OUTDOOR BASICS

Snake Trap: Protecting Yourself And Your Family in The Outdoors

Making simple snake trap
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

If you’re planning on going out into the wilderness for any reason you want to make sure that you’re always prepared. That means keeping yourself protected from the other things that might be out there. One of those things is snakes.

The problem is, snakes are native to the outdoors. That means they know their way around and they are going to fight to protect their home as well. If you happen to be in their home, it can be dangerous for you. That’s why it’s important to prepare your area by setting a snake trap, once you learn how to make them. Also check out our must-read piece on how to survive the wilderness on your own for more insight.

How to Make A Snake Trap

Making a snake trap is actually not that difficult to do. The key is making sure that you have all the right supplies before you get started. Not having the right supplies could mean that your trap will fail down the line and that could mean danger for your family.

Of course, there are many reasons you could be trying to trap a snake, but in general it’s going to be because you’re afraid it could hurt you or a family member. If your trap doesn’t work, that means the snake has another chance to come after you, and that’s a scary thought.

Gathering Your Supplies

The first thing you need to do is gather all of your supplies to make sure you’re prepared when it’s time to build your trap. You want to have plenty of everything in a large enough size for the snake you’ve seen.

Keep in mind, if your trap is too small for the snake it means they may be able to get out as the trap may not close all the way behind them. You want to make sure you’re prepared for whatever type of snake you could have, especially if you haven’t actually seen the snake yourself yet.

The box trap

Building a box trap is a simple way to catch nearly any type of snake. With this trap you’re going to need a large wooden box that seals entirely. If there are any holes in the box the snake could escape.

Keep in mind that snakes are small around and that means they can get through small spaces with relative ease. Your box needs to seal so that the snake doesn’t find its way back out once you’ve caught it. So make sure you seal up any holes you might have in the box before you get started.

Plexiglas for building a trap

Image Credit: reefcentral.com

You’re also going to need a piece of Plexiglas or another solid material that you can use to create doors for your box. These pieces don’t need to be large as you’re only going to cover a small hole that is large enough for the snake to get through when you’re trying to capture it.

You want to have two pieces of Plexiglas when you’re done so you can either find two small pieces to use or you can cut a larger piece into two pieces to form the doors that you will use.

Another important part of your box is going to be a latch and some hinges. You’ll want at least 6 hinges so that you can easily attach your door for the snake to get in. This will also be the door you’re going to use to get the snake back out again.

This way you can easily attach the pieces and they’ll be easy enough to open (for whoever needs to open them) without being able to open the opposite way, therefore making it harder on your snake. You also want a latch to keep your door closed when you’re not using it.

In total, that means you’re going to have a wooden box or six pieces of wood to build your own box, 6 or more hinges to make sure the doors are able to open and close properly and one latch that is going to help you keep the door closed.

You’ll also want a hammer and nails to help you put the box together and install hinges and latches and you’ll want a saw or other tools that you can use to cut your Plexiglas to the size you need. That’s it. Just those few pieces and you’re going to be ready to go.

Building the Trap

To build the trap you need to have the box. If you don’t have a box to use already you can build one. Make sure that it’s large enough your snake can get all the way inside, remembering that snakes can get quite large.

You want each side to be a tight fit because even a small crack could be enough for a snake to get back out again and you definitely don’t want that to happen. Make sure you nail the sides together firmly and that the box is sturdy enough that even if it gets knocked around or tumbled over it will stay together.

You will need six pieces of wood to make the box. You don’t necessarily need your box to be completely square, but you will need four pieces that are the same size and two pieces for the ends that are the same size.

Take one of the four matched pieces and use this to make your door. you want to cut out a hole large enough for your snake to get through. This is going to be your door. Make sure the hole doesn’t take up the entire side, but that it’s also the right size so your snake won’t be able to get back out or won’t get stuck as it’s coming in through the door. This could make it more dangerous for you to try to get the snake back out.

Box snake trap

Now take your Plexiglas and cut it to the size of the panel. You want each piece of your Plexiglas to cover approximately one half of the wood piece, leaving a little space on the sides for you to add hinges.

