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Garter snakes

By: Garden Gate staff
Common garter snakes are sometimes called garden snakes. The yellow stripes you see in the photo give these snakes their name.

Garter snake

common garter snake

Common garter snakes are sometimes called garden snakes. The yellow stripes you see in the photo give these snakes their name. They look like the striped garters that men used to use to hold up their socks.

Although garter snakes are usually between 2 and 3 ft. long, occasionally they’ll reach 4 ft. There are several species and subspecies with a variety of markings. Some have the yellow stripes, but others have speckles or red stripes on a brown or black background. A few are all black. The markings help the snakes blend into their surroundings.

Sometimes a garter snake finds its way into a house, but it’s not a cause for alarm. Usually it happens when the snake comes out of winter hibernation along the foundation or in a septic tank and accidentally gets into the basement. The best way to keep snakes outside is to carefully seal up any holes in or near the foundation. Expanding foam, available at your local home improvement store, works well.

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