Snakes often occur in the vicinity of suburban and urban residential areas. They can even show up occasionally in your backyard. If the presence of snakes is deemed undesirable, removing their shelter is one of the most effective ways of discouraging them. Eliminating rock piles, brush piles, and areas of tall grass will cause snakes to seek a more suitable habitat. Store lumber, wood piles, and other debris around the home at least 18 inches off the ground. Controlling insect and rodent populations in the area will also help to discourage snakes by eliminating their food supply.