Snake Repellent: How To Keep Snakes Away

Written by Colby Maxwell
Updated: October 19, 2022
© Michiel de Wit/Shutterstock.com
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Snakes are some of the most common backyard visitors in many parts of the world. As spring inches closer and the temperatures continue to rise, the possibility of seeing snakes begins to increase.

For many people, snakes aren’t just a nuisance; they are a legitimate danger, especially for pets and young ones.

We will look at some of the most common snake repellents and some ways to help deal with them overall.

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What are Snake Repellents?

Can Rattlesnakes Swim - Venomous Snake Caution Sign
Snake repellents work in different ways, but their main goal is to keep snakes out of a certain area.

©Jeff W. Jarrett/Shutterstock.com

Snakes are incredibly common in many home environments, especially in the warmer climates to the south.

While totally removing snakes from a property is borderline impossible, there are some things that will likely deter future snakes and even keep them from coming back.

Snake repellent is usually classified into home remedies and commercial solutions. Within each category are different options, so we will cover both in some detail.

For many, finding a home remedy is essential and a part of a more conscious lifestyle. For others, getting the snakes gone with the “strong stuff” is just as good an option as any.

However what’s important to note is that NO snake repellent can truly claim 100% effectiveness. To a certain extent, snakes are here to stay. Still, there are some things that we can do to help. Let’s explore them below.

Home Remedies to Keep Snakes Away

Avoid Rattlesnake While on Hikes - Diamondback Rattlesnake
Planting lemongrass on your property is one way to keep snakes away.

©Susan M Snyder/Shutterstock.com

Like all home remedies for snake repellent, there isn’t a lot of scientific research to back these up, making them mostly anecdotal in nature. Still, they are probably worth a try since they are so inexpensive and generally natural.

Garlic spray

Garlic spray is one of the many options that people rave about online. The spray contains sulfur compounds, and snakes really don’t like it. The main downsides to this method are that it takes a lot of oil, and it’s likely to wash away after a few rain showers.

To make it, peel a head of garlic and toss it into a blender with a quarter cup of water, blending together. Once blended, add 1-2 cups of neutral oil and blend together again. After allowing it to sit for a few minutes, you should now have a potent garlic oil that can be used near doorways or perimeters.

Clove and cinnamon oil

Clove and cinnamon are among the most well-known snake repellants around. In fact, many commercially available options include some amount of each in their own recipes. These essential oils can be made and infused yourself, but many would find it easier to purchase them from a retailer or friend.

Lemongrass

Planting lemongrass on your property is one of the most natural methods that people use to reduce the presence of snakes. Aside from the herbal benefits lemongrass is known for, the plant is supposedly a natural repellant for snakes, ticks, and mosquitoes.

Guinea fowl

Guinea fowl are well-known for keeping their territory free of snakes.

©Sb616 / Creative Commons

While this may not be an option for everyone, owning guinea fowl is one of the oldest and most effective methods for dealing with snakes. Guinea fowl are famous for their defensiveness in regards to their territory. These birds can live on most homesteads or larger properties and act as food sources and guard birds. If a snake happens across one of these birds, let’s say that it doesn’t end well for the snake.

Commercial Options to Keep Snakes Away

adult western fox snake
Sprinkling small granules of a Snake B-Gon helps prevent snakes from entering your property.

©Psychotic Nature/Shutterstock.com

There are always commercial options if the home remedies aren’t cutting it. Still, this is one of those cases where even the commercially available snake repellants aren’t known for being totally effective, so keep that in mind. For most of these, however, there are enough reviews on Amazon where they seem to be working for some people. Let’s get started.

Ortho Snake-B-Gon

This is one of the more popular options on Amazon, and it has quite a high star rating at 4.3/5. You simply sprinkle the small granules around your property, and the formulation deters snakes from entering and nesting. Each container covers about 1,500 square feet, so purchase accordingly.

