Is There A Snake Repellent That Works?


There are so many commercial snake repellent products in the market, and gardeners and homeowners are apprehensive about what will work and what will simply waste their money.

In this article, we will dwell on the issue of the effectiveness of snake repellents and what you can to ensure that snakes are repelled in your garden or yard. Is there any snake repellant that works? Let us find out.

All available evidence and data show that snake repellents available for sale in the market are 100 percent ineffective. 

If you buy them, you are simply wasting your money. In addition, it can pose a real danger to your kids and to your pets.

Nonetheless, not all snake repellents are under the category of chemical repellents for sale. Some are natural remedies that have been shown to have some effect on snakes.

Are Snake Repellents Effective?

Buyers of commercial snake repellents may have been the victims of exaggerated claims by snake repellent companies.

According to various experts, there have not been any actual differences in treated and untreated areas when it comes to treatment against snake infestation.

Thousands of such records occur in Arizona, where rattlesnakes are literally found hiding inside and under snake repellent materials.

They have been seen sleeping above mothballs. They have been found to exhibit the same nonchalance and indifference to other snake repellent products as well.

Snake control experts have been called by a client after client complaining about snakes because the snake repellent product they were tricked into buying did not do its job.

No product is 100 percent effective. They may repel snakes to some extent, but not in conditions where these repellents have been spread out over areas.

Field tests made on popular commercial snake repellents available in the market showed that, at best, they had varying results.

While snakes definitely smell and sense unpleasant sensations such as repellent odors, this does not mean that they can be prevented from entering yards and gardens by these scents.

The repellents may slow them down, but ultimately, this effect is negligible and is ultimately of no practical benefit.

The best method of getting snakes to move out of your property is an overall strategic pest control plan that may or may not include snake repellents.

A single solution, such as the application of snake repellents, is unlikely to effectively deter snakes from your property.

The Ineffectiveness of Chemical Snake Repellents

There are formulated products for repelling snakes sold in stores, and there are also those considered as home remedies. Many of these are unsurprisingly ineffective.

According to Terry Vandeventer, a herpetologist connected to the Living Reptile Museum, in the South, mothballs are considered as the top snake repellent.

However, his experience has shown him that mothballs are absolutely useless.

He has tested and confirmed it through experiments. In these tests, Vandeventer placed the mothballs down on the ground and put a cottonmouth on one of its sides while he placed a mouse on the other side.

He observed that the snake simply crawled over the mothballs separating it from the mouse, and proceeded to ingest the mouse without hesitation or avoidance of the moth balls.

Other experts have also conducted similar experiments on other snake repellent products with the same results.

Things To Do To Keep Snakes Out

On the problem of keeping snakes from entering and living in your garden, yard, and home, there are things that you can do that are effective and things that are not.

In this section, we will explore the various techniques and methods by which people have tried to control snakes over the years. The knowledge here is distilled from many years of experience by the garden, home, and yard owners, as well as snake control professionals.

Eliminate Rodents in the Yard

While Vandeventer admitted that it is 100 percent impossible to completely prevent snakes from entering our property, there are concrete measures you can implement to at least make your yard and garden less appealing to snakes.

For instance, Vandeventer says, we are aware of the attraction of snakes to their food and prey. Since rodents are part of the diet of snakes, it is important to eradicate them from your property.

Remove the rodents, and the snakes will have nothing to eat in your area.

This is the same principle regarding the snake’s favorite types of shelter. If they like piles of rocks or wood present in your surroundings, then removing them will cause snakes to become uncomfortable due to the lack of hiding places.

By eliminating two of their major requirements in life, food, and shelter, you may be able to get rid of snakes as well.

The effort for repelling or keeping these snakes away should then revolve around eliminating the reasons why they want to stay in your property.

These include removing places for shelter and basking, as well as removing food sources. Below we enumerate ways on how to discourage snakes from invading your property.

Feed Pets Inside The House

When you feed your dog or cat, refrain from feeding them outdoors. If you can’t avoid it, at least clean up after them immediately after they have finished eating.

Snakes will not eat scattered leftover dog and cat food. However, these food items will attract rodents who love them. Consequently, snakes will be attracted to your area because of the presence of rodents.

It is also important to put pet food, and other animal feeds in tightly lidded containers that are inaccessible to pests.

