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What Repels Snakes?

Last Updated: 16.06.24


If you want to know what the best snake repellent is, you might want to read one of our recent articles on the topic. Simply check it out, and select the one you find most suitable from the list we have prepared.

When it comes to snakes, there is a love-hate attitude towards these often misunderstood creatures. Some people admire and love them, and even keep them as pets. Others are repulsed by these reptiles.

You might have heard that they are more scared of you than you are of them, and they will leave you in peace if you do not disturb them. That is often the case, but just like any wild animal, snakes might show aggressiveness if cornered.


Understanding Snakes

Most people know that there are many types of snakes in the world. Actually, there are over 2900 species ranging from the far north in the Arctic Circle and Scandinavia to the southern hemisphere, in Australia. Except for Antarctica, snakes can be found on every continent and even in the seas, or at high elevations such as the Himalayan Mountains.

The size of snakes can vary a lot depending on the species. For example, the reticulated python measures about 22.8 feet, and the green anaconda, around 17.1 feet. On the other side of the scale, most snakes are usually small reptiles measuring around 3.3 feet in length.

Perhaps the thing that scares people the most is not the fact that snakes crawl, or that they shed their skin, but the venom. Certain species such as cobras and vipers use venom to immobilize and kill their prey. Most venomous snake species are not fatal to humans. However, some of them do have powerful enough venom to kill a human being.

Another notable fact regarding snakes is that all species are carnivorous; therefore, they feed on small animals including small mammals, frogs, birds, lizards, other snakes, snails, fish, insects, and even eggs.

These reptiles cannot bite or tear their food, so they must swallow their prey whole. For this reason, a snake’s body size has an important influence on its eating habits. Smaller snakes feed on smaller prey, while larger ones like pythons can eat small deers or antelopes.



Benefits of Having Snakes Around

Before we dive into the subject of how to get rid of snakes, we must also name the benefits of having a snake around the house. First of all, snakes can keep rodent populations down. A single small reptile can eat three or four mice at a time.

Larger snakes will eat rats. Snakes also eat insects, moles, or voles. In other areas of the country, they eat nutria, rabbits, and other rodents that can be destructive to crops or homes.


Natural Snake Repellents

For most people, there is almost nothing less fun than relaxing or working in the garden and suddenly being surprised by a snake. It is enough to, metaphorically speaking, make you jump out of your skin! Still, we managed to find many options you can use as natural snake repellents that will help you keep these creatures away, without harming them.

Naphthalene is one of the most common snake repellents you can find. It is the main component used in mothballs, but you can go much cheaper by looking for this specific ingredient. You should know that naphthalene has a very pungent scent and can last for weeks and even months.

Lemongrass is another idea. If you plant some around the perimeter of your house and yard, snakes will not bother you. If you decide on this method, make sure you keep an eye on it, as lemongrass bunches and can get quite large. Similarly, wormwood can help you in keeping snakes away. You will need to check this plant also, as it can spread fast.

Depending on whether the area you live in allows you, keeping chickens can also help. Snakes might try to go after the eggs, but just like turkeys and guinea hens, chickens will attack and even kill snakes who dare to get into their coop. Pigs also attack snakes.

In case you have birds, snakes will target their houses for eggs. Planting rose bushes at the bottom of the birdhouse post and winding the stems around the post can make a great snake repellent.

Essential oils such as cinnamon, cedarwood, or clove have been noticed to repel snakes as well so you can use them safely. Similarly, sulfur is also offensive to snakes and therefore it will discourage them from accessing any areas where it is used.

Snakes also dislike garlic. You can make a spray by chopping garlic cloves and adding any type of oil. It will work best if you infuse the cloves in the oil for a few weeks. Transfer the formula into a spray bottle and then spray around the areas where these crawling reptiles are known to hide.

Things around structures such as shrubs, mulch, or wood piles can offer a great hiding place for snakes. If you clear any debris from around your house, garage, and shed can help a lot to prevent snakes from entering these areas.

In case everything else fails, you may need to relocate the snakes. This might not be the most pleasant solution for you, but it is a very efficient one. Moving the snakes lurking around your property to a suitable place for them will help you get rid of them without harming them.



Commercial Snake Repellents

If you are thinking about using commercial snake repellents, you should know that most of them use chemical naphthalene that causes liver damage, anemia, and it is also classified by the EPA as a Class C human carcinogen.

These products will definitely repel and even kill snakes, but they will also cause damage to other animals, and even you and your family. That is why we recommend using natural repellents, and there are plenty of options to choose from.



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