Most Popular
Ortho Snake B Gon Snake Repellent Granules
  • Use essential oils
  • Ready to use
  • Long-lasting solution
  • Safe for people and pets
Check Amazon

Victor VP364B Snake-A-Way Snake Repelling Granules

This snake repellent is unique in the fact that it is designed to repel snakes by confusing their senses. When a snake gets near the granules, its sensory receptors get gunked up, making it really uncomfortable for it to stay around. This repellent is also tested and comes with a 4.4/5 star rating. Each bag is designed to cover about half an acre.

Best Granules
Victor VP364B-10 Snake-A-Way Snake Repelling Granules
  • Repels both poisonous and non-poisonous snakes
  • Contains Naphthalene and Sulfur
  • The snake's sensory receptors get gunked up
  • Long lasting
Check Amazon

Pufado Snake Repellent for Outdoors

Getting away from pellets, we have Pufado snake balls. These snake repellent balls contain essential oils, an ancient solution that has been used to keep insects and snakes from homes for a very long time. You would place the balls in a circle, creating an intense source of the scent. This will repel the snake immediately.

Best Snake Balls
Pufado Snake Repellent for Outdoors
  • Contain essential oils which are not harmful
  • Long-lasting
  • Easy to use
  • Can be used indoor or outdoor
Check Amazon

How to Deal with Source of Snakes

While chemical repellants may work, there are other preventative steps that can also work just as well. The most important thing to do when getting rid of snakes is to remove their food source. If your property has an excessive amount of a snake’s favorite food, it’s no wonder they are showing up for dinner! Dealing with large numbers of frogs, mice, rats, and insects through treatments and traps are a great way to handle an influx of snakes. If there isn’t any food, there won’t be any snakes.

Removing hiding places

A Texas Indigo snake coming out of a clay jug in Central Florida Zoo Botanical Gardens. The snakes have black vertical bars that begin under their eyes and extend down to their labial (lip) scales.
Removing potential hiding spots for snakes is a sure way to reduce dangerous encounters.

©Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock.com

Aside from removing their food sources, removing hiding places is a great second step. Snakes love cool hiding spots during the day, especially in places where their prey also likes to hang out. Here is a list of places that could house snakes:

  • wood piles
  • brush piles
  • lawn clippings
  • unkept barns
  • yard debris
  • shrubs
  • crawlspaces

Either removing or sealing these hiding spots is a great way to reduce snake numbers on your property.

Accept your limits

At the end of the day, it’s important to realize that snakes aren’t actually harmful. While they may be gross, most snakes actually help the environment, and indiscriminately killing them isn’t a great solution. Do your best to remove places where a snake could accidentally harm someone, but otherwise, maybe it’s time to learn to get along!

  1. Ortho Snake B Gon Snake Repellent Granules
  2. Ortho Snake B Gon Snake Repellent Granules
    • Use essential oils
    • Ready to use
    • Long-lasting solution
    • Safe for people and pets
    Check Amazon
  3. Victor VP364B-10 Snake-A-Way Snake Repelling Granules
  4. Victor VP364B-10 Snake-A-Way Snake Repelling Granules
    • Repels both poisonous and non-poisonous snakes
    • Contains Naphthalene and Sulfur
    • The snake's sensory receptors get gunked up
    • Long lasting
    Check Amazon
  5. Pufado Snake Repellent for Outdoors
  6. Pufado Snake Repellent for Outdoors
    • Contain essential oils which are not harmful
    • Long-lasting
    • Easy to use
    • Can be used indoor or outdoor
    Check Amazon

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The Featured Image

Snakes in Maine - Northern Water Snake / Lake Erie Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon insularum)
© Michiel de Wit/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Colby is a freelance writer from Charlotte, North Carolina. When he isn't distracted by his backyard birdfeeder, you can find him camping, exploring, and telling everyone around him about what he's recently learned. There's a whole world to learn about and Colby is content to spend his life learning as much as he can about it!

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