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If you are afraid of snakes or simply want to identify if you have a snake in the area, looking at holes in the ground gives you a lot of insight.

Whether you want to learn more about your backyard, teach your kids about nature, or calm another adult on a camping trip, you may need to know how to tell if snakes are in the area.

You can learn a great deal by simply observing the ground and knowing where to find information.

For example, did you know that you can distinguish chipmunk holes vs snake holes.

Keep reading to learn how to do this. You never know when this knowledge may come in handy!

Chipmunk holes vs snake holes: What’s the difference?

How to identify chipmunk holes in your yard

To identify chipmunk holes, consider a few of the characteristics of the hole and surrounding area. 

Keeping these things in mind will help you differentiate their holes from holes dug by snakes and other woodland creatures that you may encounter.


Chipmunks are one of the most common creatures you see in nature, but do you recognize how to identify their holes?

When you learn the proper techniques to assess holes and are able to identify chipmunk hideouts, finding chipmunk homes will be a cinch.

To determine if you are dealing with a chipmunk hole, first measure the size. Chipmunk holes are usually about 2 inches wide.

Unfortunately, many other small animals often live in holes this size.

Surrounding area

Once you estimate the size of the hole, observe the surrounding area. Chipmunks generally keep a fairly clean hotel, while other animals tend to be much messier.

Is the hole clean? Or, do you notice a lot of dirt piles around the outside of the hole?

If the hole is clean, you are most likely looking at a chipmunk hole.

But, if there is significant dirt piled around the hoel, it most likely belongs to a mole. Moles also leave connected hills throughout your property, too.


Where is the hole located? Chipmunks tend to make their burrows in specific areas. For example, chipmunks like to dig holes in dry areas.

They are not accustomed to living around water, so they are unlikely to build in wet areas.

Chipmunks often dig holes in rocky areas, gardens, in areas with substantial ground cover and around logs.

If the hole is in a wet area, it’s most likely a snake, mole, or another burrowing creature.

How to identify snake holes in your yard

Identifying snake holes is relatively easy if you know to look for a few key clues.

Are there other small animals in the area?

Snakes feast on small animals like moles, chipmunks, and gopher tortoises. If you have a lot of small animals in your yard, there is a good chance that snakes live in the area, too.

Also, snakes tend to inhabit the abandoned homes of small animals after they have moved on. 

This saves snakes from building new homes as they grow, and there are plenty of options available if small animals are present.

Consider the environment

While various species of snakes can inhabit various environments, consider the possibility of snakes feeling comfortable in habitat in question.

If there are hiding places, shade, a food supply, and foliage, snakes are likely to be in the area. 

However, snakes do not enjoy living in areas where the above factors are absent.

The type of environment can also give you clues as to the type of snake that may be present.

For example, water moccasins are most likely to be found near lakes, rivers, and streams.

However, if you find a snake in a field of tall grass, it’s probably just a garter snake.

Or, if you see a snake in a desert climate, there is a good chance that it is a rattlesnake.

Consider the environment as a contributing factor to your assessment of the situation.

Look for snakeskins

Snakeskins are one of the biggest signs of a snake presence. If you find a snakeskin in the area, assume that snakes live nearby.

The better the condition of the snake skin, the more recently it was shed.

If you find an intact snakeskin, or one that looks relatively new, act cautiously. 

However, if you find an old snakeskin that’s been decomposing for a few years, the snake may have vacated the area.

Check the area for snake feces

Snakes leave feces, and they are fairly easy to identify when compared to the signs of other species.

Since snakes slither on the ground, their feces are often smeared due to their movements. 

Look for streaks of feces littering the ground.

You may notice hair, pieces of bone, and other remnants of previous snacks. 

There may also be a chalky white area at one end of the feces, distinct from snake wastes.