Garter snakes, sometimes called garden snakes, are common in North America and Central America. At 2 to 3 feet (60.96 to 91.44 centimeters) in length, they are small, thin and named for the yellow, white or red stripes that run lengthwise down their backs and are reminiscent of garters. On either side of the stripes are rows of spots in a checkerboard pattern. Garter snakes' bodies are generally black or brown, though they are sometimes green or reddish colored, and their bellies are pale green or yellow. Garter snakes are nicknamed garden snakes because they are commonly found in backyards. They can also be found in forests, wetlands, grasslands, or basking on rocks near a pond or stream, and you might even find several garden snakes hibernating together. They also like to hide under things like rocks and piles of leaves or logs. Most are only active during the daytime unless the weather is very hot, then you may seem them at night. If you try to handle a garden snake, it will probably release a foul-smelling fluid from its tail and may strike at you. Although the toxins in garden snake saliva can be deadly to the snails, salamanders and other animals they eat, they are not dangerous to humans. However, its bite may still cause redness, swelling and discomfort.
To prevent garter snakes from nesting or foraging in your garden use Ortho® Snake B Gon® Snake Repellent according to directions.<br/> Other options include: Keep your yard manicured. Garter snakes prefer longer grass to shorter grass. By keeping the grass mowed short, you are exposing the garter snakes to both their predators and their prey. Also, keep the bushes cut back as well as low lying trees. Trees, bushes and shrubs should be a minimum of 6 inches above the ground. Use pruning shears to reach the right height. This prevents the snakes from hiding in them.