Some people handle sudden and unexpected encounters with serpents surprisingly well, while others not so much. Most human snakebites happen when people tamper with snakes to move them. Even if you come across a deceased snake, it can be frightening. In each case, it’s better to avoid these scenarios in the first place. That’s where snake repellent can help.
Snake repellents, combined with proper landscape maintenance, help people and snakes avoid unwanted encounters. Repellents use scent or sound to create an uncomfortable environment for snakes, and humans can’t tell if the area has been treated. But not all snake repellents are equal. If you’re looking to avoid snake encounters this season, read our suggestions to find the best snake repellent for your lawns or garden.
- BEST ULTRASONIC: BRISON Pest Control Ultrasonic Repellent
- BEST ALL NATURAL: Enviro Pro 16003 Snake Scram
- BEST LIQUID: Snake Defense Natural Snake Repellent
Before You Buy a Snake Repellent
Consider the hazards of snake repellents before buying. Some scent-based snake repellents have ingredients that are harmful to people or pets that come into direct contact with them. They may also have a potent aroma, making it unpleasant to be in the area.
Be careful when applying snake repellent for the first time because if snakes are in the vicinity, they may become more agitated and aggressive. Keep people and pets away during and immediately after treatment to avoid encounters with snakes.
Features to Look for in a Snake Repellent
Snake repellents use either scent or ultrasonic soundwaves that irritate or confuse the senses to keep snakes out of the area. Some products are best suited for small spaces or indoor use, while others are best for large outdoor areas. When shopping for a snake repellent, consider these features to determine which product will best suit the location.
Most snake repellents are scent-based, which poses a challenge for scent-loving snakes. In addition to smelling through their nostrils like other creatures do, snakes employ a sensitive pair of organs in the roof of their mouth, called the vomeronasal or Jacobson’s organ, to do detailed sniffing. They flick the air with their tongues and pull in scent particles that primarily help them track their prey. Odors of scent-based repellents irritate or confuse snakes.
Odor strength, not stinkiness, is the key to success. Some of the best products use pleasant fragrances like cinnamon and clove. The best scent-based snake repellents have higher concentrations of active ingredients, so they work better and last longer.
Even someone with the worst snake phobia would get tired of reapplying repellent every day. Plus, longer-lasting products are easier on the budget. The best snake repellents stay effective for up to a month, although heavy rain will make even the best products dissipate faster. Long-lasting repellency comes from higher concentrations of active ingredients and granular formulations resistant to rain.
There are times and places when liquid snake repellent is more user-friendly than long-lasting granular formulas. In those instances, go for the more potent, high-concentration formula. Again, a stronger scent is more effective from the outset and lasts longer.
The most popular snake repellents are scent- or odor-based because they can be applied almost anywhere. These products use various natural essential oils or chemical compounds that produce strong scents to overwhelm the snake’s sense of smell, decreasing its ability to detect prey, and may also be a physical irritant. Uncomfortable and confused snakes simply move out of the treated area. Odor-based repellents are available for indoor and outdoor use.
Another snake repellent option is ultrasonic sound. Electric devices that plug into household electrical sockets emit noise outside the human hearing range that snakes can’t stand. They eventually leave the area because of the discomfort. These products have a limited range making them most appropriate for indoor use.
- Odor: The best scent-based snake repellents have a strong but pleasant smell and are long-lasting and easy to apply.
- Ultrasonic frequency: The best ultrasonic snake repellers cover a large-sized room and produce no audible noise to human ears.
Our Top Picks
We have reviewed the best snake repellent options available from the most trusted brands in the industry. The best snake repellents are effective, easy to use, and safe for people and pets when used as directed. Read on for reviews of the top picks.
Unlike other snake repellent products, Pest Control Ultrasonic Pest Repellent doesn’t use granules or sprays, just electricity. It produces “bionic, electromagnetic, and ultrasonic waves” that disturb and disorient snakes and other household pests. The sounds produced by this device are inaudible and safe for people and pets.
