5 Easy Tips to Keep Snakes Out of Your Swimming Pool


Ringneck Snake in the water, dark brown snake with orange details in turquoise water

Snakes are fantastic creatures that have captured the interest and hearts of many. However, that doesn’t mean that we want them in our pools.

There are many plants and snake repellents out there that will keep snakes away from your pool. Keeping your yard plants trim and your yard free from debris also helps with keeping snakes away because there are fewer places for them to burrow and hide.

Here we will explain all of the easy ways you can keep snakes out of your pool and what you should do if a snake happens to wander into your pool and backyard. Let’s get to it!

Why Do Snakes Enter Pools?

If you have a frequent snake problem in your pool, then it will be helpful to understand WHY they like the water. There are a few different possible reasons why your swimming pool could be attracting snakes.

Although all of these causes are normal behavior in snakes, you can still prevent snakes from accessing your pool.

Here are three common reasons why snakes like water.

Water Helps Snakes Shed Their Skin

Soaking in water helps snakes to loosen up their skin during their shedding period. This makes the whole molting easier for a snake.

Occasionally some wild snakes might think that your pool is more shallow than it really is, and they get trapped in there. This is a common cause for snakes that are not typically found in water to wind up in your pool.

Some Snakes Enjoy Being in Moist Environments

Although some snakes prefer to be on land, others thrive in the water. When this is the case, the snake has found its way into your swimming pool because they love the water but may be lost!

They have likely wandered off from their home and are looking for water in a strange area. This is especially common after experiencing a period of heavy rainfall.

Thus, snakes are more likely to wander farther away from his home because the sudden abundance of water allows them to do so comfortably, and once they find your pool, they may very well be taking a dip!

They Wandered in by Accident

Sometimes snakes wander into strange places like swimming pools entirely by accident. It could be that it was chasing some food or running from a predator leading them to fall into your swimming pool by mistake.

Unfortunately, some snakes can become stuck in these pools because they do not know how to get out of them. This is especially true for snakes that are not strong swimmers and are not usually found in deep bodies of water.

Keep Your Plants Trimmed and Your Yard Debris Free

Snakes like to hide and burrow underthings. They do this for several reasons. The first is that it provides a natural refuge from the elements, and it is a great place to cool down. The following reason why they love these kinds of environments is that it provides shelter from potential predators that could do them harm.

Additionally, snakes like to hide under plants and debris is that their prey, such as mice, rats, and frogs, are also attracted to these environments.

Therefore, keeping your yard free from potential snake hiding places is vital when it comes to keeping snakes out of your yard. You can do this by keeping your bushes, hedges, and low-hanging plants trim and clean.

It’s also imperative to keep debris that a snake could hide under out of your yard. This includes things like piles of sticks, a tarp laying on the ground, and anything else a snake could hide in or underneath.

Eliminate Vermin to Keep Snakes Out

Other types of vermin, such as mice and rats, will attract snakes to your yard. This is because these animals are a precious food source for snakes. Therefore, to eliminate a snake problem around your pool, you need to stop other types of vermin that snakes like to eat from around your swimming pool.

Plant Some Snake Repelling Plants Around Your Pool

Snakes do not like pungent smells that are new to them. Luckily, this means that there are many plants out there that successfully keep snakes away. Of course, you may want to look into which of the following plants thrive in your environment. Here are the plants that keep snakes away due to their pungent smell:

  • Cinnamon Plant
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Lemongrass
  • Marigolds (their roots have a strong odor)
  • Mother in Law’s Tongue

Overall, if you can plant cinnamon in your garden (cinnamon grows in zones 8-11), this will be the best plant you can use to deter snakes.

The reasoning is that cinnamon oil is one of the few proven snake repelling scents, with science backing up the claim.

Outside of cinnamon, onion and garlic are possibly the best for deterring snakes from your pool, but it is best to add some other strong-smelling plants to your pool area as well. Marigolds are fantastic overall for your garden, as they can attract spider mites which can defend your plants against insects like aphids.

In addition to this, you can plant some Mother in Law’s Tongue!

Although this plant doesn’t emit a strong smell, Mother in Law’s Tongue has been known to repel snakes due to its frightening appearance and sharp leaves.

Start a Garden to Deter Snakes From Your Pool

As we have mentioned, pungent-smelling plants are a great natural way to repel snakes, and this is best done when there are several different kinds of these plants present. Therefore, starting a garden near your pool is a great way to keep snakes out of it. This garden should include at least several of the snake repelling plants listed! It would be best if you also avoided things like rocks and plants that attract many rodents.

Get Some Snake Repellent

If you do not like gardening or simply don’t have space around your pool for a small garden, then there are many effective snake repellents out there.

These often share many of the same ingredients, and they work similarly to how strong-smelling, snake repelling plants do. However, snake repellent is usually stronger than plants, and it can sometimes be more effective.

As briefly discussed earlier, there are a few scents that are commonly found as the base in many snake repellents: Cinnamon oil and clove oil.

