How to Make a Garter Snake Trap

Megan Hippler

Whether a garter snake is in your house or your yard, removing garter snakes gives some people peace of mind. Although they can bite people, these non-venomous snakes only eat small animals, including aquatic invertebrates, worms, small lizards, baby birds and small mammals.

Garter snakes balance the ecosystem as predators and prey.


An alternative trap to set at the apex of the fences consists of a see-through container with a funnel on the opening. The snake goes through the funnel but cannot get back through the small opening. However, the snake’s release proves more problematic with this design.


While garter snakes have no venom, the bite hurts like any other animal bite. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the snakes.

Garter snakes grow up to 3 feet long, but their girth remains narrower than most snakes. With more than a dozen species throughout the United States, these common snakes keep small pests under control and should not be bothered, if possible.


  1. Create a 2-foot by 2-foot square using a glue gun or a staple gun to attach glue traps to a firm surface such as plywood.

  2. Lay the trap against the wall where the snake will likely cross.

  3. Check the trap at least once a day.

  4. Move the entire trap outside once the snake is caught.

  5. Pour vegetable oil on the garter snake to break down the glue and release it.


  1. Construct two sets of mesh fencing at least 2 feet high and long enough to parallel the width of the area where the snake has been located.

  2. Place the fences in a "V" shape but leave a 1-foot gap between the two fences. The fences funnel the snake to the gap.

  3. Bury a large bucket until the rim is level with the ground.

  4. Cover it with a material such as a mat or cloth, which easily falls into the bucket.

  5. Check the bucket often because other animals may fall into this trap. Garter snakes may also fall into the trap without the material.

  6. Wear thick gloves to pull the snakes out of the bucket for relocation.

  7. Remove the trap as soon as it has served its purpose to avoid trapping other animals.