Wildlife risk

Hi everyone,
I wanted to know the risks posed by wildlife on a backyard that faces a dry hill/walking trail. Just wanted to know what to expect (snakes, coyotes etc), given how hot it gets during the heat waves in bayarea (Alamaden Valley ) and also in general . I would appreciate any pointers on how to handle it (safety measures) that need to be implemented on the property based on your experiences.


Interesting question! :popcorn:

We back up to a creek and had deer coming onto the property on a daily basis ravaging our flowers, trees and shrubs. Coyotes would occasionally follow them in. After putting up an 8 foot high wire mesh fence by the creek (the lot is now ~95% fenced in) the deer can no longer get in. Once in a while we still see a doe walking along the neighbors driveway having come up from the creek and a few minutes later a coyote following the scent, but we feel the kids are safe playing in the enclosed back yard.

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Thank you for your quick response . Iam worried if there could be any rattle snakes or other kinds of snakes etc that can enter the property and how this can be handled. The property has a huge backyard. While I love nature , Iam worried about any snakes etc entering the property when there are little kids around .

Do property disclosures have information on any wildlife incidents on the property? I just wanted the kids to be safe. So wondering , what I can do to prevent these from entering the property. Can tall fences keep the coyotes out ?

Get a good sized dog. It will scare off the coyotes. A cat can get rid of rodents and snakes also. Dogs can be vaccinated against snake bites and trained to avoid them. Cats kill snakes easily.


We always spot Deers at our front yard daily at midnight and also spot them day time while near mountains in group. They come to eat all rose flowers, leaves. High fence will ward them off.

I spotted skunks, raccoons normally, but some people spot mountain lion too.

Three time spotted snakes, only way is to have a nice fence which will ward them off. If the fence is solid, like stone or concrete, snakes coming inside can be avoided.

The last snake we spotted 6 months before - just before our car garage, which we drove away!


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King snake. Non venomous

All kingsnakes are non-venomous, but are powerful constrictors and generally kill their prey through suffocation. The “king” in their name refers to their propensity to hunt and eat other snakes, including venomous rattlesnakes, that are commonly indigenous to their natural habitat. California kingsnakes are naturally resistant to the venom of rattlesnakes, but are not totally immune.[4] It has been recorded that kingsnakes are known to swallow their own shed skin.[11]


I spent almost 20 years on Kings Mtn and then in La Honda. Wildlife central. Never a problem except the deer are a hassle if you like to garden (there are work-arounds) Cougars and rattlers leave you alone; just be situationally aware. I worried more about two-legged predators when I lived down in the flatlands.

Thank you. The area Iam worried about is Almaden valley in bayarea zip code 95120. I wanted to know the possibility of having rattle snakes and other snakes since there is a very dry hill/hiking trail leaning into this property.

The property has lot of fruit trees and has a huge backyard . Given that we have little kids , I want to be safe . Are there any fencing options etc that prevent snakes from entering the property ?

Not really unless you do some sort of masonry barrier which could be very attractive but would also be very expensive. There are plenty of rattlers in that area. Biggest risk is they often don’t rattle until stepped on as all the ones that sounded off were noticed and killed leaving the more sedate ones which went unnoticed to breed. That being said I kicked around the Santa Cruz and Diablo ranges for decades, encountered dozens of rattlers and never got bit.

I live at Morgan Hill, next to Mountains, at the foot steps, seen snakes 3 times in last 9 years. They are not normally seen in yards unlike tropical countries.

You can have good fence contractor, which is what my Dublin friend did, put a nice fence and avoided the snakes entry (not seen after 2013 he said). Additionally, have a pet cat like elt1 said, no rats, no snakes will enter with cats.

AFAIK, 95120 is an great school location with large lots, excellent and quiet place to live. Also, it is hard to 95120 as competition is too high with good schools area, esp Leland school areas.

Getting a cat solves your problem. Get an aggressive outdoor cat. Maybe two or three no big deal. Cats are low maintenance unlike dogs.

Thank you Elt1, jill , acre

If it’s against a walking trail, you should be more worried about the wild humans.

We’re having bikes stolen from garages around here multiple times a week.

PS: We’re in Redwood City (near Woodside) and seeing coyotes. The coyotes will kill the cats. Also a weekly occurrence.

Had someone’s cat killed in my yard last year. You always know when a coyote did it. No head. It’s their favorite part - crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
I’ve never been a fan of outdoor cats. They kill far to many beneficial or just plain neat things. No good at getting gophers and they’re the only rodent pest I care about. The yotes can have at the cats - I felt that way in Niles Canyon (Fremont), La Honda and now Strawberry.

Plenty of small dogs will kill gophers. Less rodents mean fewer snakes. Get a rat terrier, a big dog and a couple of cats. Will provide a lot more protection than a fence.

Thanks terry , acre and Elt1. I heard a lot of incidents of coyotes. I was wondering when they usually wander into yards, day time, night time any time ?

They are seen all the time in Tahoe wandering the city streets. Bears too. They recently spotted a bear in the BA in Oakley. Anti hunting laws will mean a big increase everywhere. A mountain lion was even caught in Bernal Heights. They can travel 10 miles in one night.
And have huge range areas

Adult male cougars roam widely, covering a home range of 50 to 150 square miles, depending on the age of the cougar , the time of year, type of terrain, and availability of prey.

This means wherever you buy there is a potential for dangerous critters. Plenty of other issues that a more important to worry about

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My neighbor just had their outdoor dinner party taken over by bears in Tahoe keys. The mama sent in her three cubs. Then she approached, swam in. Everyone left the table for her to enjoy the leftovers. They should have used an air horn to scare them off.

@Pal , if you move there, you need to educate your kids about rattle snakes. Also about the other snakes. Most are harmless, but their bite hurts. Rattle snakes are no joke. I was viewing rural land in Los Gatos (Greenridge Terrace off Blossom Hill), grass was 3 ft high, I am in shorts, July. Suddenly the rattle sound. I retreated.

So, cut the weeds.

Have no wood/ rock/ debris piles where they could hide.

Keep patio doors closed (screen doors are a must).

Don’t leave excessive dog food in the yard, as it attracts rodents, which brings in the snakes.

The dog vaccine is only $20 but doesn’t make them immune. It only buys you more time and reduces impact.

Don’t leave cats outside. Coyotes are now in urban areas too, btw.

Some people prefer rattle snakes over homeless or tweakers.