Snakes can be a real nuisance, slithering into your yard and garden and scaring the pants off you. Even though there are several commercial products available to get rid of snakes, many of them are often toxic and potentially dangerous for the environment.
There are, however, a number of natural ways to repel them that are safe for both you and the environment.
How to Get Rid of Snakes Naturally
These are some of the best home remedies and organic solutions for keeping snakes away.
1. Clean Up Yard
You’ve been noticing snakes around the area lately, and aren’t sure what to do.
Snakes find favor in yards and gardens that provide them with food, shelter, and water. So, if you want to keep the critters away, you need to do a thorough clean-up and remove all the things that attract them.
Remove debris, including lumber, rocks, bricks, tires, and cans. Also, clean up areas where the grass is overgrown or thickets provide cover.
Store firewood off the ground and far from the house. Additionally, keep the lawn low-cut and water plants only when necessary. Fix any leaks in your irrigation system.
If you take away the things that are attracting snakes, they will go elsewhere.
2. Eliminate Standing Water
One of the simplest things you can do to reduce the chances of snakes around you is to eliminate any standing water.
This could be as simple as fixing a leaky faucet or drainage problem, or it could mean adding drainage to an area that tends to hold water.
A little extra effort can go a long way in keeping these critters out of your space, so be sure to take a look at your property and see if there’s anything you can do to improve drainage.
3. Keep Grass Short
Another great way to deter snakes from your yard is to keep the grass short. They don’t like to be seen, so if they can’t easily blend into the background, they’re less likely to slither their way over.
You can either do this yourself with a lawn mower or hire someone to do it for you. If you’re going the DIY route, make sure to cut your lawn frequently (at least once a week if it rains often) and cut it low — around 2 inches is ideal.
4. Seal Your Home
One of the best ways to prevent snakes from entering your house is to seal up cracks and holes. Make sure all cracks and openings around your foundation, doors, windows, and HVAC unit are sealed up.
This will also help prevent rodents and other small animals (snake foods) from entering your home.
5. Eliminate Food Sources
Eliminating their food sources will go a long way in discouraging them from hanging around.
Keep your garden free of pests like rodents and insects, as these are the main food sources for snakes. They also go after frogs and slugs.
One of the most popular home remedies for getting rid of snakes is vinegar.
All you need to do is mix white vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio and spray it in needed areas. The scent acts as a deterrent.
You can also pour vinegar down any openings where the snakes might be entering to keep them from coming back.
7. Natural Predators
One common predator of snakes is the owl. Owls are nocturnal birds and rely heavily on their sense of sight to hunt their prey . They can see very well in the dark and can spot a snake from a great distance.
Other predators of snakes include mongooses, the snake eagle, raccoons, foxes, and bobcats. These animals are opportunistic hunters and will take advantage of a snake if they have the opportunity.
8. Essential Oils
Certain oils, when diffused, act as natural snake repellents. Some essential oils that work against the critters are peppermint oil, lemon oil, and eucalyptus oil.
All you need to do to make this snake repellent spray is add 15 drops of essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water. Next, spray the mixture around your property.
Keep in mind that while essential oils are a great option, they may not work for every type of snake. Therefore, you might also have to experiment with other methods on this list to naturally repel snakes.
If you’re looking for a non-lethal way to get rid of snakes in your yard or garden, traps are a great option. There are many different types of traps available, so you can find one that will suit your needs.
One popular DIY snake trap that works is the funnel trap. This trap is made up of a funnel-shaped piece of wire mesh with a small opening at the narrow end that leads to a mesh cylinder.
This video explains how to do it. But, if the DIY method is too much, you can purchase a funnel trap such as this one online or at a garden center. The idea is that the snake will enter the funnel, but won’t be able to get out.
Another homemade trap is the glue board. This is a flat piece of cardboard or plastic covered in a sticky adhesive.
You can also add baits like insects to it. When the snake crawls across it, it will get stuck.
However, if you’re using any of these traps, it’s important to check them regularly and relocate any snakes you catch to a safe place away from your home and garden.
10. Repellent Plants
There are some plants that repel snakes, so incorporating them into your yard or garden is a great way to keep these pests at bay. Some of our favorites include:
- Garlic: Garlic plants release a smell that snakes find offensive, so they’ll stay away if you have them planted.
- Lemongrass: Lemongrass plants release a strong citrusy smell that snakes detest.
- Marigold: Marigolds produce an odor that’s known to repel many pests. Plant these wherever you see fit and snakes will be gone in no time.
- Mother-in-Law’s Tongue: The sight of this plant frightens snakes. The leaves are so sharp that they irritate the pests.
Other snake-repellent plants include onions, mugwort, tobacco, cactus, and snakeroot.
Smoke will drive the snakes out of their hiding places and cause them to flee. You can use a smoke bomb, or you can make a fire pit that smokes for a few days.
To make smoke bombs, combine 3 tablespoons of potassium nitrate (saltpeter) with 2 tablespoons of sugar and enough water to make a paste.
Next, take a tablespoon of the mixture and make it into a lump. This will serve as one bomb. Afterward, let each bomb dry for about 2 days. Finally, light the dry bombs outdoors in areas where snakes might be.
These bombs do not explode, but they do burn, so take precautions when handling them.
12. Fill Burrows and Holes
Snakes like to live in dark, damp places, so if you can remove their homes, you’ll be well on your way to getting rid of them.
Be sure to fill in any holes or burrows in your yard. You can use a heavy object like a rock or cement block to cover up the hole.
Just be sure to check periodically to make sure the object hasn’t moved and the hole hasn’t reopened.
13. Spray it With a Hose
Another easy and cost-effective home remedy to keep snakes away is to spray them with a garden hose. This will scare them away and cause them to leave your property.
However, make sure to spray them directly in the face so that they know you’re not afraid. Snakes will often avoid areas where they know people are present, so this is a great way to keep them at bay.
14. Cut Back Branches
A great snake prevention method is to cut back branches. Snakes love to climb into trees, so cut back any branches or foliage that hangs close to the ground, near the side of your house or roof.
15. Use Sharp Mulch
There are many different types of mulch, but we recommend using one that’s sharp because its abrasive surface will deter snakes. Some of these objects include eggshells, pine cones, or sharp rocks.
Simply spread it over the ground around your garden and flower beds. But, be sure to keep it an inch or two away from your plants so they don’t get damaged.
You can also use it as a border around your property to create a barrier against snakes.
16. Relocate Snakes
Though there are many different techniques to remove snakes from a house or property, if you see one, the best thing to do is to try and relocate it as safely as possible.
One way to do this is by placing a large trash can or bucket over the snake and gently scooping it up.
Another way to relocate snakes is by using a snake trap like the ones highlighted above. You can then release the snake far away.
What Kinds of Snakes are Common in Yards and Gardens?
You will most likely find the common garter snake in your garden, black rat snake, and/or northern water snake.
- The common garter snake is small, slender, and typically brown or olive in color. It can be found throughout most of North America.
- The rat snake is also common in North America and can grow up to six feet long.
- The northern water snake is typically tan, brown, or gray with dark-colored blotches. You’ll find it near ponds, lakes, and rivers.
You might also spot the copperhead snake, hognosed snake, and/or corn snake.
Snakes can be a major nuisance and even a danger to homeowners and their families. While there are commercial products available to eliminate or help drive them away, there are also a number of natural remedies that can be just as effective.
Whether you’re looking to get rid of these creatures permanently or simply want to keep them away until they’re gone for the season, these tips will help you get the job done.