7 Natural and Effective Snake Repellents
Unless you’re a snake removal specialist, the last thing you want to see is a snake slither into your home. Snakes are, even the small tiny ones, scary. An image of a screaming child jumping on top of a table comes to mind.
And sure, they have a right to roam around, but they’re scary.
You never know if they’ll be venomous either. Some snake venom is so deadly, a person can die within an hour. Let’s not even mention going into convulsions or going into a state of paralysis due to neurotoxins.
It’s not pretty.
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The good news is that there are natural and effective snake repellents. Some of these repellents are really just a lifestyle change, too.
Table of Contents
- Getting rid of snakes naturally: change your lifestyle
- Getting rid of nasty snakes with mothballs
- Getting rid of snakes in the house
- 7 Easy ways to get rid of snakes in your yard
Getting rid of snakes naturally: change your lifestyle
The snake repellent market is filled with predatory, professional snake trappers that make a good living off of people creating friendly snake habitats in their yards. It sounds silly – I know – but a lot of people set themselves up for failure because they have a lifestyle indicative of creating the perfect environment for snakes.
A few “lifestyle” changes that can help put an end to your pesky snake problem are:
- Eliminate food sources: If you have an infestation of mice or small mammals, snakes will love your yard. Food is one of the biggest motivators in the animal kingdom, so it makes sense for snakes to roam around your yard living in a paradise filled with delicious food to eat. Eliminate the food source, and the snakes will flee when they get hungry.
- Clean up: Remember all of those wood piles you have scattered along your backyard? Or, you know, those tall blades of grass that could easily hide a body they’re so thick? It’s probably a good idea to work on that this weekend. Clean up any form of debris, rocks and lumber that are housing these reptiles.
These are the main lifestyle changes that you can incorporate today to put an end to your snake problem.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a chance that the snakes will stay around your yard, slithering their way through all of the vegetation and freaking you out every time they get a chance. But if you complete these simple steps, you’ll at least make your yard less tempting – a good choice.
Getting rid of nasty snakes with mothballs
I’m so excited to tell you this that I had to jump ahead – mothballs are great when trying to repel snakes. Snake removal can remind you of your grandparent’s home (I’m sure at least some of you remember the smell of mothballs).
This common snake repellent is a really cheap way to get rid of snakes.
But why do mothballs work so well?
This is a great question. There’s an ingredient in mothballs called naphthalene. Science tells me that this ingredient has a way of irritating a snake’s receptors, so it’s pretty potent and will make your yard smell like an older person’s home, too.
Anyway, usage is rather simple and straightforward:
- Put on a pair of gloves
- Open the mothball container
- Mix cat litter and mothballs together
- Throw the mixture around the perimeter of the yard
This will be a granular snake repellent, and it won’t kill the snakes – so you won’t feel bad either.
But I do need to warn you that the mothballs can harm your animals, so if you do have furry pets or other creepy crawlers, make sure to keep the mixture out of their reach. No one wants to lose their pet because they’re trying to get rid of a snake.
Getting rid of snakes in the house
They’ve finally infiltrated your home. You walked through the door, screamed and ran away from a small, slithering snake. Nowhere is safe anymore; your one sanctuary is now contaminated and scary. It’s a harsh situation, and while you may be in a panic, there are ways to get snakes out of your house.
A snake trap is an option, but that doesn’t help when your car keys are in the other room and the snake is blocking the door.
Never handle snakes unless you know it’s non venomous.
It’s a little late to talk about preventing snakes from getting in at this point (we’ll discuss this soon), but we can help you get rid of the pest in your home. If you feel more comfortable and are able to, I suggest putting on:
- Thick pants
- Long-sleeve shirt
The goal is to protect your skin in case you get bitten. It’s always possible, so take any precaution you can to prevent yourself from an unfortunate snake bite.
If you do know the snake is venomous (you know, the dreaded rattle of a rattlesnake), abandon all hope and get out of there. Never try removing a deadly snake. Call a professional and stay out of your home until the snake is finally gone.
But if you’re dealing with a little garden snake or something similar, you can:
- Open the door and leave the snake alone so that it leaves.
- Use a broom and push the snake out of the door
That’s it – just two options. You also have the option of putting on gloves and picking the snake up and moving it to another place. I only recommend this option if you’ve identified the snake and know that it’s not venomous.
Grabbing the snake behind the head tightly while squeezing your fingers will cause the snake to open its jaws and render it impossible to attack.
Preventing buildings penetration
Snakes need to find a way into the home, and since you’re looking for snake repellents, it’s safe to say that you’re on the right track to preventing building penetration. And while we’re going to mention a few great natural and effective snake repellents shortly, you need to know a little secret: you may be leaving space for the snake to come into your home.
- Door Gaps: Any massive door gaps, or even small gaps, can let in a plethora of wildlife, including rodents and snakes. Close these gaps with a door sweep or through other appropriate methods (i.e. door trim) to ensure no point of entry is too easy.
