmless.
No matter how sure you are of the snake’s identity, always act carefully and err on the side of caution when searching for nests or trying to catch your snake invaders.