Remove Piles and Debris Around Your Property

Piles of rocks, leaves, wood, as well as other debris on your property, will cause a host of problems.

They will attract rodents because of the shelter they offer, and they will also attract snakes who want the same shelters as well as the rodents. These piles are the ideal places where snakes can readily set up shop.

You should burn firewood during winter. Your woodpile can become a problem once ambient temperatures start to rise.

Burn your remaining wood before spring comes, when snakes start becoming active again.

If you cannot avoid removing your wood, then at least place it on a rack that is elevated.

Trim Your Plants

It is also essential to maintain your grass regularly well mown. Tall grasses are excellent hiding places for snakes. If the grasses are short, then there are no areas for snakes to hide in. Snakes are naturally shy.

Do the same for bushes, brush, trees, and other vegetation around your home that can serve as shelter for snakes.

Limit or Avoid Birdhouses

Humans love birds. They like listening to bird songs and seeing them with their beautifully colored plumages, pretty shapes, and graceful flying.

Because of our natural fascination for birds, you may start thinking about constructing birdhouses in your vicinity.

Unfortunately, this can attract snakes, which will target the birds, including any young they may have. There are snake species such as rat snakes, which are exceptional climbers.

Birdhouses are an invitation for snakes to dinner. Alternately, you can strategically place your birdhouse on metal poles or wooden posts wrapped with sheet metal. You can also opt to place conical barriers along the pole to deter the snakes.

Limit or Avoid Bird Feeding

As humans love birds, so they also enjoy feeding them. Once you give birds food to them, they will start getting messy, knocking food items from their feeders.

Littered bird foods are a cornucopia for rodents, and we know how snakes see rodents: as delicacies.

If you really want to feed birds, you may opt to do it during the cold winter months, a time when there are limited food resources available and the snakes are in hibernation or brumation.

Pick up Fruits on the Ground

Fruits that have fallen from their trees are a source of food for rodents, which will get attracted by them. Rodents can then attract the snakes.

Remove Mulch

Mulch can indeed beautify your lawn. Unfortunately, it attracts insects, which are part of the diet of some snakes. In addition, mulch also provides snakes an attractive hiding place. It is therefore advisable to put out mulch and pine straw.

Remove the Pond

Garden ponds are lovely. They are the perfect element in a romantic and beautiful garden. However, they also attract frogs as well as other animals that snakes eat. If your pond has fish, it will also serve as another snake attractant.

Seal Holes and Cracks in Your Home

Snakes may not only invade your yard but your home itself. Your home is an inviting place that is warm, safe, and ideal for snakes to rest and live in. All holes which are bigger than one-fourth inch should be sealed.

Close Off All Access Points

Snakes can also enter your home via door sweeps as well as window screens, so make sure they tightly fit and cannot be taken advantage of by snakes.

In addition, make sure that all drains and vents are covered. You may use galvanized screening for this.

Fence Your Property

Snakes may also be prevented by installing a fence that is snake-proof.

Install Traps

There are also sticky traps and mechanical traps that can be useful in catching snakes for eventual relocation.

Natural Snake Repellents

If commercial chemical repellents are not effective, then maybe you can try natural repellents instead.

There have also been criticisms regarding these natural repellents, but some nonetheless swear by them, so you may try for yourself if they work for you if you have no other viable options.

Lemongrass

You may try planting lemongrass around your perimeter. Its scent supposedly drives snakes away.

Wormwood

This is another plant that is touted as a natural snake repellent similar to lemongrass.

Livestock

Chickens, turkeys, guinea hens, and other birds can attack, eat, and even kill snakes. Pigs are known to attack snakes as well.

Roses

Rose bushes can deter snakes in areas that you do not want them to go to.

Essential Oils

Essential oils have been promoted as effective snake repellants. These include cinnamon, cedarwood, clove, and other oils.

Garlic

Snakes, like vampires, do not like garlic, including its cloves and as an essential oil. It can then be sprayed around areas where snakes are known to frequent.

Sulfur

Like essential oils, snakes dislike coming into contact with sulfur.

Sharp Mulch

Mulch-type materials such as eggshells and corals may be able to keep snakes at bay.

Top 9 Commercial Snake Repellents

In this section, we will get familiarized with some of the common commercial snake repellents being sold in the market.

