Do Snake Repellants Actually Work?

Do Snake Repellants Actually Work?

Do snake repellants actually work? The answer is no, to a degree. Snake repellents are often marketed as an effective solution for keeping snakes away from your property. However, it’s important to understand the limitations of these products and their actual effectiveness.

In this article, we will explore the world of snake repellents, debunk common myths, evaluate the effectiveness of popular products like Snake Away, and discuss alternative methods that provide more reliable results in keeping snakes at bay.

Whether you’re dealing with snake encounters or looking for preventative measures, this article will provide valuable insights to help you make informed decisions about snake control and create a safer environment for you and your family.

Understanding Snake Repellents: How Do They Work?

Snake repellents are products designed to keep snakes away from certain areas. They use scents or chemicals that affect snakes’ senses, making them uncomfortable or unwilling to stay in that area. These repellents claim to create a barrier that snakes will avoid, helping to protect your property.

Snake repellents contain specific ingredients chosen for their repellent properties. Some common ingredients include naphthalene, sulfur, and essential oils. These substances produce odors that snakes don’t like, causing them to avoid the treated area.

The Problems With Snake Repellents

Based on our experiences, Snake repellents (or repellants) do not work, and if they do, it’s only temporary. Snake Repellents rely on certain scents or chemicals to deter snakes, claiming to disrupt their sensory systems and make them flee. But their effectiveness has been documented to either work temporarily, or not at all. (San Julian, 1985)

While some users may initially experience positive results, it’s important to understand the limitations of snake repellents. Here are three issues we have found with Snake Repellents:

Moth Balls which are commonly used for Snake Repelling

Varying Effectiveness

One factor to consider is that the effectiveness of snake repellents can vary. Some users have reported success, while others have found them to be ineffective. This discrepancy suggests that the response of snakes to repellents is not universally consistent.

A study conducted in the University of Nebraska has found that many common substances found in snake repellents do not repel snakes at all such as Naphthalene, Sulfur, and Lime (San Julian, 1985).

Moisture such as rainfall and morning dew can affect Snake Repellents

Weather Sensitivity

Weather can have a big effect on how well snake repellents work. Most repellents are sensitive to things like rain. When there’s heavy rainfall, it can wash away the repellent and make it less effective. This means you might have to put the repellent on more often, which can be a hassle and cost more money. Even morning dew can wash away the repellent, so it’s important to keep an eye on the weather if you’re using it.

North American Racer in the hand of a farmer. Showing the need to know if Snake repellents work

You Can Trap Them Inside Your Home

Sometimes, snake repellents don’t work like we expect. Instead of keeping snakes away, they can actually trap them in the treated area. This means that while snakes won’t go beyond the treated boundaries, they can still be present on your property. Repellents are not a long-term solution because the snakes are still there and will eventually move into untreated areas again. When using snake repellents, it’s important to understand these limitations and consider other methods to effectively manage snake populations.

What Actually Repels Snakes

Now that we know snake repellents have limitations, let’s find out what actually works to keep snakes away. In this section, we’ll explore effective methods to repel snakes and provide helpful insights to help you protect your property.

Maintaining effective pest control can help repel snakes from your yard. Snakes are attracted to places with lots of prey like rodents and insects.

To limit pests, secure trash in tightly sealed containers, remove standing water, and seal cracks or openings in your home.

By reducing the presence of pests, you make your yard less appealing to snakes and create a pest-free environment that snakes won’t find attractive.

If you cannot do this yourself, call a pest control company near you. At Virginia Snake Removal, we offer a pest control program that will remove these pesky critters from your home and property

Trimming vegetation in your yard is an important step in repelling snakes.

Snakes often seek shelter and cover in tall grass, overgrown bushes, and dense vegetation. By regularly trimming and maintaining your vegetation, you eliminate potential hiding spots for snakes.

Open and well-maintained spaces make it harder for snakes to hide and discourage them from lingering in your yard. This simple action helps create a less attractive environment for snakes and promotes a safer outdoor space for you and your family.

Removing debris from your yard is an effective way to repel snakes. Snakes are attracted to areas with clutter, such as piles of wood, leaves, and other debris.

These spaces provide hiding spots and create favorable conditions for snakes.

By regularly clearing debris and keeping your yard clean, you eliminate potential snake habitats. This reduces the likelihood of snakes taking up residence in your yard and helps create a less appealing environment for them.

Taking this simple step can go a long way in preventing snakes from becoming a nuisance on your property.

Sealing any holes and gaps in and around your property is crucial for repelling snakes. Snakes can enter through small openings, such as gaps under doors, cracks in the foundation, or holes in walls.
By sealing these entry points, you create a barrier that prevents snakes from slithering into your outdoor spaces.

Additionally, it’s important to address gaps beneath sheds, decks, and other outdoor structures, as these can become hiding spots for snakes.

By filling these gaps and securing the perimeter, you make it difficult for snakes to find shelter on your property.

