Banana trees can attract snakes as they drop lots of leaf litter on the ground and make a great hiding space. Banana trees are also a great home for mice and rats, pray that snakes love to eat. Banana plants provide shelter and food for snakes so they can be very attractive.
It is not the banana tree itself that the snakes are attracted to but the shelter it provides. They can also feed on the small creatures living in and around the banana plant.
To keep snakes away from your banana plant it is essential to keep the area around the plant clean. This means pruning it often, removing old leaves and keeping the area around the base of the tree clear.
Deal with any rodent problems and you will be less likely to attract snakes to your banana plant.
I have not seen any snakes around my banana plant for years. It is growing in a position that is out of the way of wildlife and hard for them to access. If you are growing banana trees in open areas, near native forests or with other fruit trees snakes could be more of a problem.
This article will explore more about whether or not you are likely to see a snake around your banana tree. I will also give some easy tips on how to keep snakes away.
Rodents are attracted to banana trees which can attract snakes
Rodents including mice and rats are often attracted to banana trees. Their multiple stems, nice hiding places, leaf litter and shade all make it a great spot for rodents to live
Rodents will live in and around banana trees mostly for shelter but they can also chew on leaves and even the bananas as they ripen
Mice can bury underneath the rhizome and live underground and rats can actively climb the tree and nest in the canopy.
If food sources like rats and mice are living around your banana tree then snakes can be attracted. They will seek out food during the cooler part of the day heading into mice burrows and feeding.
Snakes around your banana tree will depend on climate and location
Banana plants grow in tropical locations so depending on the country they grow in they can attract different varieties of snakes. In Thailand they can be home to vipers and in Australia’s tropical north, they could be home to the coastal taipan, death adders or eastern brown snakes.
Where your banana tree is located will play a huge role in whether snakes are attracted. My banana tree is on a raised level near my townhouse. There are no rodents around and very little soil. It is highly unlikely that snakes will make the trip through the carpark and up the stairs to my banana plant.
If you are growing banana trees that are neighboring tropical and natural forest areas or near other fruit trees, you are more likely to attract rodents and then snakes. Snakes could venture out from their natural environment to hunt and hide near your banana tree.
How to keep snakes away from your banana tree
Here are my easy tips to help to deter snakes from your banana tree at home.
1. Control rodents
The first step is to control the food source for the snakes. Controlling rats and mice will take away the food source that most snakes are seeking and they will be less likely to venture near your banana tree.
Mice and rats can be caught in live traps and relocated without the use of baits. This is the most eco friendly way to deal with a rodent problem without the risk of harming other animals. Poisoning rats and mice can put wild birds at risk that prey on these pests.
When birds eat the poisoned rodents they too will often die from the poison.
2. Clean up around your tree
It is important to keep the area around our banana tree clean and clear to keep rodents away and to make it less appealing for snakes to hide and live. Remove old, dead leaves and stems and put them in your compost.
Rake up other leaf litter that has gathered around your tree. Keeping a nice flat layer of bark mulch around the tree will keep the area clear, make it easy to see and less appealing to snakes.
3. Reduce the stem count
Cutting back excess stems from your banana tree is a great way to reduce the hiding spots for snakes. Aim to grow 3-4 healthy stems on your banana tree to keep the area clean and clear.
This will also help the tree to produce large banana bunches as it can focus its energy on a few large stems.
Banana stems can be pruned using a basic pruning saw. The stems are soft and full of water and sap so are easy to cut through. Wear protective eyewear and gloves when doing this to avoid getting the sap on your skin. This can be irritating for some people.
4. Water the tree thoroughly
Keeping your banana tree moist and well watered is a great way to deter mice and therefore keep snakes away. Mice will generally live in burrows that they will dig under the ground near the base of trees or in protected areas.
Watering your banana tree regularly with a hose will fill the burrows with water making it less appealing for mice to call home. Activity around the area will also help to scare of rodents who prefer to be left in peace.
Do Banana Trees Attract Snakes? | Summary
Banana trees can be a great place for snakes to live under the right conditions. If they have a food source like rats and mice and shelter under fallen leaves they could visit to feed and rest. Keeping the area around your banana tree clean and clear is the best way to keep snakes away.
Deal with any rodent problems with traps and your banana tree will not seem like such a great place to live.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.