Can snakes climb stairs or a wall?

Many people who live in the upper stories of an apartment complex or who have a two-story house relish the idea that they can keep little critters from getting into their home because the access to their house limits them from being able to do so. They believe that if they are on the second story that most critters are unable to work their way up the stairs or walls so that they can then get into their apartment or house. This is an interesting idea that isn’t necessarily true.

The fact of the matter is that there are many animals that are able to work their way up the stairs, such as a raccoon or squirrel. They use the same kind of propulsion as your dog or cat to be able to work their way into a room in your house or into your apartment.

But what about the snake? Is there a way that snakes can climb stairs or a wall to be able to gain access into your house? The answer may be both surprising and satisfying to you at the same time.

Even if you are on the second story of a house or apartment complex, there are some snakes that have the ability to climb their way into your home despite the fact of you living on an upper level. However, removing one method needs to be discussed first. The truth of the matter is that your snake is not climbing its way up a smooth wall. A snake is not like a lizard in terms of being able to grip against a surface, so it is not going to climb its way up that kind of surface. But they can easily climb up a brick or stone wall! That's even easier than climbing a tree, which they can do. They often climb up a wall because they smell rats in the attic. They enter the same holes rats use. See the above photos. If you have rodents in the attic, you may want to read about How to find and remove a snake in your attic.

Snakes can also can gain access by use of your stairs. To understand how it is able to do this requires a little explanation.

First off, a snake is not able to climb in the sense you would most consider. It is not gripping its way along the staircase to climb its way up. This is the same problem that it would face with the wall. It simply doesn’t gain that kind of grip or traction to be able to do this.

How it does climb the stairs is by use of its incredible muscles that enable it to move quickly. If you have seen a snake slither along the ground then you know that how it moves is by contracting its body and then extending to move forward or backwards. This very clever means allows it to move quickly and with power along the ground.

The same method can be used by the snake to get up the stairs. Instead of crawling along the ground, the muscles allow the snake to lift a portion of its body up and then push forward onto the step above it. This enables the snake to move from one stair to the next by using its body in the same means that it would use to crawl.

It should be noted that a snake can only do this if it has sufficient body length to be able to get from one stair to the next. If the distance between two steps was let’s say 10 inches, and the snake was only 12 inches long this would not be enough body length for the snake to be able to push up and maintain its body of the upper step for it to be able to pull the rest of its weight to the higher elevation. As a good rule of thumb, a snake needs at least twice the body length in comparison to the height it wants to overcome.

For more information about can snakes climb stairs or a wall, go to my Snake Removal - How to Get Rid of Snakes home page. You can also read Do snakes climb trees?