Downspout Dilemma: Can Snakes Climb Up DownSpouts

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Imagine you return home after a long hectic day and suddenly witness a snake hanging down from a downspout. What would you feel? Yikes! It’ll undoubtedly be a bad experience. However, the question would be; where did the snake come from, or can snakes climb up downspouts?

Yes, snakes can climb gutters and downspouts easily. Downspouts provide snakes with food, warmth, water, and shelter for survival. As snakes are excellent climbers, they can get into your open gutter or downspout in search of their prey.

To know more about; how snakes enter downspouts and how to get rid of them, read the below guidelines to help you out.

Can Snakes Climb Rain Gutters?

Rain Gutters

Yes, snakes love to climb and hide in rain gutters. As snakes can climb everything, they use trees and downspouts to enter your gutters. A snake can easily make its way into your gutters if tree branches are hanging over it.

The second easiest part for snakes to enter gutters is downspouts. Downspout is the pipe that extends vertically from the gutter to the ground. Snakes crawl up that pipe and slide inside without hesitation, especially in the presence of debris, because debris makes it easier for snakes to climb.

Do Snakes Hide in Gutters?

Yes, snakes love to hide in gutters. Snakes are one of the most deadly pests that live in your gutters. They enter your gutters from a nearby tree by crawling up the downspout. In a blocked gutter, snakes get everything for survival, including a moist environment, warmth, shelter, and easy access to prey.

Moreover, snakes may be drawn to your gutters by animals like rodents and birds. Although all snakes are not dangerous, you should take help from professional snake removal to deter them if you find any in your gutters.

Can a Snake Crawl Up a Gutter Pipe?

Gutter Pipe

Yes, snakes can crawl up a gutter, but it depends upon the type of snake. Some are proficient climbers, like bronze black tree snakes and wolf snakes. Furthermore, it also depends on the diameter of the pipes. It may be simpler if it’s between 2 and 4 inches because it gives them room to roam inside.

Another factor is traction; if the surface is excessively smooth, it would be nearly impossible for a snake to climb. Additionally, The pipe’s height is crucial as well. Snakes can readily climb if it is within reach. Thus, it’s hard for snakes to climb gutter pipes, but not impossible.

Signs of Snakes in Gutters

The issue with the snakes is that they don’t leave a lot of signs behind them. Anybody who cleans your gutter will be surprised by it. They like to hide in leaves and filth, so you may not even notice them. Snake skins are the only indication that you have a snake problem.

Additionally, a snake would be present in your gutters if you observe snake droppings on your roof or in your gutters. Call a professional snake removal if you see snakes in your gutters. Once a year, clean the debris out of the gutters. Attach a net covering at the end of the downspout to prevent the entrance of snakes into your gutters.

How Do You Protect Downspouts from Snakes?

Snakes can be kept out of downspouts in various ways, some of which are included below.

Regular Cleaning

Regular Cleaning

The main thing that attracts snakes in your gutters is debris. Thus, if you regularly clean and inspect your gutters and downspouts, there would be less likelihood of snake infestation in gutters.

Snakes don’t like clean gutters, so they will probably live in your gutters if they are filled with dead leaves and wood debris. Therefore, you should routinely clean your gutter or downspout to avoid any obstruction or clogging.

Install Downspouts Guards

Install Downspouts Guards

Several downspouts guards, filters, and traps are available in the market. You can buy any of them according to your budget to prevent snake entrance. However, make sure that the guards are not made of plastic or other material that snakes can easily break.

Remember to buy a net mesh made of steel with a small distance between each hole. Place it over your gutter or downspouts so that snakes don’t enter them, or if they accidentally get there, they will not access your home.

Cover Downspouts with a Mesh

Cover Downspouts with a Mesh

Another way to prevent snake entrance into your downspouts is the use of mesh coverings or screens. They work as a hindrance in the way of snakes and other large animals to your gutters. Moreover, they don’t block water flow, so you can install them on your gutters as a protective barrier.

Moreover, you can also use perforated gutter caps to prevent the entrance of birds and other large animals like snakes.

Give the Downspout And the Wall No Room to Spare

According to the Journal of Plos Neglected Tropical Diseases, numerous consequences from snake bites affect millions of individuals each year. Keeping them away from your home is the best way to prevent such deadly impacts. Open downspouts are the favorite point of snakes’ entrances.

Snakes can readily enter your gutter if there is even a little gap of one inch between the wall and the downspout. Therefore, you should remove any space between your wall and downspouts to prevent the entry of snakes and other animals.

Close the Downspout with Chicken Wire

It is one of the most convenient ways to prevent snake entrance into drain pipes.  All you need to do is simply place a chicken wire on the opening of your downspouts. The top hole of the wire is easy to install; all you have to do is staple it to the gutter and clean it frequently to prevent clogging.

However, placing a chicken wire at the base of the downspout is a little tricky, you can use metal clips to secure and remove it.

Use Eco-Friendly Repellents

Although snake repellents are not so effective in killing them, you can use them to deter snakes. Some repellents such as Ammonia may cause health hazards, so you should use eco-friendly repellents around your gutters to prevent snake entrance.

Moreover, these repellents work only for some snakes. According to the International Journal of Pest Management, chemical repellents are non-effective for brown tree snakes. Thus, you should adopt other preventive measures along with repellents to keep snakes at bay.

Prune Your Trees Regularly

Prune Your Trees Regularly

Since snakes love clogged downspouts, they may draw to gutters full of debris. Furthermore, snakes may use branches of trees as their way of entrance to gutters. Therefore, you should trim all the additional branches or bushes from the trees regularly to prevent blockage of gutters and snake entrances.

Call a Professional Snake Handler

If there is more than one snake in your gutter, you should take help from a professional snake remover. Contact an expert snake handler to ward off snakes. They will remove the snakes in technical ways. First, they inspect the area, then trap the snake using special tactics.

Bottom Line

Snakes are one of the most deadly animals in the world, and they become horrible when they enter your home. The most common way; they use to enter your home is through your downspouts or gutters. They enter your gutters through open & clogged downspouts.

If you notice a snake in your gutter, firstly, you should close the open ends of drain pipes. Then call a professional snake handler to remove snakes. Above all, don’t try to handle snakes yourself because they may lead to life-threatening conditions by biting you.


Fred Kraus, Randal Stahl & William Pitt (2015) Chemical repellents appear non-useful for eliciting exit of brown tree snakes from cargo, International Journal of Pest Management, 61:2, 144-152.