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Does Peppermint Oil Repel Snakes?

Last Updated: 14.07.24


While a lot of people could use a good snake repellent every once in a while, many houses face more common challenges such as bugs and insects. Before you go on searching for the best plants that repel bugs, however, we’ve got something else in store for you.

While more of a “new-age” thing, organic oils have been promoted lately as another safer, kinder way of repelling snakes. While the infamous peppermint oil has the number one place locked when it comes to repelling spiders, its effectiveness on snakes has yet to be proven. What this material aims to do is allow you to make up your own mind about it.


What You Should Know

Ophidiophobia or, in general terms, the fear of snakes, is one of the more common phobias in areas that have a large snake population such as the United States. Interesting research shows that almost all people have this fear because it is innate, passed down from our ancestors as a feeling that kept them alive.

Other than rare snakes with an extremely powerful venom who can kill you on the spot, a fatal snake bite is relatively rare today. While large amounts of money are spent every year on different snake repellents, several essential oils have actually proven they can yield similar results.

Approved by the Wildlife Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they are used to keep common brown snakes away from planes, airports and cargo holds, thus limiting the possibility of illegally expatriating them to another country. This method has been known to work for other breeds of snakes as well, so don’t hesitate to use it should you feel the need to.



Where Does Peppermint Oil Stand?

Even though the debate is still ongoing, as a number of scientists maintain their position stating that essential oils are not effective against the shadowy reptiles, many natural snake repellents today have peppermint oil in their composition.

While a part of its popularity certainly comes from the ecological side of the issue as they are marketed to be non-damaging to people, pets and plants, the effectiveness of these products is also very much in the open. Since you can usually find two types of these products, either as pellets or spray-style, you can make your own choice about which one to use.

For outdoor use, pellet repellents with peppermint oil will probably get the job done since you can sprinkle them around the grass. They are designed to prevent snakes from entering your home as well as nesting and foraging, with the online reviews indicating that they helped drive rattlesnakes, copperheads and garter snakes away from their properties.

An added bonus is that the pellets are usually rain-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about refreshing your “defense wall” after every drop of rain. Most buyers were very satisfied with these products, offering positive reviews about their effectiveness and having no effect on plants and pets, with a small part of them complaining the treatment did not work for their yards.


No Peppermint? What About Other Oils?

The latest research has shown that other oils such as cinnamon oil, clove oil, and eugenol are also very effective in helping your fight against the snakes. For the best results, it is recommended that you spray the oil directly on the snakes or immediately in their vicinity.

These oils are made of tiny molecules who can quickly infiltrate beneath the skin and cause extremely uncomfortable effects for the snake, thus making them flee. It’s a quick, efficient and cruelty-free way to redirect the reptiles towards other pastures, where they are more welcome.

Snakes also have a unique organ called  “Jacobson’s organ”, basically a patch of sensory cells within the main nasal chamber which, along with their standard already-respectable smell receptors makes them extremely sensitive to the strong odors of clove and cinnamon essential oils.

While, as we said, the oils are transdermal and have the ability to quickly seep into the skin and cause them great discomfort, their main repelling power lies in their odor and the snake’s sensitive way of picking it up. In other words, it’s a strategy that would make even Sun Tzu proud: Turn your enemy’s weakness against him and use it to your advantage.

DIY Snake Repellents

For folks who don’t want to buy or doubt these products’ effectiveness and don’t want to potentially lose some money, we have some good news. In all honesty, you by your lonesome self can probably make a pretty decent snake repellent spray since they are primarily composed of essential oils like the ones we indicated before, peppermint included.

Get yourself a common spray bottle and combine about .08 oz. of the active ingredient, let’s say peppermint oil, and some 7.84 oz. of water to make one cup. Give it a little shake and there you go, you just built your own warrior weapon for the snake wars.

You can also discourage the reptiles with a vapor fumigate application. What you do is you soak a piece of fabric in one of the oils and place it in an enclosed room. While not as effective as directly spraying them in the face with the peppermint-oil solution, this method will draw the snakes out of the treated room and out of the enclosed space.


Be Aware of the Following

Trust them or don’t trust them, it seems the entire world is divided when it comes to the effectiveness of peppermint oil and other essential oils against snakes. Be that as it may, there are other products you most certainly shouldn’t buy, regardless of the stance you have on the above issue.

Since these days you can find pretty much anything on the market, you’ll also find those products that are positioned as universal ones, helping you get rid of rats, spiders and snakes all in one firm swoop. Specialists strongly advise against them and characterize them as the worst products on the market.

Pro-tip: Don’t go around buying ultrasound repellents either, as you know, snakes have no ears!




1) What smells do snakes hate?

2) How do you repel snakes naturally?

3) Can peppermint oil work to get rid of snakes?

4) How to Keep Snakes Out of Your Yard



Leave a comment


Susan G

June 4, 2020 at 12:27 am

I appreciate the information you have provided, much appreciated!


June 4, 2020 at 8:59 am

Hi Susan. Thanks for your feedback. I’m glad the info is helpful!

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