Snake Repellents - Do they Work?
Most stores that have a garden center have some form of snake repellent on the shelves. Most of these products contain sulfur or naphthalene (moth balls) and a host of other, inert ingredients. The bottles will be covered in appealing lettering and promises about how the product will repel snakes. Unfortunately, none of these remedies really work. There are only two repellents that are currently used and have some reliable results: mongoose urine and kingsnake musk. The problem is that neither of these substances is available to a person without a license. If you're going to hire a professional to bring in professional-grade repellents, you might try starting with some less expensive home care. Property upkeep is the primary way to repel snakes. You want to eliminate any tall vegetation or thick areas in your home gardens. Do not leave debris around your yard. Woodpiles, stone fences, patio rocks, and decorative stone are all ideal locations for a snake den. You can keep these areas if you want to, but you should make sure to keep the area around them as trimmed as possible. A snake is not going to want to crawl through short grass to get to a garden. A short lawn will provide no protection from the heat or from predators.
Natural Plants against snakes - There are numerous unfounded articles about various plants repelling snakes. These accounts are not written by professionals, and most of the time the theories have never been tested. Most snake removal experts can tell you that there are no plants that repel snakes. If there were, they would be actively marketed as such and every home in the nation would have them. While there are no plants that repel snakes, improving the plants around your home can help keep the animals away. It is not the plant itself that attracts or repels the snake, it is how much coverage that vegetation provided. A snake will always be low to the ground. It wants cover that will allow it to move without being seen. By keeping ground cover out of your gardens, you are opening the space up, exposing the snakes. This, coupled with a short lawn, will prevent snakes from wanting to travel very far into your property. The only thing that might draw them in would be an excess of debris piles or damaged sheds.
Snake repellent ultrasonic sound machine - Of all the snake repellents on the market, the ultrasonic noise devices are the silliest, as silly as moth ball snake repellents. The logic behind these devices is more reasonable when applied to animals that actually hear sounds, like rodents. Snakes do not hear like mammals or humans hear. These animals rely on vibrations rather than actual noises. What they can hear is not at a pitch that would be considered ultrasonic. The fun thing about ultrasonic repellents is that you can never tell if they are working or not. You're not supposed to be able to hear the sound, so how will you ever know if the darn thing is on? Instead of goofing around with devices like these, put your time toward examining the outside of your home. It is not your house that needs the first glance, though any cracks and damaged areas should be repaired as soon as possible. To get to your home, the snake must first pass through your yard. For most of these animals, that open distance is exceptional. Long grass is the bane of many a homeowner that dislikes snakes. Not only is long grass cool on the snake's skin, it provides protection and concealment. Long grass will also bring in an abundance of prey animals for the serpent. Even though gardens and debris are important to remove, keeping your grass short will make a world of difference.
Rope as snake repellent - Rope does not work as snake repellent. The theory behind it is that the fibers of the rope are too coarse on the underbelly of the snake, poking the reptile through the scale joints. The reality of the snake world is that snakes live in the wild; they crawl over all types of terrain. There is nothing special about a rope that will bother them. The rope repellent trick goes back to when cowboys used to sleep on the trails at night. The fear was that the snakes would be drawn to body heat, curling up with the riders while they slept. One wrong move meant a deadly bite. Rope didn't work any better for them than it does for today's homeowner. If you want to repel snakes, the only thing you can do is to modify your lawn and gardens. Keep your vegetation trimmed and your grass short. Snakes want to be in thick cover, and they want to visit yards where there are lots of places to hide. When you eliminate these factors, the snakes will start to look elsewhere for their hunting.
Go back to the main Snake Removal
page for more information about what snake droppings and feces look like.
If you want to do it yourself, read my How To Get Rid of Snakes
My other get rid of snake articles
Snakes In Basement
Snake in Your House
How to Identify a Snake
Snake Under a Shed or Deck
How To Trap a Snake
Snake in the Attic
Do Snakes Attract Others
How to Kill a Snake
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How do snakes smell their environment?
Common Snakes of South Carolina
Common Snakes of Texas
Venomous Snakes of Texas
What equipment or tool is needed to catch a snake?
How do snakes produce venom?
Do snakes run out of venom?
Common Snakes of Virginia
Water Moccasins: Poisonous Predators
Why do snakes bite?
How does snake venom work?
How to kill a snake in the yard
About Yellow Rat Snakes: Biology