TOP 10 Snake Repellents (Natural & Chemical Snake Deterrents)

Snake Repellent

Ever since the serpent tricked Adam and Eve, snakes have not been very popular with humans. Logically we understand that snakes are part of the delicate balance of our ecosystem, but for some reason, that doesn’t make us like them any better. Maybe it’s the way they look – no fur, never blinking – or that they seem to come out of nowhere and scare us when we’re out on a nature walk.

Plus, every snake you see must be assumed to be venomous, until proven otherwise, which makes one more fearful. Regardless, for most of us, snakes are just not our favorite things. That’s probably why so many homeowners and business owners try to keep their property snake-free. If you feel the same way, you should probably take some active measures to deter the creatures or locate a good snake repellent.

To be successful at keeping the snakes away from your home and family, it’s probably best to understand these reptiles. It may not have occurred to you, for instance, that the snake chose to live near your home because it feels comfortable there. This may be an upsetting concept for you, but the snake chooses his home based on a specific set of criteria, not on a whim.

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Plant insect repellent plants

Marigolds aren’t the only plants that produce natural insect repellent or cause certain insects to leave the area. Here’s just a short list of plants that you can use to discourage insects from hanging out on your property:

  • Catnip – repels roaches, Japanese Beetles, aphids, and mosquitoes.
  • Garlic – fends off certain moths and snails, Japanese beetles and carrot flies.
  • Mintdeters ants, mosquitoes, and fleas.
  • Rosemary – repels mosquitoes and carrot flies.
  • Lavender – deters moths and fleas
  • Sage – repels carrot flies, bean beetles, and some moths
  • Petunias – fend off leafhoppers, aphids, tomato worms, beetles, and more
  • Lemongrass – deters mosquitoes
  • Basil – repels mosquitoes and flies
  • Wormwood/Mugwort – fends off a lot of different insects including mosquitoes, but it’s VERY invasive so best to only use it in planters, not in the ground.

Other Snake Repellent Options:

If snakes are still an issue on your property even after you’ve removed their sources of food and water and cleaned up the yard, you may need to look at some other options for snake repellent.


Your local hardware store or garden center can show you a number of different products made to repel snakes. Some are liquid, some are powder, some are effective and some are not. It actually depends on the product and the snake. It helps to know a bit about the type of snake you are trying to deter and then research the product before you make your purchase. Remember to also follow the directions very carefully. Many of these chemical snake repellents are dangerous and could pose a threat to your family, pets or the environment if not applied properly.

Snake Fence

Believe it or not, it’s possible to build a fence that will keep out snakes. This is usually a last resort option because of the complexity of the project. It’s also not very good looking. To build a snake fence you will need hardware cloth (1/4 inch mesh) for your fence material. It should be about 3 feet tall and buried in the ground from 12 to 18 inches deep. The fence should be angled out from bottom to top at about a 20 degree angle so that snakes can’t climb into your yard.

Mongoose Urine

Yes, that’s what it says, Mongoose Urine. Supposedly if a snake smells the urine of a Mongoose (or musk from a King snake) it will leave the area. These two items aren’t something you can just buy at the hardware store however.

Only snake removal specialists have access to Mongoose Urine and King snake Musk. Supposedly these work quite well as snake repellents. In the case of the King Snake it makes perfect sense since King Snakes are a North American snake that eats other snakes. The snake in your yard should be packing his bags right now. However, a person has to wonder why a North American snake would have any inherent fear of a Mongoose?

What doesn’t work?

There are a lot of snake repellent home remedies and old wives tales, unfortunately, most don’t actually work. Some of them include:

Moth balls

It’s possible (although inconclusive, at best) that moth balls have some effect on deterring snakes or rodents or insects when sprinkled on the ground around a home. However, since it’s illegal to use moth balls for any purpose except to deter moths, it probably doesn’t matter that this method is un-proven. It’s also important to note that moth balls are dangerous to children and pets, as well as to the environment.

Plastic owl

Snakes are smart enough to realize that the “owl” sitting on the fence hasn’t moved in days, and therefore probably isn’t a real owl. If the plastic owl ever fooled any snake, it probably didn’t last for very long.

Salt on the garage floor

A salt barrier at the entrance to your garage would have to be fairly wide and thick to deter a snake (enough to cause irritation) and would still have to be re-applied often to remain effective. It’s possible it might work, but in general, salt is probably not a very effective barrier to snakes.

I need professional help to remove snakes from my house!

Lime sprinkled in the yard

Snakes aren’t put off by lime at all, but your dog and cat might be—it bothers their feet.

Sprinkling diesel or kerosene around the yard

This won’t prevent snakes but it is a fire hazard and is not good for the environment.

Rope around the perimeter

This is probably intended to make the snake think that the rope is another, bigger snake. The flaw in that plan is that snakes can smell and they know a rope is not a snake.

Although there are a number of snake repellent systems available at this time, the most reliable fall into two main headings: remove the source of food and remove cover. Once the snake has lost all his places to hide and his next meal is nowhere in sight, he will look for a new place to live. Remove the snake’s habitat and get back your own peace of mind.

Categorized as Snakes

By David Jackson

I enjoy learning about new pest control strategies and sharing what I learn at I aim to create a reliable resource for people dealing with all sorts of pest issues.

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