6 Tips For Keeping Baby Copperheads Away From Your Garden

Copperhead hiding within leaves

Gardening is an experience that typically brings a lot of wildlife to your front door.

In most cases, this is seen as a positive thing; however, when one of those animals, such as the infamous Copperhead, is a venomous snake, it’s easy to see why most people would love to keep them out.

With so many places to hide in, Copperheads typically go unnoticed until you happen to walk upon them one day, something that almost everyone wants to prevent.

So, to help, here are six tips on keeping these slithery unwanted guests away from your gardening space.

Don’t Make Your Garden Their Ideal Habitat

Copperhead snake close-up in leaf litter

The most important tip to keeping baby Copperheads out of your garden is to make your garden as unappealing as possible.

Copperheads require a specific environment to live, mate, and lay their eggs in.

Typically, they prefer places with many hiding spots and easy access to food sources. Therefore, they love wooded areas, places with many rocks, unattended-to compost bins, sawdust piles, woodpiles, leaf piles, cluttered areas, and structures that are abandoned or not highly frequented by people. Basically, anywhere that’s unkempt.

Therefore, keeping your garden as tidy as possible with little areas and crevices to hide in is the most important first step to keeping baby Copperheads out of your garden.

Keep Your Pests Numbers in Check

Copperhead snake on side of hiking trail

Another reason gardens attract baby Copperheads is that they tend to be full of their ideal food source.

Baby Copperheads aren’t big enough to eat birds, frogs, or mice; therefore, their diets strictly consist of insects. Therefore, if your garden is full of insect pests, this is nothing less of a buffet to them.

So, keeping pests such as caterpillars and spiders under control will be a good way to keep baby Copperheads away.

As stated in the previous tip, keeping a tidy garden will be very important since a clean garden invites fewer pests to your yard, which will reduce the number of baby Copperheads wanting to call your garden home.

Set Up Barriers

Venomous Copperhead Snake with Forked Tongue

Most people don’t know this, but snake fencing exists and is an effective way to keep snakes out of your yard.

You can easily find this fencing at most hardware stores, and it’s typically recommended that it be 2 inches tall with a mesh size of .25 inches or smaller for adult to adolescent snakes. To keep baby Copperheads out, however, solid fencing is recommended.

Research and measurements of your garden will be required to get the exact dimensions for your specific garden; however, the process is fairly simple.

While this tip requires some minor manual labor, this will be one of the most effective hands-off and nature-friendly ways to keep snakes out of your garden and harm’s way.

Research Plants That Repel Copperheads

Copperhead curled up on a log

Another effective way to keep baby Copperheads away is to plant some plants that they naturally don’t like in your garden.

Considering you have a garden with plants in it already, this is effectively one of the easiest ways to keep little Copperheads away since these natural deterrents will blend in with the rest of your garden and won’t pose a threat to your family or pets.

Typically, snakes hate all plants with a strong smell, such as herbs, essential oils, and spices; therefore, keeping them in specific spots in your garden will naturally keep them away.

Some of the most popular snake deterrents are West Indian lemongrass, onion plants, garlic plants, marigolds, and Viper’s Bowstring Hemp to name a few.

Attracting Their Natural Predators May Benefit You

Close up of a copperhead snake

For people who don’t mind having other animals in their yard, another way to keep baby Copperheads away is to attract their native predators to your surrounding area. Since these snakes grow to be large most of their predators are other, bigger snakes; however, here’s a list of their non-snake predators:

  • Bullfrogs
  • American Crows
  • Horned Owls
  • Opossums
  • Coyotes
  • Domesticated/feral cats (that aren’t your pet)
  • Red-tailed Hawks
  • Broad-winged Hawks

These animals will keep baby copperhead numbers in check and drive them away from your garden. However, some of these predators may not be native to your specific state; therefore, it’s important to research which ones are and try to attract them to your area.

Look Into Snake Traps & Sprays

Copperhead in dried leaves

This tip isn’t the most nature-friendly approach; however, commercial snake traps and sprays are another easy way to repel any baby Copperheads that venture into your garden.

Minnow traps are usually one of the go-to and semi-human ways to commercially trap baby Copperheads. Once you catch one in this cage-like trap, you can call animal control to come safely pick them up and relocate them.

Another Commercial snake repellent is snake sprays. These sprays usually have a 50/50 success rate depending on the brand. These aren’t recommended since some of these sprays contain harmful residues and can be dangerous if not used correctly. However, some people decide to turn to them when all other methods have failed.

These two methods should be the last-ditch effort you make to eliminate any baby Copperheads that happen to make their way into your garden space. Try the natural route first!


Baby Copperheads can be an annoying nuisance in your garden. However, there are multiple ways to attempt to rid yourself of them.

From keeping your garden tidy to planting snake-repelling plants to looking into commercial snake traps and sprays, there are various methods to keep baby Copperheads out of your yard.

Just remember that the natural route is always the best route to attempt when trying to repel baby Copperheads in the upcoming late Summer to early Fall gardening season.

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