Copperhead snakes are nothing to play around with. They are the most common venomous snake in North America and are in fact responsible for most venomous snake bites throughout their region.
While copperhead bites may not always be directly fatal, they can lead to serious infections if not taken care of quickly, and many copperhead bites can be fatal to our cats and dogs. If you live in an area where copperheads are common, you’ll want to make sure you protect yourself and your family.
So, how do you get rid of copperheads and stop them from coming back? That’s what we are here to find out.
What Are Copperheads?
Copperheads are a type of venomous snake in the pit viper family.
Copperheads are a species of snake related to rattlesnakes and water moccasins. There are five subspecies of copperheads that live across North America, and they all vary slightly in appearance and size. However, their main distinguishing characteristic – their copper head – is what makes them easy to identify.
While copperheads typically aren’t known to be aggressive, they are one of the most common snakes responsible for venomous bites. This is likely because these snakes are so adaptable to different living environments and have such wonderful natural camouflage.
Copperheads can be found in forests, fields, deserts, and even suburbs, thriving wherever there is shelter and sun, according to experts. And while copperheads are most active throughout the daytime during the spring and fall, they are nocturnal during summer, making them all the more dangerous as they are harder to spot.
That said, even in the light of day, the copperhead bears a unique hourglass patterson along its back that allows it to camouflage into all kinds of different surfaces. They are also able to climb low hanging bushes and trees, and will even go for a swim from time to time.
And while copperheads are dangerous and should be approached with extreme caution, it’s important to note that killing them is not advised by many experts and exterminators. In fact, when looking at how to get rid of copperheads, most experts agree that using traps, repellents, and professionals are the best options for removal.
Let’s learn more about what to do if you see a copperhead and how to get rid of copperheads safely.
Copperhead Dangers – What To Do If You See A Copperhead
Copperhead snakes are venomous and should be approached with caution.
It is true that copperheads are venomous, however they don’t go out hunting people down to bite them. In fact, if you see a copperhead, the best thing to do is leave it alone. Most copperheads will be on their way in the opposite direction as soon as they see you.
However, if provoked or stepped on, copperheads are likely to bite. If you or your pet is bitten by a copperhead, seek medical or veterinary attention immediately.
The below video does a fabulous job of explaining what the copperhead is and how to approach one if you see it.
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Because copperheads are venomous, it’s important to look into how to repel them from your property. Let’s learn more about how to get rid of copperheads.
How To Get Rid Of Copperheads – Three Popular Methods
There are a few safe and effective methods you can use to help get rid of copperhead snakes.
As with all pests, there are a few different methods you can use when looking into how to get rid of copperheads. The most common methods recommended by experts include:
Let’s learn more about how to get rid of copperheads using the above three remedies, and then we will look into some of our favorite products for keeping copperheads away from your home and property line.
Using repellents to get rid of copperheads is one of the most effective remedies because it allows you to take care of this snake problem from a distance. Repellents may also help keep other pests from entering your home or property as well.
Some of the best repellents use natural ingredients that deter snakes and their food sources from entering your yard or garden. You can also use ultrasonic repellents that use noise and vibrations, or fence repellents to help keep copperheads away.
If you have noticed copperheads around your property or home, you may want to implement some traps along with repellents to help catch and relocate them.
There are several different types of traps you can use for how to get rid of copperheads, and we have listed some of our favorite traps further down. However, the most common copperhead traps include fish traps, glue traps, and hook traps.
If you notice a recurring copperhead problem or copperheads have invaded your home to hibernate, it’s probably time to call in a professional. Remember, these snakes are venomous and their bite can cause serious damage.
Most local professionals will either be able to tell you how to get rid of copperheads safely or will be able to come to your property to assist you.
Now, let’s take a look at some of our favorite repellents for how to get rid of copperheads.
How To Get Rid Of Copperheads Using Repellents
Repellents are the safest method to help keep copperheads away.
As we mentioned above, most experts agree that using preventatives and snake repellents are the best way for you to help keep copperheads and other pests from nesting, hibernating, and foraging in your yard, garden, and home.
There are plenty of snake repellents you can buy that are safe to use in areas where children and pets play, as so many snakes (copperheads included) are repelled by the scent of essential oils.
Let’s take a look at some of our favorite snake repellents below that are ideal for how to get rid of copperheads.
Ortho Snake B Gon
One of the first snake repellents on our list for how to get rid of copperheads is a product by ortho. This snake repellent is safe to use around people and pets and is also safe to use on plants and in the garden.
These snake repellent granules work best when sprinkled around any areas you want to control or reduce snake activity. They are also weather and rain resistant and work using essential oils.
Snake Defense Natural Snake Repellent
If you are looking for more natural repellent options for how to get rid of copperheads you may like this product by Exterminator’s choice. It works on both venomous and non-venomous snakes and will help prevent them from nesting and foraging on your property.
The active ingredients are essential oils like peppermint oil, clove oil, and cinnamon oil. While this product is for outdoor use only, you can use it as a perimeter protectant around your home, in your garage, barn, garden shed, and yard.