- Holes: Small holes in siding or other exterior items can allow a snake to slither its way through the hole and potentially enter the home through a hole you don’t know exists. Correct these problems pronto.
- Attics: You might know there is an issue in your attic, or you may have no idea, allowing a snake to crawl right in and start making a ruckus upstairs. Obviously, you need to correct the entry point of the snake to put an end to all of this fuss.
Again, a major reason that snakes will enter into an attic is because of a rodent problem. If snakes have staked claim to your attic already, even sonic snake repellers won’t work to get them out.
Correct any infestations you may have to help starve the snakes out.
Note: Snakes have a very slow metabolism, which means a lot of them can go an entire month without eating. If you’ve cleared away your rodent problem, you will need to wait some time before you can expect the snakes to leave.
A natural snake repellent product is a different snake repellent that you’ll find in most stores. Commercial snake repellent may contain harmful ingredients that can harm an animal or human, too.
Always choose the natural route when possible.
Cayenne pepper is a possible repellent. This item, often found in most homes, can be sprinkled around the perimeter of the home to repel snakes. It sounds quite silly, but snakes don’t like the spice.
A few other options (aside from mothballs, which you should be using) are:
- Cinnamon and clove oil: An all-natural snake repellent that is highly recommended is a blend of cinnamon and clove oil. This oil, when sprayed on a snake, will cause it to flee. A trick that a lot of people found works is to add the mixture into a spray bottle and spray all around the corners of the home. It’s a short-term solution, but it will work.
- Sulfur: Powdered sulfur is a non-toxic repellent, but you’ll want to cover your nose, as the smell of the substance is horrid. Place the substance near doorways and inside of cracks where you believe the snakes are entering.
Snakes are rather resilient, so even an all-natural snake repellent will do only so much to deter a persistent snake that is adamant on entering the home. I’ve even heard of people using gopher repellent they’ve become so desperate, but there is a time when snake removal is warranted.
With that said, if you can keep snakes out of your yard, you’ll have a great chance of keeping them out of your home, too.
An occasional visitor may come by to check if there is any food, but at this point in the article, you should have cleared away all food sources for the snake.
7 Easy ways to get rid of snakes in your yard
Snakes are in your yard and not in your home. This is a good thing. Remember, snakes are a part of nature, so there is no 100% method to keep them out of your yard forever unless you use very harmful poisons.
But there are a few methods that we have yet to discuss that do help repel snakes.
1. Find the nest
Snakes are known to make nests, and this is a place where they’ll decide to sleep. These nests often look a lot like bird’s nests, but they don’t need to be a nest either. Many snakes will choose somewhere that gives them cover to live (rocks, wood piles, etc).
If you can find the nest and no snakes are in sight, you can remove the nest to deter the snake from coming back.
Eggs may be present, and you’ll want to discard them to ensure that no baby snakes come to torment you. Just keep in mind that snakes don’t sit on their eggs and wait for them to hatch. Baby snakes are independent, and they may never meet their real mother, so simply removing the adult snake is not enough to stop the eggs from hatching.
2. Mow the grass
High grass allows snakes to roam around undetected. While it may be tempting to skip mowing the lawn, you’re also creating the perfect environment for a snake to live. Rodents and other small mammals will live among the grass providing the perfect food source and reason for snakes to stick around.
Mow the grass bi-weekly for best results.
The lower the grass, the better.
3. Remove garbage
If you have any garbage in the yard or have a tendency to place your garbage outside of your door, stop that. Snakes will start to go under anything, and you’ll be attracting rodents, which are the main food source for snakes.
4. Remove debris
Wood piles, garbage and any debris you find in the yard, clean it up.
5. Get rid of compost heaps
Those beautiful compost heaps, they need to go, too. Gartner snakes love to hang out in compost piles, and since the compost keeps the snakes warm, they are naturally attracted to it. This is the same idea as wood piles, so you’ll want to eliminate them, too.
6. Erect snake-proof fencing
Snake and reptile-proof fences put an end to your snake problems. These fences are expensive, but they will keep you safe from snakes. These fences need to be:
- Constructed with fine mesh
- Constructed 2 – 4 feet high
- Buried 6 inches into the ground
Snakes will not be able to get under or over the fence, so this will put an end to most of your pest problems.
Just remember that other critters may make holes in the fencing, so you’ll want to do your best to check the fence every few months for holes.
7. Use mothballs
Yup. We’re going to say it again: use mothballs. Place your mixture (we talked about it earlier, remember?) all around the corners of your yard. The goal is to deter the snakes from entering your yard – and it works so well.
Natural and effective, these seven methods will allow you to repel snakes as best as possible. If you find that you have no luck in repelling snakes and the issue is getting out of your control, call in a professional or think about using commercial repellents or snake traps.