Snakes may be one of the most difficult pests a homeowner is faced with, and depending on the snake, it may be one of the most dangerous, too. The good news is there are plenty of ways to keep snakes out of your yard and away from your home.
The best snake repellent usually does the trick. These are natural and humane ways to keep snakes away without hurting them or the environment.
Table of Contents
Types of Snake Repellents & Control Methods
- Natural Repellent
There are a lot of natural snake repellents that are ideal for getting rid of snakes without harming them. Some natural repellents, including garlic, sulfur, and several essential oils, like cedarwood, clove, and cinnamon, work by overcoming the snake’s sense of smell and driving them away.
- Chemical Repellent
Naphthalene or mothballs are commonly believed to keep snakes away, but there is some question as to how effective they are. Since naphthalene is a strong neurotoxin, this is a risky approach as other animals can be unintentionally harmed.
- Ultrasonic Repellent
This approach is said to work not only with snakes, but moles, rabbits, voles, and gophers as well. Ultrasonic repellents resemble solar garden lights. You insert them into the ground, and they emit a high-frequency pitch that travels through the soil.
Some people think that these products don’t work on snakes because they don’t have ears, but this isn’t technically true. They don’t have eardrums, but they do have cochleas and feel sound vibrations. Ultrasonic repellents are often enough to make them uncomfortable enough to stay away.
- Snake Trap
There are a lot of different types of snake traps and some are a lot more sophisticated than others. For the most part, they all work in the same way. The snake is lured into a trap, gets stuck, and then you can dispose of or relocate them.
Depending on the design, snake traps can be very humane, or not. Ultimately, whatever trap you use, you’ll have to do something with the snake when you catch it, which is something a lot of people don’t want to deal with.
- Snake-proof Fence
Snake-proof fences aim to stop a problem before it starts. There’s no singular product called a snake-proof fence, but many different approaches of mixing various types of fencing and barriers to figure out what works.
When you get the right setup, snake-proof fences can be very effective, but it may take some time to get it right and what you end up with might not be the most attractive addition to your yard.
The 11 Best Snake Repellents for Your Yard, Garden & Home
There are a lot of great snake repellents out there that are effective without harming the snake or the environment. Let’s take a closer look at 11 of the most effective snake repellents available.
|Ortho Snake-B-Gon Snake Repellent Granules||Cinnamon, geraniol, castor, mint, clove oil|
|Victor VP364B Way Snake Repelling Granules||Sulfur & naphthalene|
|Enviro Pro 16003 Snake Scram Shaker Bag||Cinnamon, clove oil & sulfur, peanut hulls|
|Organic Sulfur Powder||Pure sulfur|
|Safer Brand 5951 Shield Snake Repellent Granular||Natural oils & sulfur|
|Exterminators Choice Snake Defense Natural Repellent||Clove oil, peppermint oil & other ingredients|
|Bonide Products INC 916132 875 Snake Stopper||Clove, cedar, cinnamon oil & sulfur|
|Nature's MACE Snake Repellent||Natural oils & sulfur, peanut hulls|
|I Must Garden Snake Repellent||Natural ingredients & botanical oils|
|Victor VP364HE Snake-A-Way Hose-End Spray||Garlic, cedarwood oil, cinnamon oil, sulfate|
|Tysonir Solar Powered Mole Repellent||Solar Power|
Snake Repellent Reviewed
1. Ortho Snake-B-Gon Snake Repellent Granules
Ortho makes a wide variety of products for your lawn and garden and this Snake-B-Gon meets the same high standards. When used correctly, this product is completely safe for humans, pets, and plants, and it doesn’t have a strong off-putting smell.
The ready-to-use formula prevents snakes from nesting and foraging using essential oils, and it’s rain resistant so you don’t have to worry about timing the application around the weather. Just open the lid and pour or shake the snake repellent granules around the area you want to protect.
One bottle covers about 1,400 square feet, and you should reapply every 30 days or so. You can get this product in packs of one or two so you always have just the amount you need on hand.
2. Victor VP364B Way Snake Repelling Granules
The reason these granules from Victor are so effective is that they target the snake’s sense of smell. It overwhelms them so they head elsewhere to hunt and breathe fresh air. It works against most non-poisonous and venomous snakes, including garter snakes and rattlesnakes.
These granules are EPA-registered and will not harm humans or the environment when used correctly, but should not be placed in an area where pets are likely to roam. This four-pound bag covers five acres and each application lasts between two and three months.
For best results, spread the granules around the perimeter you want to protect. If you’re trying to keep out garter snakes, spread it in bands about five inches wide. For rattlesnakes, you need a band between eight to 12 inches wide. Reapply after heavy rains to make sure the repellant isn’t too diluted.
3. Enviro Pro 16003 Snake Scram Shaker Bag
Enviro Pro’s Snake Scram is an all-natural scent-based repellent. It works by overwhelming the snake’s sense of smell so it heads away from your yard and toward fresh air to hunt. It is effective against a wide range of snakes, including copperheads.
This granular formula uses a blend of natural essential oils, including cinnamon, clove, and garlic as well as sulfur and peanut hulls. It’s safe for plants, pets, and people and starts working right away.
