New Jersey is home to 23 species of snakes. Of these species, 2 are venomous. The cold weather of winter deters the cold-blooded animals to stay out of the open air, but many seek shelter. Most snake species in New Jersey are born from the midsummer to early fall before it gets too cold. This population spike allows for more snakes to survive in the spring. With human structures, snakes have more places to outlast the bitter cold.
Snakes will often take shelter underground, in sheds, under debris piles, in tree hollows, in walls, in basements, or in attics. Snakes can easily slip into your house via cracks in the foundation or in the eaves. Snakes climb trees very well, and overhanging branches can give a snake access to your home. The inside of lived-in structures provides warm shelter to the reptiles. Any number of snakes can live in a single den. A rattlesnake den can occasionally house about 70 snakes. Whether a snake is venomous or not, it can pose serious risks to your home. Snakes carry a variety of diseases, such as salmonella; which they can spread without contact. All snake species have a bad odor, which can linger after they are gone.
Signs of snake infestation include finding discarded shedded skins, scat (usually with bones and feathers in it, slithering noises, and in the case of rattlesnakes: the rattling of their tails.