Safer Brand Snake Shield
Snake Shield by Safer Brand is another product we love for a copperhead repellent. Like many of the repellents on this list it is safe to use around people, pets, and plants.
It begins working immediately and keeps venomous snakes out of your yard and garden by repelling them with cedarwood oil, clove oil, and cinnamon oil. It uses long lasting granules that you simply sprinkle throughout your yard and garden to help reduce any unwanted snake activity.
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Havahart is a product we use often for all kinds of pest control needs. We like that this company uses effective, natural ingredients to confuse and repel snakes so they no longer come into your yard or garden. The order above comes in a four pound bag and is great for large lawns.
Solar Powered Snake Repellent
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Many people find that solar powered repellents work well when they are looking for how to get rid of copperheads using non-toxic products. A solar powered repellent also works to repel other pests like moles, gophers, and voles.
These repellents work by using frequency vibrations to help deter snakes and other pests from slithering their way onto your property. One of our favorite things about these solar powered stakes is that they are simple to install and run on solar energy, so you can place them around your yard and let them do their thing.
How To Get Rid Of Copperheads Using Traps
Snake traps should be used along with repellents to help keep copperheads at bay.
There are several different types of traps you can use for how to get rid of copperheads in your yard from extended arm traps, to cage traps, to glue traps.
However, most traps are meant for catch and release. Glue traps are controversial because they are considered inhumane to use on snakes and other animals. However, glue traps for snakes can actually be an effective way to catch and release them if you use olive oil.
This video below explains how to release a copperhead snake from a glue trap.
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Now, let’s take a look at a few of the traps we recommend for how to get rid of copperheads.
Yes, you can actually use minnow traps to catch live snakes. You can simply bait the inside of the trap with snake bait and lay it around the perimeter of your home or wherever you notice copperhead activity.
As we mentioned above, traps are best utilized when you already know you have a copperhead problem and want to get rid of them. Otherwise it is always best to use repellents.
DocSeward Snake Hook Copperhead Series
This snake hook is especially designed for those looking for how to get rid of copperheads using a hook and removal tool. It is 43 inches long, and especially helpful if you are dealing with venomous snakes.
We think this is a good product to have on hand for removal of one snake at a time and is meant for catching and relocating snakes off of your property. Of course, use this tool with extreme caution when dealing with poisonous snakes.
Fnova Snake Tongs
Another snake catcher we recommend for how to get rid of copperheads is by Fnova. These snake tongs are 47 inches long, which is ideal for catching and removing venomous snakes, and they also have gripping tongs on the end so you have better control.
We like that this product is harm free to the snake, so you can catch it, control it, and remove it safely and humanely. When you are not using the product, you can shorten it and store it away.
Catchmaster Snake Glue Trap
Glue traps are definitely controversial, however we like them for how to get rid of copperheads because they are easy to use and work well. You can also use them humanely by releasing the snakes once they are trapped by pouring a bit of olive oil over the glue.
Of course, if you are releasing a live and poisonous copperhead, do so wearing protective gear and travel at least five miles away from your property to ensure the snake won’t return.
HARRIS Supersized Snake Glue Trap
This is another glue trap we like for how to get rid of copperheads. It is large, which helps when you are dealing with larger copperheads, and it uses non-toxic glue to ensure it is safe to use in areas where people and pets play.
Glue traps also help catch other pests like rats, spiders, and mice. Again, if you want to release the copperhead, we recommend doing so at least five miles away from your home and using protective gear and olive oil.
How To Get Rid Of Copperheads Using Home Remedies
Planting garlic can help repel snakes and other pests.
Wondering how to get rid of copperheads using home remedies? Along with purchasing repellents and traps to help you get rid of these venomous snakes, there are also a few steps you can take at home to help keep copperheads away.
We have listed some of our favorite home remedies you can use for how to get rid of copperheads below.
- Use Snake-Repellent Plants
Many snakes, not just copperheads, are deterred by certain plants. Some of the best plants you can use for how to get rid of copperheads include garlic plants, onion plants, lemongrass, Dracaena trifasciata (aka Motherin-Law’s Tongue), and marigolds.
Before you do plant any snake-repellent plants in your garden, be sure to do your research on each plant to ensure none of them are toxic to people and pets. For example, marigolds may be beautiful, but they can be toxic to dogs if ingested.
- Use Mothballs
Lots of snake repellents use an ingredient called naphthalene to help get rid of snakes. However, naphthalene is also the active ingredient in mothballs. The scent of mothballs is a natural snake deterrent and will help you get rid of copperheads. That said, mothballs use chemical toxins and can be dangerous to use around children and pets.
- Garlic, Onions, And Rock Salt
Wondering how to get rid of copperheads using your own snake repellent? Dice fresh garlic and onions and mix them with rock salt to make your own natural form of snake repellent. Sprinkle this concoction around the perimeter of your home, in your garden, and anywhere else you want to repel copperheads.
Please note that garlic and onions can be toxic to pets if ingested, though, so use this remedy with caution around animals.
- Lime And Peppermint Oil
You can also work on how to get rid of copperheads naturally using lime and peppermint oil. Mix fresh lime juice and several drops of peppermint oil into a spray bottle and spray the mixture along the perimeter of your house, in your garden, and throughout your yard to help keep these creatures away.