A single 3.5-pound bag covers about 2,100 square feet. For best results, reapply two weeks and 30-days after the first treatment so it maintains its potency. The convenient shaker bag is easy to use to apply to wood piles, near pools, around landscaping, and more.
4. Organic Sulfur Powder
This feed-grade sulfur is a simple but effective method of deterring snakes away from your home, garage, pool, or garden. It’s a very fine powder that you can spread around the perimeter of any area where you don’t want snakes to enter.
Because this product is considered 99 percent pure, it’s considered safe for animal feed and is often used as an additive in some animal foods, though it is unsafe for human consumption.
This large 10-pound bag covers a lot of ground so you can reapply many times to keep the snakes away. Because this powder is so fine, you do need to reapply after it rains because it will get washed away, but there is more than enough in the bag for multiple applications.
5. Safer Brand 5951 Shield Snake Repellent Granular
Safer Brand’s granular snake repellent starts working immediately and is proven to repel snakes. This long-lasting formula can be used around plants, pets, and people safe as it’s made of a unique blend of sulfur and natural essential oils.
This chemical-free snake repellant uses time-release granules to deliver long-lasting protection. Application is fast and easy, just shake the bag along the perimeter of the areas you want to protect and apply in bands about eight inches wide. You can safely use this product around yards, flower beds, playgrounds, and more.
The scent of this repellant triggers a flight response in snakes, so they head elsewhere to forage, nest, or hunt. A single bag covers a lot of ground, and it’s resealable for safe and easy storage between applications.
6. Exterminators Choice Snake Defense Natural Repellent
For people who prefer a liquid snake repellant to a granular one, take a look at this product from Exterminators Choice. It was created by real-life professionals who deal with pests like snakes regularly. Best of all, it’s completely safe for adults, kids, pets, and the environment.
This product works against grass snakes, water moccasins, rattlesnakes, and copperheads, to name a few. It works similar to how granular formulas work, but overwhelming the snake’s sense of smell so they slither off and stay away.
You can’t get much easier than this for application. Spray the liquid-repellent along the edges of the areas you want to protect, creating about an eight-inch wide border. Reapply about one a week for the best results.
7. Bonide Products INC 916132 875 Snake Stopper
Bonide Snake Stopper contains a special blend of ingredients that deter not only snakes, but also iguanas, lizards, and other pesky reptiles. It’s not poison or a trap and works by overwhelming the snake’s sense of smell with ingredients like clove, cinnamon, and cedar oil.
These granules are biodegradable and environmentally safe. You can apply them wherever you need snake control, and they’re safe for plants, people, and pets. Because this is such a natural product, you can even use it indoors in a shed or garage without having to worry about any strong or overwhelming harsh chemical smells.
This four-pound package is convenient for application, just shake the granules in a band where you need protection, but don’t put them right next to crops that are used for consumption. You don’t have to water them in and they begin working immediately.
8. Nature’s MACE Snake Repellent
Nature’s MACE is a great choice for professionals, homeowners, and landscapers. It safely and effectively deters snakes from invading your lawn and garden, and it’s so effective, it comes with a 100 percent money-back guarantee.
This industrial-strength product is environmentally safe and people, plant, and pet-friendly. It’s also dustless, chemical-free, and biodegradable. Using premium organic and all-natural ingredients, this repellent successfully stops snakes on contact and trains them not to return.
Application is easy, too, simply apply the ready-to-use granules around the perimeter of the area you’re trying to protect. This product is water-resistant, so you don’t have to reapply every time it rains, saving you a lot of time. Each application can last as long as four months.
9. I Must Garden Snake Repellent
The thing that stands out the most about this snake repeller from I Must Garden is that it contains more active ingredients than other products on the market. This means it delivers long-lasting results, faster.
Since it’s made from all-natural botanical oils and other natural ingredients, this product is perfectly safe for pets and people. There’s no harsh chemical scent, but the cedar scent targets the sensory organs of snakes, making them confused and uncomfortable so they leave and don’t come back.
There are three sizes available so you can get just what you need to cover your lawn. Choose from 1.5, four, and five-pound containers, each with a lid that flips over for quick and easy application.
10. Victor VP364HE Snake-A-Way Hose-End Spray
If you have a small area to treat and love the idea of a liquid hose-end applicator, check out this snake repellant from Victor. One 32-ounce bottle covers up to 500 square feet, and it provides immediate protection against invading snakes.
This unique formula works against non-venomous and venomous snakes by targeting their sense of smell, overwhelming their senses so they cannot effectively find prey or scavenge for food.
Each bottle comes with an attached hose-end sprayer that connects right to your garden hose. For best results, spray a six-inch wide band around the perimeter of the area you’re trying to protect and reapply after heavy rain to make sure the repellent’s scent remains strong enough to be effective.
11. Tysonir Solar Powered Mole Repellent
Granular snake repellent isn’t for everyone, and if you’re looking for something different, check out these solar-powered repellent lights from Tysonir. It works by emitting a vibration underground every 180 seconds to repel not only snakes but also gophers and moles.