Maintaining garden beds is another effective way to repel snakes from your yard.

Keeping your garden beds well-maintained and free from overgrowth reduces the favorable habitat for snakes.

Regularly weed your garden, remove any dense vegetation or piles of debris, and trim plants to prevent them from becoming too dense.

By creating a clean and open environment, you eliminate hiding spots and make it less appealing for snakes to dwell in your garden.

Additionally, consider using mulch or gravel in your garden beds, as snakes are less likely to slither over these surfaces compared to dense vegetation.

Installing snake fencing can indeed be an effective measure to manage snake populations on your property, especially for large populations and larger snake species such as Copperheads, Cottonmouths, and Timber Rattlesnakes.

While the primary purpose of snake fencing is to contain snakes within a designated area, it can indirectly help in repelling snakes from other parts of your property.

By creating a physical barrier that snakes cannot easily cross. Snake fencing limits their movement and access to certain areas. This containment can help reduce encounters with snakes and provide fewer snakes in general.

However, it’s important to note that snake fencing alone may not completely repel all snake species, as some smaller or more agile snakes may still find a way through or over the fencing.

Frequently Asked Questions about Snake Repellents

What Smells Do Snakes Hate?2023-07-12T14:45:05-04:00

While snakes have preferences and aversions to certain scents, it’s important to note that there isn’t a specific smell that universally repels all snakes. However, there are scents that snakes may dislike or find irritating. Some commonly mentioned scents that snakes are believed to dislike include ammonia, garlic, cinnamon, and certain essential oils like clove oil or cedar oil. However, the effectiveness of these smells in deterring snakes may vary and could be influenced by factors such as snake species, environmental conditions, and individual snake behavior.

It’s important to remember that relying solely on scents may not provide a foolproof solution for snake control, and it’s advisable to use a combination of strategies for effective snake management.

Does Snake Away Actually Work?2023-07-12T14:01:42-04:00

Snake Away is a popular snake repellent that uses a chemical called Naphthalene, found in mothballs, to keep snakes away. However, scientific studies, like the one conducted by San Julian (1985), have shown that the effectiveness of Snake Away and similar products and items such as sulfur and mothballs can be ineffective entirely. Snakes may not always be deterred by the smell of Naphthalene, and different snakes may respond differently to repellents. Some snakes even get used to the smell, and while they may be repelled initially, they will come back. It’s important to remember that snakes can be influenced by various factors, making it challenging to rely on repellents like Snake Away for long-term snake control. For more effective snake management, consider alternative methods such as modifying the snake’s habitat or seeking professional snake removal services.

San Julian, G. J. (1985). Evaluation of chemicals and materials for repellency and/or toxic effects on snakes. Report No. R-5-85. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Do Mothballs Repel Snakes?2023-07-12T13:24:29-04:00

Do mothballs repel snakes? This is a common question that many people ask, and the answer is a definite No. However, scientific studies have shown that mothballs do not effectively repel snakes. In fact, a study conducted by San Julian (1985) at the University of Nebraska found that common substances found in mothballs, such as naphthalene, do not repel snakes at all. The study tested various materials, including mothballs, to determine their effectiveness in deterring snakes. The results showed that snakes were not deterred by the presence of mothballs or their odor.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that the use of mothballs for repelling snakes may have unintended consequences. Mothballs contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful to humans, pets, and the environment. They release toxic fumes that can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin, posing health risks. In addition, improper use of mothballs, such as placing them in outdoor areas or near water sources, can contaminate the environment. Therefore, it is not recommended to rely on mothballs as a means to repel snakes due to their ineffectiveness and potential hazards.

San Julian, G. J. (1985). Evaluation of chemicals and materials for repellency and /or toxic effects on snakes. Report No. R-5-85. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (1991). Naphthalene. Retrieved from []

Snake Repellent Not Working? When to Call the Professionals

Knowing when to call professionals like Virginia Snake Removal is important when dealing with snakes on your property. Here are some situations where it’s best to seek professional help:

  • 1

    Venomous Snakes: If you think there are venomous snakes like rattlesnakes, copperheads, or cottonmouths, it’s dangerous to handle them yourself. Call professionals who are trained to deal with these snakes.

  • 2
    Snake Infestations: If you see a lot of snakes or keep finding them around your property, it’s a good idea to get professional assistance. They can check for entry points and remove the snakes safely.
  • 3
    Snakes Indoors: If you find a snake inside your house or other living areas, don’t try to handle it on your own. Call professionals to handle the situation safely.
  • 4
    Uncertainty or Fear: If you’re not sure what kind of snake it is or if you feel scared, it’s better to rely on professionals. They can identify the snake and give you advice on what to do.
When to call a professional

Additional Links

How to Identify Venomous Snakes

Snake Bite First Aid

Snake Safety Tips

Snake Behavior and Habits

By |2023-07-20T08:20:12-04:00July 12, 2023|snakes, snakes in home|Comments Off on Do Snake Repellants Actually Work?

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