How do I make a fence that's safe for snakes?
February 2, 2023 5:30 PM   Subscribe

What advice do you have about fencing around a garden that will keep snakes in the area safe? How large should the holes be? I don't want to get welded wire or woven wire with apertures narrow enough that they could hurt a snake who got stuck, either before or after the snake has eaten. The fence needs to be sturdy enough to withstand moderate deer pressure and keep out neighborhood dogs. I have considered using the PVC/rubber-coated fencing, but my general preference is for galvanized steel.

I have 7' T-posts already in place (6' above ground). Last year I used a combination of monofilament as deterrent, along with motion-sensing sprinklers. This year I want to put in something sturdier.

I've searched and not found info about this. Lots of things about snake fences, or about how to keep snakes out. Me, I don't want to harm non-human neighbors unless absolutely necessary. I live in Central Virginia, USA, and snakes locally include king snakes, rat snakes, ribbon snakes, etc. The biggest I've seen around my property looked maybe 1.75-2" in diameter.

I know the fence is too short to keep out determined deer. By the time anything attractive is growing in the beds, it will have warmed up enough to put the motion-activated sprinklers back. I have considered extending the t-bars upward (pipe), but probably not this year, though I welcome your general advice about fences + deer/wildlife.
posted by cupcakeninja to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
How much fence are we talking? If it's in budget, hog/cattle panels are very sturdy and versatile, and will not hinder most anything smaller than a dog.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:08 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Snakes are squishy. The rule of thumb is that most snakes can fit though half inch cracks in your house. Unless you are using something that is actually solid, snakes are going to be able to pass though your fence in easily.

That said, cattle panels and (my favorite) goat panels make great fencing that will last forever and is pretty cheap as fencing goes.
posted by rockindata at 6:26 PM on February 2 [4 favorites]

Best answer: The general rule for installing "wildlife-friendly" fencing is to leave a gap at the bottom between the mesh and ground, usually 4 to 6 inches on projects around here. So if you aren't worried about keeping out rabbits or other small critters, you should be snake-friendly with even a smaller gap than that. But like people are saying, hog or cattle panels usually have mesh sizes well above the average snake diameter, so any of those should be fine.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:09 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]

Don't know but god bless you for asking.
posted by grobstein at 8:08 PM on February 2 [4 favorites]

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