Even if they have no effective value, you may be able to notice that they contain ingredients that have been known to be widely used in repelling snakes.

It is the stand of this article that all commercial repellents advertised for snakes are essentially ineffective.

This will, therefore, be the general opinion regarding the different snake repellent products that will be discussed below.

Snake B Gon Granules

This is an affordable snake repellent that contains essential oils. It is much cheaper and can easily be applied to your property.

The principle behind the product involves triggering the aversion of snakes to the smell of the granules. It is considered safe to put around your home and is safe in the garden as well.

It is also environmentally friendly, user-friendly, and is undetectable by the human olfactory senses.

The apparent downside to this product is that it does not affect black rat snakes too much, and the granules get easily washed away by rain. It also needs reapplication every two to three days.

Dr. T’s Repelling Granules

This product is considered more potent than the previous one. It is considered to be effective for all snake species. Its ingredients are quite strong, including 28% sulfur and 7% naphthalene.

Snakes are supposed to feel nervous symptoms or even die when they try to cross the barrier peppered with this product.

It has a reasonable price, and it is for users who do not mind harming snakes. Unfortunately, it is not environment-friendly. It is also harmful to children and pets.

The granules last long, up to two or three months. It has a strong and unpleasant odor. It is washed away by rain.

Exterminator’s Choice Snake Repellent

This product is meant to be sprayed so that it can be applied more easily. Like Snake B Gon, it is environment-friendly and contains essential oils, particularly clove, cinnamon oil, and peppermint.

Its user can spray it without having to come in contact with the product. It is safe for the majority of pets and is claimed to be effective against a wide range of venomous and harmless snakes.

With this product, it might be more difficult to see where the sprayed areas and barriers are. It is also washed away by rain.

Snake Shield Snake Repellent

It also contains essential oils, is safe for animals and pets, and is environment-friendly.

It contains cinnamon and cedar as its active ingredient and is in granular form, which makes it vulnerable to the elements and conditions mentioned in the previous granular products.

Haibinsh Solar Powered Snake Repellers

This product does not contain chemicals and instead uses solar power to produce vibrations of sound that supposedly repel snakes. It produces ultrasonic waves for inducing snakes and pests to go away.

It is environment-friendly; solar-powered; waterproof; has a large coverage area of 6,500 square feet, and is safe for children and pets.

Snakes are thought, however, to get used to its emission, and it is also vulnerable to cloudy weather because the solar batteries will fail to charge.

Safer Brand 5951 Snake Shield

This is also granular and is scent-based. It contains the natural oils of cinnamon,  cedarwood, and clove. It has the same advantages and disadvantages as other essential oil-based granular repellents.

BRISON Pest Control Ultrasonic Repellent

This product uses electricity and emits electromagnetic, ultrasonic, and bionic waves that supposedly disorient and disturb snakes and household pests.

These sounds are not detectable by humans and domestic pets.

It is advertised to cover a maximum of 1,200 square feet and needs continuous use for three to four weeks to achieve the desired results. It is for indoors only.

Enviro Pro 16003 Snake Scram

This product is also granular and scent-based, made of the essential oils of cinnamon, rosemary, clove, garlic, and cedar, including sulfur and peanut hulls.

It has the same advantages and disadvantages as other essential oil-based granular repellents.

Snake Defense Natural Snake Repellent

This product is liquid and is also scent-based, composed of peppermint oil, clove oil, and additional non-toxic and non-chemical ingredients.

It is safe for humans and pets. It supposedly agitates snakes and causes them to display aggression before they move out.

Sources

  • https://www.peststrategies.com/reviews/snake-products/best-snake-repellents/
  • https://www.diynatural.com/natural-snake-repellent/
  • https://www.bobvila.com/articles/best-snake-repellent/
  • https://apnews.com/article/a9cecb4582ec4f1791b932abc86150f5
  • https://www.therusticelk.com/naturally-repel-snakes/
  • https://rattlesnakesolutions.com/snakeblog/rattlesnake-safety/do-snake-repellents-work/
  • http://www.snake-removal.com/repellent.html

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Wyatt Welch

Hi, I am Wyatt, and I live in North Carolina. I've been working as a Pest Control Technician and now I am enjoying my retirement. This blog is a perfect outlet for me to share my knowledge in the field and I'd be happy to help if you have any questions.

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