Snakes can sometimes be found in trampoline pits, or even sunbathing on the trampoline mat. An inground trampoline pit isn’t the most attractive place for a snake, generally too cavernous. However, the snake can follow prey such as rodents down into the pit.
To keep snakes out of your inground trampoline pit, and out of your yard, it’s best to keep the yard clear and lawn mown, reduce the amount of food available, and block off areas that the snakes might like to hide in. Be sure to check under the trampoline if it hasn’t been used for a while.
There are only a couple of states in the US without snakes, being Alaska and Hawaii. And Rhode Island only has non-venomous snakes. Otherwise, every state in the US has venomous snakes, with Arizona and Florida having the most.
Are Snakes Harmful to Kids and Pets?
In the US, over 1,300 kids suffer from a snakebite each year, with over a quarter of them occurring in Florida or Texas. About a fifth of the total require admission to an intensive care unit. Copperheads bite more people, but rattlesnakes are more likely to cause death.
Given the danger, it’s best not to have snakes in the yard, and it’s definitely best not to have them living underneath where kids are jumping.
Snakes can also be harmful to pets. If a dog is bitten by a venomous snake, it may die within an hour of the snake bite without treatment. Cats are generally more resistant to the venom of some snakes when compared to dogs, however, they are not invincible. You would still need to seek veterinarian attention.
Why Do Snakes End Up In Your Trampoline Pit?
If there’s a snake in your trampoline pit, it may have followed a rodent in, or gone there to look for food or water. The pit is probably too big and cavernous for it to be a preferred hideout. You shouldn’t really keep anything under your inground trampoline.
Snakes like to be snug. They spend a great deal of their time hiding from predators. They prefer holes where they can touch the sides and / or tops of the ceiling of their burrow. Some snakes will use old rodent holes, others will bury themselves under leaf litter, or even hide in the hollow of a fallen log. Some rattlesnakes will also hide in rock piles, dense vegetation or a stack of wood.
You may even find a snake lying out on the trampoline mat in order to get warm. Whilst they can’t climb up onto a regular trampoline, it is very easy for them to come straight across onto the mat of an inground trampoline. The plastic in the mat warms up nicely in the sun, and can feel quite cozy.
How To Know If You Have Snakes?
Snakes are cautious creatures, with a remarkable sense of vibration and smells. If they are trying to hide, you probably won’t find them easily.
There are four primary ways of identifying if a snake is near your inground trampoline.
1. Clean snake hole or burrow
As well as the habitats mentioned above, snakes will live in holes and burrows. If the entrance is covered with cobwebs or other debris, the hole is probably empty. If the entrance is very clear, there may be a snake nearby. Don’t stick your hand down to find out!
2. Snake poop in the yard
Snake poop is a long tube-like pellet, generally brown with a bit of liquid around it, capped off with some white urea. There is generally less white than from a bird. And it’s a longer tube than the pellet shaped poop from a lizard. Snakes poop often has Salmonella in it, so do be careful cleaning it up, using gloves and disposing of it quickly.
3. Snake Skins in the yard
Snakes will shed their skins approx. 6-15 times per year, or every 3 weeks to two months. Even if they spend most of their time underground, snakes will come to the surface to shed their skins.
The skin comes off in one big piece, made easier by the lubricating lymphatic fluid secreted by the snake. It dries out pretty quickly, and looks shriveled within an hour.
4. Snake Tracks in the Yard
Snakes leave telltale signs of having travelled over sandy, dirt or dusty patches. The way a snake moves is called concertina locomotion, and the snake expands and contracts. This means that they leave a linear path, as their belly moves them forward in a series of ripples.
Snakes don’t usually leave any tracks in grass or snow.
How to Keep Snakes Out Of Your Trampoline Pit
If you can keep snakes out of your yard, you’ll be able to keep them away from your trampoline pit. Let’s look at the ways that you can make your yard less attractive and more snake-proof.
1. Clear Your Yard Of Clutter
Snakes love to hide in piles of firewood, rocks and general junk such as old sheet metal or lumber. Make sure that the trampoline pit itself is clear also, and hasn’t been a catch-all hole for junk at the sides. Remember that snakes will live in a place that is snug, so you’re trying to make everything wide open.
Get in a skip bin and do a general tidy up. Then put everything else away. If you do need a wood pile, surround it with a 2 foot vertical piece of metal sheeting dug into the ground a few inches. This makes it hard for the snake to scale (sorry, couldn’t resist!), and climb inside a gap.
2. Mow Your Yard Regularly
Rodents and large bugs love to live and hide in long grass. Hungry snakes love to go with there is an abundant food supply.
If you mow the lawn regularly, you’ll clear the habitat of the food supply, and snakes are far less likely to hang out in a yard with short grass.
Pay attention to the trimming the grass around your inground trampoline pit. Snakes and other rodents would see tall grass there as a sanctuary if the rest of the yard has only short grass.
3. Cut Back Vegetation In The Landscaping
Snakes (and the creatures they love to eat) love to reside in overgrown bushes and shrubbery. It’s a place to cool down, as well as offering good hiding spots.
Try to keep all bushes and trees trimmed around your house, especially at the bottom 6 inches close to the ground. This will give you good visibility, and take away their hiding spots.
If you have built up a garden around your inground trampoline, snakes might see this as a refuge. I would consider transplanting this to another area of your yard.
4. Treat your property for vermin and insects
Get rid of the snake’s source of food on a year-round basis. You can use either natural or chemical means, and even call in the experts if you want.
You want to get rid of rodents, frogs, toads, lizards, and the bugs and insects that they feed on. If you use traps, be sure to check the traps regularly.
Be sure to also remove water sources that might be attracting vermin and bugs, and ensure your compost pile is only vegetation and non-meat scraps.
5. Install Snake-Proof Fencing Around The Yard
Snakes are master contortionists. They can squeeze through gaps that they have no right being able to squeeze through.
True snake proof fencing is a big job. I’d probably want to be sure that there’s a real problem before investing in this. Create your own snake monitor stations, by putting a few patches of sand at strategic points around the intended fence line. You’ll be able to see the tell-tale snake tracks.
A snake-proof fence has no gaps or cracks, is dug beneath the surface of the earth, and is often held in place by concrete. The walls of the snake-proof fence often have a slight lean outwards, to stop snakes being able to climb up and over.
A good technique to ensure you have no gaps beneath the fence is to ask someone on the other side to shine a flashlight at night. If you can see the flashlight beneath the fence, then you have a gap that is big enough for a snake to burrow through. You’ll need to plug that gap.
If You See A Snake Near Your Trampoline…
If you do see a snake near your trampoline, teach your kids not to approach it. The study done on US kids and snakebites showed that boys were more likely to be bitten than girls, and that the median age was 10.7 years.
Don’t hesitate to call the professionals. There will be a professional snake catcher nearby who can catch the snake and either re-locate it or otherwise dispose of it.
To keep snakes away from your inground trampoline, make the environment inhospitable to snakes. Take away their hiding spots, keep the lawn mown, and eliminate the rodents and bugs that snakes like to eat.
I hope this has been useful, and that you can soon say, “Go Forth, Kids!”