Simply plug the unit into a household wall electrical outlet, turn it on, and that’s it. The ultrasonic waves cover an area up to 1,200 square feet, although walls and furniture can weaken or interrupt effectiveness. It takes three to four weeks for the best results. This product is for indoor use and comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
Snake Scram is a powerful granular scent-based snake repellent. It is made from natural essential oils of rosemary, cinnamon, clove, cedar, and garlic, plus peanut hulls and sulfur. The smell is strong but not unpleasant, so be sure to seal up unused product in the container for storage. Snake Scram is safe for people, plants, and pets. It begins working immediately to clear snakes away from the treated area and keep them out.
The 3.5-pound package covers about 2,100 square feet. Spread it evenly over the target area, shaking it directly from the convenient shaker bag. Reapply two weeks later, and again 30 days after the initial treatment for complete control. Reapply monthly after that to keep snakes out.
Snake Defense is a liquid scent-based snake repellent made of clove oil, peppermint oil, and other non-chemical, non-toxic ingredients. The spray delivers a quick punch of overpowering scent that quickly moves snakes away but is safe for people and pets. Use caution when applying this product where snakes are known to hang around, as the product may make them agitated and somewhat aggressive before moving out.
Use Snake Defense as an outdoor perimeter treatment for homes, sheds, barns, and vehicles. It is especially useful early in the year when snakes are becoming active, and late in the year as they seek shelter from cooling temperatures. Each application lasts between two days and a week.
Other Pro Tips For Keeping The Snakes Away From Your Yard
Snakes are an essential part of the natural world as they help to keep pest populations in check. But most people would rather not be surprised to find them in the backyard or inside the house. Although venomous snake bites are quite rare, they are very serious and sometimes deadly when they do occur. Even a nonvenomous snakebite is painful and can lead to infection or illness. If there is a concern about snakes on the property, the first course of action is to eliminate what attracts them.
Like other predators, snakes spend most of their lives either pursuing their next meal or resting. Places that provide opportunities for food or a sheltered resting place are the places that snakes find appealing. The most effective way to minimize the risk of snake encounters is to eliminate the habitat that supports snake prey like small rodents and large insects, and areas that snakes can use for shelter.
Tallgrass, shrubs with dense foliage to the ground, piles of leaves and sticks, and fallen fruits and nuts make a perfect home for mice and rats. Snakes will come around to find them. A water source such as a decorative landscape pond, or even a low spot that holds water after rain, seals the deal. This is the perfect backyard habitat for snakes.
Practice proper yard maintenance to eliminate shelter and food sources for snakes and rodents. Mow regularly, remove landscape debris promptly, and clean up fallen fruit and nuts beneath trees. Feed pets indoors, limit bird feeding, and cleanup pet and bird food spills. Don’t keep a year-round firewood pile that can also shelter snakes. Burn up all firewood before snakes become active in spring. Consider eliminating decorative landscape ponds and bird nest boxes, both of which can attract snakes. After removing snake habitat, snake repellent can help keep them away.
- Snake repellents can drive away snakes that are still in the area after cleaning up the landscape.
- Snake repellents keep snakes out by creating an unpleasant, unwelcome environment for them.
- It’s nice to get peace of mind, knowing that your home is now a snake-free zone after a few simple changes in habitat and a straightforward application of snake repellent.
FAQs About Your New Snake Repellent
Now that you’ve had a chance to select the right snake repellent for your lawn or garden, check out the answers to a few frequently asked questions.
Q. What keeps snakes away from your house?
When there is no food or shelter attraction for snakes, combined with an unpleasant environment, they stay away.
Q. What smells do snakes hate?
Snakes hate the scents of cinnamon oil, clove oil, and ammonia.
Q. How do I rid my yard of snakes?
To eliminate snakes in the yard, first eliminate the habitat that attracts them and their prey. Then use a snake repellent to drive them out and keep them out.
Q. Can snakes come up through the toilet?
Yes, either from the top or bottom. More commonly, snakes that find their way into the house, and then to the bathroom can get into the toilet in search of water. Much less commonly, snakes can also get into the sewer and then follow the sewer pipe and plumbing up into your toilet.