What Does Garter Snake Poop Look Like? (2024)


Few people can confidently claim to be well-versed in snake excrement. If you’re wondering what does garter snake poop look like, look no further. pooping?

The cloaca, an organ found in snakes, is responsible for virtually all of their in-trenches activities, including the production of eggs, mating, and, yep, feces and urine. Were you aware that snakes’ digestive systems are so effective that they may go a full year without pooping?

Instead of separating the two, they produce a mixture of poop and urine, like birds.

Keep reading below for more information.

Before you scroll further down this guide, check out these other animal-related articles: What Does Possum and Raccoon Poop Look Like? and Here’s How to Keep Dogs from Pooping in Your Yard for Good.

How Does a Snake Pass Waste?


Let’s start by discussing the nature of a snake’s digestive system. Most of the time, it works similarly to how the human digestive system does:

Snakes feed using their mouths but don’t chew their food. Instead, they consume it whole and take a long time to digest it. Some snakes also dislocate their jaws to swallow larger meals in one bite.

Similar to people’s distinct airways for breathing and eating, snakes have an esophagus and a windpipe.

Snakes use stomach acid to break down the food in their stomachs. The key distinction is that food stays in a snake’s stomach for significantly longer!

Like humans, snakes have a stomach and intestines that help them absorb every nutrient from their meal.

Moreover, snakes undergo muscle contractions before excretion, just like people do. These stresses propel the significantly smaller, digested meal through the tract and out the cloaca.

That’s all there is to say about a snake’s digestive waste. What about urination, though?  How do snakes urinate?

We humans secrete a liquid called urea. But snakes lack a urinary bladder. Instead, they create and excrete uric acid, a semisolid, to conserve body fluids.

This uric acid fragment, which resembles human urine in a snake, also includes certain other biological waste products and has excess nitrogen.

These two chemicals, uric acid and fecal matter, are mixed when a snake excretes feces. And indeed, it all emerges from a structure known as the cloaca. A cloaca? Is that equivalent to an anus?

Indeed, they are similar, but they are not the same. There are significant differences between the two. The cloaca oversees mating, producing eggs, and excreting solid and liquid waste (which in snakes is combined).

Turtles even can breathe via their cloaca. Therefore, this mystical organ is unique.

But what does it look like? The cloaca is barely noticeable on the snake’s outer skin. This is due to the fact that it is concealed by a little flap that emerges whenever the snake wants to carry out one of its activities. 

The cloaca is divided into three parts on its interior. They are referred to as the coprodeum, urodeum, and proctodeum. A powerful muscle keeps the three components of the cloaca apart, preventing contamination.

The biggest component and nearest to the head is the coprodeum. It receives solid waste from the digestive system or stool.

The kidneys’ liquid waste, or pee, is collected by the urodeum, which is in the center. It is the tiniest component.

The proctodeum, which is further away from the head than the urodeum, is where everything comes out. Here, solid and liquid waste combine and are ejected simultaneously.

What Does Garter Snake Poop Look Like?


Garter snake excrement is often dark brown while it is fresh, but as it dries, it becomes chalky. Their excrement is big and thick, sometimes mushy and sticky, and they do not pass waste very often.

Contrary to common belief, snake poop does not look like a snake!

Due to their carnivorous diet, snakes produce mushier, slimier excrement. Because feces are held together by plant fibers, a wholly non-herbivorous diet results in less well-contained stools.

Snakes consume various foods; hence, their feces are very diverse.

Some snakes solely eat eggs, whereas the tiniest snakes eat just insects; the next size up eats frogs, fish, or even bigger snakes; the largest snakes can consume whole mammals; and so on.

Snakes that consume insects may leave chitin residue in their excrement. Snakes that consume a lot of rodents excrete an oblong, watery mass with a white urea top. 

How Can You Distinguish Between Snake and Bird Droppings?


Snake excrement is frequently mistaken for bird excrement. This is because snakes, like birds, combine their urine and digestive waste to create a typically white-brown sticky substance.

Urate, or “solid urine,” is the term used to describe this mixture of two components.

Because bird excrement has a far higher percentage of urea than snake feces, it will either seem lighter or have a larger white area.

The remnants of a prey animal’s body, such as hair, scales, bones, or other solid animal parts, might also indicate snake feces.

Don’t forget that snakes completely consume their prey. Birds cannot do this and would have difficulty flying if they could. 

Parts of beak, claw, bone, hair, or scale left over may indicate a serpentine offender because very few other species do this.

How to Tell Which Snake Specie the Excrement Belongs To?


Once you’ve determined that you’re dealing with snake droppings, their size can be a reliable indicator of the type of snake that left them.

Most of the time, snake droppings are about as wide as the snake itself. Arboreal snakes defecate shortly after eating to maintain their agility and movement.

Snakes that live on land leave behind substantially larger droppings. Copperhead snakes leave larger excrements than garter snakes.

Snake-eating snakes like coral snakes and kingsnakes leave behind droppings speckled with scales. Feathers suggest a medium-sized snake or one strong enough to kill birds.

There is no quick way to know for sure what kind of snake produced the poop you’re trying to identify apart from genetic testing.

What Colour Are Garter Snake Faeces?


To put it briefly: brown, with some white things on the side.

Snake poop comes in a variety of brown tones, just like the feces of most animals. Poop from a healthy snake is sticky and squishy but not overly soft. Its size reveals the size of the snake that created it.

A more obvious sign is brown feces mixed with pale urate. These two, when expelled together, are suggestive of a snake.

How Does Garter Snake Poop Smell?


Like most other excrements, snake dung has a generally unpleasant odor.

You can tell when a snake defecates, although watery poop smells worse than solid excrement. It stinks, especially if it’s allowed to accumulate.

How to Handle Snake Poop in Your Yard


If you have a snake problem on your property, the snake’s waste may be the first sign you notice.

It’s also essential to understand that salmonella, the bacteria that causes salmonellosis, is present in snake droppings. This kind of poisoning causes major health problems, including gastrointestinal problems.

With this in mind, be cautious if you notice indicators of a snake in your garden or house. Even a non-lethal snake can pass poisonous excrement.

If you keep a snake as a pet, clean your hands after cleaning the cage. While digging or working in areas of soil frequented by snakes, gardeners should always wear shoes and gloves.

Therefore, young children should always cover their feet to avoid unintentionally being bitten by a snake while playing outside in places with a dense population of snakes.

Snakes have the unpleasant habit of defecating wherever they go, so if one has recently been there, there is a chance that it has left behind some waste.

Do Snakes Pass the Bones of Their Prey?


No, snakes don’t dump out their prey’s bones. However, occasionally, you might find some hair, nails, teeth, or pieces of bone in their waste.

Snakes’ powerful stomach acids and the length of time their meal spends in the digestive system allow them to digest the bones of their prey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does vinegar repel snakes?

White vinegar will keep snakes away from swimming pools.

Do snakes hate marigolds?

Marigolds are a natural snake repellent so planting them should keep them away.

What temp is too cold for snakes?

When temperatures fall under 70 degrees, snakes start to slow down.

So What Does Garter Snake Poop Look Like?


Garter snake poop can be hazardous for you and your pets. It’s important to differentiate garter snake excrement from bird or pet excrement.

In case you do find garter snake excrement around your property, make sure to remove it carefully.

If you find this guide, “What Does Garter Snake Poop Look Like,” informative and helpful, you can check out these other animal-related articles from our team:

You can learn more about garter snakes by watching “EVERYTHING You Need to Know About Garter Snakes” down below: