How to Identify Snake Droppings

Finding snake feces is an extremely unpleasant experience. In this article, you will learn how does snake poop really look like. Identifying present droppings helps you decide what you are dealing with and how to proceed to protect yourself against snakes.

What does snake poop look like? Snake poop images

Snakes, as much as other beings digest their food and defecate. Snakes have peculiar eating habits, therefore their digestion process is different from other animals. 

Snakes swallow their prey whole. A snake’s diet can be different according to a specific type but from the ones that you may come across most snakes eat small mammals. Even smaller garden visitors such as rat snakes, corn snakes, and king snakes swallow their prey all at once, according to National Wildlife Federation. It may sound impossible, but snakes get larger in a matter of minutes after feeding and then slowly digest the food. 

How does a snake digest?

After a meal snake switches to full digestive mode. The prey is digested by stomach acid. The snake’s small intestine extracts all the useful substances out of the meal. Protein, fat, and nutrients are absorbed through the walls and transferred to the bloodstream. Other indigestible materials are defecated. 

Indigestible materials leftover include claws, fur, and anything that the snake’s body decides to be useless. 

Other indigestible materials are passed and come out as poop through the cloaca opening. Cloaca is a single opening also known as a vent that has a variety of functions for snakes. It is used for the discharge of uric acid as well as snake excrement. Additionally, it has a reproductive purpose. 

How to Identify Snake Scat

Snake droppings vary depending on the type of snake. However, they share key similarities. 

Snake droppings

Normal snake excrement is dark brown or black. Mostly it is solid and has a log shape with lumps. Usually, with snake poop, you will also see a white urea cap that has a chalk-like appearance

Poop size depends on the snake. For example, big venomous snakes such as copperhead snakes have a sizeable poop that is brown. 

With poop, you might see parts from indigestible materials leftover. If you find scales in a poop, then you are facing a kingsnake or a coral snake. This is because these snakes feed on other snakes. 

Small snake poop might look like bird droppings, so be very careful not to mistake those two. Identifying present droppings helps you and wildlife control experts determine what kind and how many snakes are in the house. 

Snake’s fecal matter smells unpleasant and it is just like any other animal’s. While you can identify snake poop, it is impossible to determine the exact species and type of reptile is present. 

How often do snakes poop?

Since snakes mostly need to digest a whole meal first, snakes excrete infrequently.  Moreover, these reptiles have irregular eating habits. Therefore, the frequency might vary from several days to 4 weeks in most cases. Keep in mind that some of the larger snakes poop even more rarely. 

However, there are key differences between some snakes. For example, python may defecate after 3 meals, while corn snakes usually poop after every meal. The general rule is that the bigger the snake less frequently it poops. 

How to dispose of snake feces?

Whether you have your own snake or came across snake excrement around your house, you need to remove snake feces.

How to dispose of snake fecesIf it is your own snake, then scoop out the snake feces with a small shovel from the terrarium. It is highly recommended to use plastic gloves and wash them before as well as after snake scat disposal. After removing the fecal matter or urate (snake’s solid formed urine), disinfect the area. Additionally, make sure to remove the soil that was in contact with snake feces or urate. Put the snake scat in plastic bags and throw it outside of your home. 

In case you found droppings in your house, first identify snake feces. If the excrements match the description above, then take the snake proposing plastic gloves and put it into a garbage bag, then dispose of it outside of the building. Make sure to disinfect the area thoroughly to avoid exposure to health risks. 

Finding snake feces is not a nice experience. Make sure to stay calm and contact pest control or reptile control services in your area. 

How to repel snakes the easiest way

The easiest way to prevent the existence of snakes in your garden is to repel them with natural remedies. Some of the easiest repellents have proven to be efficient against venomous as well as non venomous reptiles. 

The best way to repel snakes is to target their sense of smell. 

How do snakes smell?

Snakes have nostrils however, according to National Geographic they receive more information about smell through their tongues. The snake captures scent molecules when it flicks its tongue. Once it draws the tongue back into the mouth, the molecules are transferred to the sensory center which is known as Jacobson’s organ or vomeronasal. 

You can use the snake’s heightened senses to your advantage and repel them efficiently. 

Natural snake repellents:

  • Powdered sulfur
  • Garlic-based spray
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Vinegar
  • Ammonia

You will need to burn powdered sulfur to repel reptiles as well as other pests. For the rest of the remedies, it is enough to mix them with water and spray them around your garden. 

Frequently asked questions

Are snake droppings poisonous to humans?

Generally, snake poop is not poisonous to humans because it does not contain venom. However, it may contain bacteria that may be harmful to humans as well as pets. Snake feces may contain salmonella bacteria which is dangerous for humans. Remove present droppings and contact wildlife control experts. 

Where do snakes usually poop?

Snakes poop in the spots they find comfortable. They usually do not poop where they live. Of course, it is different if snakes live in a terrarium. When the snake is in the house, it will probably defecate in the basement or in an attic. That is where you will find snake droppings most often. Pay attention to the fecal matter you find around your house or garden because you might mistake snake poop with bird droppings. 

Do snakes pee?

Yes, snakes do pee but in a strange way. Firstly, snakes don’t have a bladder nor any organ that can be used for storing urine. Secondly, while their pee can be liquid mainly it has a solid and lumpy shade. These are called urates. 

Snakes pee more often than they poop. The frequency of it depends on the age and type of a snake.

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