Black snakes

Asked August 3, 2019, 4:55 PM EDT

How often do black snakes slough their skin? I've found two skins two months apart in my cool, dry basement, so I'm wondering if I have more than one snake. This last one is 48 inches long. Do black snakes eat their sloughed skin if they get hungry? Other than insects like spiders and thousand legs, there is nothing to eat in my basement, and the first skin disappeared after a couple of days. Lastly, how do I humanely trap it or them?

Harford County Maryland

1 Response

A snake sheds its skin as it grows. An older snake might only shed three times in the summer. A young growing snake that is eating well might shed once or twice in a month. Snakes do not eat their shed skins.

Please see our publication about snakes for information on ways to exclude snakes from entering a building.

To humanely trap and remove snakes, you can contact a licensed wildlife trapper. Search "Maryland licensed trapping service" on the internet or visit the Department of Natural Resources webpage to find a list of licensed wildlife management specialists. I licensed trapper should also give you recommendations on how to exclude snakes from entering your basement.