Things You'll Need
Copperheads are North American pit vipers common to much of the eastern United States. In many areas where the copperhead resides, they routinely come into contact with humans. These snakes are normally fairly docile, but will bite defensively when provoked. Though copperheads are valuable members of their ecosystem, they can sometimes become hazards where they intersect with people. The best means of keeping copperheads away from homes and gardens is through exclusion and habitat modification.
Remove any standing debris from around your home and in your yard or garden. Remove rock piles, dispose of brush and cut any tall grass. Essentially, remove any items that could potentially provide a shelter for copperheads or rodents.
Store firewood and lumber away from your home. Elevate stacks of lumber and firewood to a height of at least 18 inches from the ground to eliminate areas where snakes can hide.
Seal off any cracks in your foundation, garage or basement using a caulking gun and sealant to prevent copperheads from seeking shelter in your home.
Cover outside garbage cans to reduce the likelihood of attracting rodents. Rodents are the primary prey of copperheads, and where rodents thrive, so will the snakes.
Feed pets inside your home, or remove excess food immediately if you feed pets outside. Leaving pet food in the open attracts rodents.
If you have a rodent problem in or near your house, consider hiring an exterminator to eliminate the rodents before attempting to exclude snakes.
As of 2009, there are no approved chemical controls for snakes.
Always use extreme caution when dealing with copperheads; never attempt to touch or handle them.
If you are bitten, try to remain calm and seek medical attention.
Lisa Miller has been a freelance writer since 2008. Her work can be found on Associated Content and eHow. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Missouri Southern State University, and is currently a full-time graduate student working on her master's in experimental psychology.