- Clove Oil and Cinnamon Oil
Cinnamon and clove oil are natural ingredients in many of the commercial snake repellent products listed above, so it comes as no surprise that you can make your own copperhead repellent using these two essential oils.
Mix several drops of both oils in a spray bottle with some water and spray throughout your yard and garden as often as needed. You can also use these essential oils in your diffuser inside your home to help repel snakes and other pests.
- White Vinegar
If you have ponds or backyard pools that are attracting snakes like copperheads, you can pour white vinegar around the edge of the water to help keep them away.
The smell of ammonia is incredibly strong, and it helps repel not only snakes but also other pests like moles, voles, gophers, and insects. You can spray pure ammonia around the perimeter of your home or soak cotton balls or cloth in the liquid and leave it out where you want to decrease copperhead activity.
Quick Facts – What You Should Know About Copperheads
Copperhead snakes are the most common snake to bite people in North America.
Copperheads are venomous and may be frightening, but these creatures are generally solitary and will only bite if provoked, threatened, or stepped on.
Here are a few facts you should know about the copperhead snake:
Copperheads often hibernate with other snakes like rattlesnakes and black snakes
It’s strange, considering copperheads are so solitary during most of their lives, but it is true. When they hibernate, they share their den with other snakes and even other snake species! That said, and despite a common myth, copperheads cannot interbreed with other species of snake.
Copperheads will pretend to be rattlesnakes to deter a threat
Copperheads are often confused for rattlesnakes, and one of the reasons is due to their incredible ability to roleplay. In fact, if threatened, copperheads will often coil up and shake their tail as if to rattle it, hoping the threat will realize it’s a venomous snake and back off.
Female copperheads give birth to live young
While many snakes lay eggs, female copperheads birth live baby snakes after incubating the eggs inside of them. Babies are born in late summer to early fall, and copperhead mothers usually produce between two to 18 young.
Copperheads are some of the most commonly misidentified snakes in North America
Copperhead snakes are often confused for other snakes and other snakes are often confused for them. However, the most distinguishing feature of a copperhead snake is the hourglass pattern along its back and the two, small dots on the top of its head.
How To Get Rid Of Copperheads – When To Call A Professional
Copperhead snakes are nothing to mess with and you may need to call a professional if you repeatedly have issues.
While many people want to know how to get rid of copperhead snakes using poisons and other lethal methods, this is not always necessary. In fact, many experts agree that using preventatives, repellents, and relocation techniques work just fine to get rid of these beneficial (albeit venomous) reptiles.
However, if you feel uncomfortable removing copperheads on your own or if you have discovered a den of copperheads on your property, it is always wise to call a professional.
Professional copperhead removal usually costs around $150, but the price may vary depending on the location, circumstance, and company.
Tips On Preventing Future Copperhead Problems
Keep your lawn mowed short to help reduce snake hiding places.
- Mow Your Lawn And Landscape
Snakes like copperheads are attracted to grassy areas with lots of debris and shrubbery where they can hide, forage, and nest. One of the best ways to get rid of copperheads is to make sure you keep up on your lawn care and yard maintenance.
Keep your grass cut short and pay special attention to the perimeter of your home. You should also keep gardens, shrubbery, and other plants trimmed and neat to help reduce hiding places for copperheads.
- Remove Debris
Around fall when the weather starts to get cold, copperheads will begin looking for places to hibernate. They will seek out shelter in piles of debris like wood, tools, old cars, or anything else they feel will provide them a safe space to sleep through the winter.
The best way to avoid having copperheads hibernating and nesting around your home is to ensure your home is free and clear of loose debris like wood piles, piles of gardening supplies, etc.
- Declutter Garages, Sheds, Crawlspaces, and Cellars
Because copperheads are attracted to debris and clutter, one of the ways you can help avoid future copperhead issues as well as repel other pests like mice, spiders, and rats, is to declutter and keep areas where snakes are attracted to clean.
- Remove Their Food Sources
Having a copperhead problem may be a sign of other pest issues. Copperheads are carnivores and feed on anything from mice to lizards to insects. If you have noticed a large number of copperheads on your property, you may also have a large number of other pests. Use repellents, insecticides, and traps to help remove other pests and reduce the copperhead’s food source.
- Install A Snake-Proof Fence Around Your Property
If you live in an area that is rich with snake activity, and especially if you live in an area rich with venomous snakes like copperheads and rattlesnakes, it may be a good idea to install a snake-proof fence around the perimeter of your property.
Make sure the snake-proof fence you install is made with mesh no bigger than ¼ of an inch, otherwise baby snakes may still be able to get through the fence and enter your property.
And remember, although copperheads are venomous and may even be frightening, they are good for our environment and play an important role in our ecosystem as far as being natural pest control agents. These guys generally don’t want to see you just as badly as you don’t want to see them.
So, when working on how to get rid of copperheads, the best method is always prevention. We hope this article was helpful and informative and you now have a better idea of how to get rid of copperheads and keep them away from your property for good.
Stay safe out there!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.