Five rules to entice these beloved serpents.

Steve Bender
This cute, non-venomous Eastern milk snake needs a loving home. Yours?
Bruno De Faveri/AGF/UIG/Getty Images

Over the course of countless conversations with Southerners throughout the years, one truth stands heads and tails above the others. Southerners love snakes, especially females. Realtors will tell you that when it’s decision time to buy a house or not, the deal-breaker for women is not granite countertops, size of the closets, number of bathrooms, or the floor plan. It’s “Does the yard attract snakes? ‘Cause I can’t live without lots of snakes.”

This being the case, it behooves everyone thinking of selling a house to put a plan into action to attract as many snakes as possible. Here are five easy strategies to follow to turn your yard into the neighborhood’s serpentarium.

Don’t cut the grass or trim the bushes. Let the whole yard grow up a verdant jungle. Excessive vegetation provides cover for snakes, hiding them from predators such as hawks, owls, dogs, cats, possums, honey badgers, old guys with metal detectors, and velociraptors. It also provides cover for rats, mice, voles, and other rodents that are the favorite food for many snakes. The more rodents your yard harbors, the more snakes will arrive to dine.

Leave bowls of smelly dog food and cat food outside. This will be a clarion call for hungry rodents who, once sated, will multiply faster than Stephen Hawking. Snakes relish tender, young rodents and will thank you for this generous gift.

Throw pieces of junk that collect water into the yard, like old tires, empty cans, and satellite dishes. Summers are hot down here and snakes need to drink periodically. Show them how much you care for their comfort and well-being.

Use chicken wire instead of hardware cloth to seal openings into your backyard chicken coop. The openings are big enough to let most snakes crawl through unimpeded. Snakes love chicken eggs and do not worry about cholesterol. They will gulp down as many as they can fit—along with a chick or two.

Fail to seal up possible entry points into your house that will allow snakes to slither into your basement, garage, crawl space, attic, or (my personal favorite) the bath tub. Snakes are cold-blooded, so their body temperatures reflect the conditions of their surroundings. If it’s hot as Hades outside, they may seek cool shade inside. If it’s cold, they’ll seek out warmth. Who knows, a female snake may decide your house is the perfect place to raise a family. It worked for you, didn’t it?

No snakes in your yard yet? Don’t despair. Think of your yard as the baseball field in “Field of Dreams.” If you neglect it, they will come.