Make sure you add at least two hinges to each door (depending on the size of course) so that it can swing easily. The Plexiglas should come together and form a seam right down the middle of the hole in your piece of wood. This is going to make it possible for the snake to get inside the box but not to get back out of the box once it’s been trapped.

Set the piece of wood down so that the full side of the Plexiglas is facing up. You should be able to see the hinges. This is going to be the inside of your box (and the bottom). That’s because you’re going to set the trap over the top of the snake’s hole. When it comes out of the hole and goes up into the box it will be able to push the Plexiglas into the box, opening the door. Once it gets inside, however, the Plexiglas will fall back down and the snake will not be able to push it from the other side. This forms a solid floor until you are ready to come back for the snake.

Now you’re ready to build the box using this piece as your base. Take two of the four matched pieces and set them next to each other to make an “L.” You want the longer sides to be together rather than the shorter (if the pieces are not square). Nail them together making sure that you use one nail on each end of where they come together.

The nail should be fully inside the pieces of wood so that it doesn’t stick out into or out of the box. Now take one more of your four equal pieces and attach it to one side of your “L” shape to make a “U”. Your piece that has the door should still be on the bottom and you should now have two sides coming off of it.

Next, you want to take the last piece and put it over the top. Instead of nailing it down like you did with the others you want to create a door that you can use to get the snake out easily once you’ve caught it.

On one side of the door you want to put hinges. You want at least two, with one on each end and make sure that they are attached securely. You want the door to open easily enough when you open it, but you don’t want cracks where the snake can get out if it decides to try pushing at the top of the box (which it most likely will at some point while trying to get out of the box). You want it to be completely sturdy and secure.

Snake box trap

On the other side of this piece you want to attach some type of latch. There are plenty of different options you can choose from, but you want to make sure you have something secure enough to keep your snake in the box but easy enough for you to open when you want to release it.

You don’t want to have to hold the door open or stay too close to the opening once you’re letting the snake go (if that’s your plan anyway) because you could end up injured if this is the case. By making sure the box seals properly you can avoid this problem.

You will now have a large tube in the shape of a square that is open on both ends. Take one of the two matched pieces and place it over the top of one side of that square. Make sure you nail it down firmly so that it is attached to all sides of the square.

That means you should have at least four nails (though probably more) connecting the end to the rest of the box. Now repeat that process with the remaining end. You now have a wooden box that you can use to trap your snake.

Setting Your Trap

The easiest way to set your trap is if you can find the nest where the snake lives. If you can find the nest you want to make sure you set up the trap right over the opening because this ensures that the snake will get caught inside.

You won’t have to worry about whether they can get away or get around the trap like you would if you set it anywhere else. If you don’t know where the nest is, or you can’t get close enough to it without getting hurt, you want to make sure you put the nest in an area where you have seen the snake repeatedly, so you know that they will come back to the area.

Snake_trap

Snakes tend to be creatures of habit just like any other animal you’ll find in the wild. If they have a certain area where they spend their time, especially if it’s a sunny place or a place that has a lot of food for them to eat, they will continue to come back to that place again and again. See our piece on how to prevent wild animal attacks to keep you safe from harm.

You’ll be able to set your trap in these areas and you should have a good chance of getting them. Keep in mind that your trap is only so big however, which means that it’s entirely possible for the snake to come to that area and miss the trap. Not knowing where the nest is, means it’s going to take longer to catch that snake. Be prepared! Check out our review of the top first aid kit to help you cope with any emergencies.

A Few Final Words

Once you’ve got your snake trap built and set up you’re ready to enjoy the rest of your trip or your experience outdoors. You want to keep checking that trap to make sure it’s always ready for another snake that could be coming your way. But that’s it for us. To give you more tips on snake bite first aid, check our article on this for reference.

Let us know what you think of this snake trap and definitely let us know your reasons for trapping. Are you looking to protect your family? Try out a new menu item or something else? We definitely want to know.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.