Do snakes live in holes?

Snakes live in many different habitats, as they inhabit all continents except for Antarctica. They can be found in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia. Australia is the continent where venomous snakes are more numerous than non-venomous ones.

Snakes live in deserts, forests, lakes, marshes, mountains and even in the cities. Snakes simply look for the best habitat for them – but they don't like to be close to people and will in many cases try to run away as soon as they hear some commotion in their surroundings.

Snakes are cold-blooded reptiles and spend most of the time during colder months in their habitat in hibernation. They will become active again with rising temperatures. There are some snake species that spend most of their life in holes in the ground, going out only to get food and to sunbathe to increase their body temperature. On the other hand, there are some snake species that spend most of their life outside, looking for shelter only during the night and cold months.

Snakes live not only in holes but also in many other habitats that can provide sufficient shelter, such as hollow tree trunks, under rocks, and under leaf litter. Although they live under the ground in holes, they usually don't dig these holes themselves because they are not capable of digging decent holes. Only in the case of very loose soil (such as sand or mud) can they burrow themselves under the ground – but this can't really be considered as digging a hole but actually burrowing their body into the soil. This is often the case with snakes in the deserts of Australia and Africa.

When holes are in question, snakes will often get into abandoned rodent holes or will simply take over an inhabited rodent hole – they will get inside, attack and eat the rodent and then consider this hole its home.

You can consider a hole to be inhabited (possibly by a snake) in a case where there is no debris and spider webs around the entrance to the hole. If you see such a hole near your home, you should contact animal services to get it checked. To be sure that there will be no snakes near your home, you should keep your yard clean of all debris that could attract snakes.

Snakes are generally afraid of people and will run away before you actually get near it. You should be afraid of the snake only when the snake feels threatened, i.e. when it doesn't have a back-away solution.

For more information about whether snakes live in holes, go to my Snake Removal - How to Get Rid of Snakes home page.