The amount of time this product takes to work depends on each animal. Some snakes respond more quickly than others, but you usually have to use this product for several days before you get results.
Installation is easy. All you have to do is insert the light into the ground. The brand recommends using two or more lights at a time, about 30 yards apart. Solar panels on the top of the unit charge the battery, and in the right conditions, it operates around the clock.
This product works best in dense soil and is safe to use for pets and small children. The lights are made of durable, waterproof aluminum and built to last a while.
How Does Snake Repellent Work?
Snake repellent that uses essential oils, sulfur, garlic, or anything else with a strong odor works by overwhelming the snake’s sense of smell. It takes advantage of something called the Jacobson’s organ.
Jacobson’s organ is part of the olfactory system of reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. It’s a small patch of cells in the nose that senses airborne odors, like those associated with these snake repellents.
Notice that the essential oils and other scents used to deter snakes are all very potent: garlic, sulfur, cedar. They’re not floral or fruity smells. They’re pungent. These scents overwhelm the snake’s sense of smell, making it harder for them to hunt and forage for food.
When they come across these repellents, they’re turned off by them because they’re unpleasant and they avoid the area. This is why you have to keep applying these repellents, to maintain the potency of the smell.
Ultrasonic snake repellents work by emitting a high-pitched sound into the ground. Again, some people will say that there is no way they can work on snakes because they don’t have ears, but this isn’t true.
Snakes don’t have the same type of ears as mammals and they don’t hear in the same way. But they do pick up on vibrations, and a high-pitched sound that’s vibrating through moist clay soil is enough to keep some snakes, as well as moles, gophers, and other small mammals, away.
How to Use Snake Repellent?
It depends on the type of repellent. Ultrasonic repellents are pretty self-explanatory. Simply insert them into the ground as you would a solar garden light. Make sure they get plenty of sun during the day to charge the battery, and overlap coverage according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Then, wait. Ultrasonic snake repellents may take a few weeks to work because it takes a while for the snake to figure out that this sound is not going away. Eventually, it should realize that the uncomfortable vibrations are there to stay and will avoid the area.
Granular and spray-on snake repellents work similarly to one another, though application varies. Spray-on products need to be applied more often because they don’t last as long as granules. They’re also more susceptible to rain, while granular options are, for the most part, waterproof.
Sprinkle the granules or spray the liquid along the perimeter of the area you’re trying to protect. You can apply them so they create a barrier around your entire yard, a section of your yard where you spent the most time, or focus only on the areas where you’ve seen snakes, like a shed or woodpile.
Each product should tell you how wide a band to apply. A general rule of thumb is the bigger the snake you’re trying to keep away, the wider a band of repellent you should apply.
6 Tips on How to Prevent Snakes From Getting in Your Backyard and House
If you’ve seen a snake or two in your backyard or heard horror stories from the neighbors, it’s easy to panic or worry. That said, there are plenty of things you can do to keep snakes out of your yard and away from your home.
1. Make sure they don’t have access to any structures. Snakes don’t like cooler weather and will often attempt to find warm shelter when the temperature drops in the fall. Garages, chicken coops, sheds, woodpiles, and houses are all attractive options.
To keep them from getting in, make sure to seal off any possible access points. Look for cracks and holes where a snake could sneak in. Cover drainage pipes with a screen filter so that water can flow out and snakes can crawl in.
2. Keep rodents under control. Snakes will hunt for food wherever they can find it, so if there are a lot of mice around your barn, home, or garden, expect snakes to show up eventually.
There are many methods to control rodents. If you’re having a hard time doing it on your own, call in an exterminator for help.
3. Mow your lawn regularly. Snakes do not like to be exposed for too long, so when it chooses to crawl across your lawn, it’s likely going to choose an area that’s a little more unkempt and provides a better hiding place.
When you keep your lawn short and shrubs and brush under control, you give the snake fewer places to hide, so there’s a chance it will head somewhere else.
4. Give them fewer hiding places. Snakes do not like people and do their best to hide from them. That can mean curling up in a garden house, slithering under a woodpile, climbing into a bucket, or crawling under a low shelf in the garage.
Store these types of items as far above the ground as possible so the snake has nowhere to hide. They’re less likely to come around if they don’t have a place to hide.
5. Pay close attention to your swimming pool. Snakes like the areas around swimming pools and you should always be careful if you suspect there are snakes in your area.
To keep them out, install snake-proof fences around the pool that’s at least four feet high. Don’t plant any bushes or trees close to the fence as a snake can just use these to boost themselves up and scale the fence to get to the water.
6. Add gravel, stones, and sharply cut mulch around your house and yard. These things do not feel good when a snake rubs up against them and can be a very effective deterrent, especially when used in conjunction with a snake repellent.
Getting rid of snakes can be intimidating and even frightening, depending on what you’re dealing with. The best snake repellents can make the process a lot easier and less stressful.
We recommend Ortho Snake-B-Gon Snake Repellent Granules because it’s completely safe for people, pets, and plants, but still gets the job done. The ready-to-use formula is easy to apply and it’s waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about rain.
If you prefer a spray or ultrasonic option, we included a few of those in our list so you can find the right snake repellent for your needs.