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a snake repellent:

  • How long the repellent lasts
  • Whether or not it is biodegradable
  • Ease of use and accessibility
  • How quickly the repellent works
  • If it has a strong smell
  • If it contains cinnamon or clove oil
  • Is it legal to use in your state/country

In a bit, we’re going to discuss some of the top snake repellents on the market, where you can review each one and make sure that it meets the criteria above based on your specific situation and preferences.

Remove Snakes From Your Pool Before Applying Repellents

It is important to remove all existing snakes from your pool area before adding snake repellent or snake repelling plants. This is because snakes born around strong smells will be attracted to them because it reminds them of a safe area!

Therefore, if you have a garden with lemongrass and some snake eggs hatch nearby, then they will grow up liking the smell of lemongrass. A great way to avoid this is to do a cautious sweep of your yard right before you plant your pungent smelling, snake repelling plants, or adding snake repellent.

If you find a snake in your yard, you should contact someone qualified to remove snakes from properties such as a pest control company.

However, if you suspect that the snake at hand is potentially venomous, you should always call animal control. They will remove the animal safely and ensure that there are not any more snakes around your property.

Once this is completed, you can feel free to apply snake repellent or plant your snake repelling, strong-smelling plants.

Using Repellents to Keep Snakes Out of Your Pool

Ringneck Snake on Green Moss

Looking for a snake repellent that is right for you can seem to be a pretty daunting process. Luckily, we have done some of the research for you. We will not necessarily be ranking these products in this list because everyone has different needs and preferences depending on your situation!

Here are some of the best snake repellents on the market.

As a side note, make sure that you read and follow all product instructions if you’re using a snake repellent. It will go a long way into the viability of the product!

IMPORTANT: The below list are just a few products, if you’d like to see our full list of snake repelling sprays and repellents, view you can view our snake repellent product guide here. If you have ANY concerns or questions about what kind of snake is in your pool, contact an exterminator or wildlife control professional ASAP.

Nature’s Mace Snake Repellent

Nature’s mace has multiple snake repellent products out there, and some have different properties that you may be looking for. However, all have received good reviews and are reported to be effective when following the product’s instructions. There are also some benefits that all Nature’s Mace snake repellents have in common.

Nature’s Mace Snake Repellent (link) is suitable for those looking for a biodegradable product and contains a clean formula that is free from harsh and unnatural ingredients. They also repel snakes humanely by using scents that snakes dislike, such as cinnamon oil and clove oil.

Additionally, Nature’s Mace includes sulfur in their formula, which is thought to deter a wide range of animals (although it is not scientifically backed for snakes.)

Bonide Ready to Spray Snake Stopper

Bonide’s Ready to Spray Snake Stopper (link) has a base of cinnamon oil and clove oil, two of the most common snake repelling ingredients used in snake repelling products.

Its intended use is to be a BARRIER repellent, meaning you spray it where you don’t want the snakes to enter. Hence, they theoretically won’t cross the line that you spray in.

Additionally, it comes with a sprayer attached at the top, so it doesn’t need to be loaded into a separate container as well.

Exterminators Choice Snake Defense Spray

This amazing snake repellent not only repels snakes but also prevents them from nesting and foraging and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Due to its base ingredient list of cinnamon oil, clove oil, and peppermint oil, it’ll leave a pleasant smell. Best of all, no naphthene!

Exterminators Choice Snake Defense Spray (link) arrives at your home ready to use, and it has a straightforward application as it comes with a sprayer already attached to the bottle. In addition, Exterminators Choice snake repellent can work for up to 2-3 weeks, depending on rainfall.

Safer Brand 5951 Snake Shield Snake Repellent Granular

Safer Brand’s Snake Shield (link) has a base of cedarwood oil, cinnamon oil, and clove oil, which are the ingredients we want to see in snake repellents, specifically cinnamon oil and clove oil (again) have at least some scientific backing to repel snakes.

Snake Shield will need to be reapplied if it gets excessively wet. Therefore, it is not a good idea to put it right next to a swimming pool (for many reasons, don’t put it near your pool but in a barrier around it.)

It would help if you also reapplied this snake repellent after heavy rainfall.

Removing Snakes From Your Pool

Overall, you should contact a wildlife or pest control expert before touching any snakes in your pool. However, if you have experience and are certain about the snake species in your pool, you may decide that removing the snake is the best option for you.

Scoop Snakes Out With Caution

If you find a harmless snake in your pool and experience removing them, then use your best judgement for removing them from your pool. For example, if you find a mellow garter snake floating in your pool, you may decide to scoop the snake out and relocate it to safety.

If the snake is identified as anything else or you have any doubts, you should contact your local wildlife control expert (you can use our wildlife control finder here)

You should always scoop them out with something that will keep them a reasonable distance from you. An excellent tool for this is a pool net that you usually use to scoop leaves out of your pool. However, a long stable stick could also work if you do not have a pool net available.

Place The Snake Away From Your Home

Ultimately, if the snake is alive, you’ll want to relocate it a bit away from your property. No, not in someone else’s yard, but try and place it in a wooded area if you have one nearby within short walking distance.

Call a Pest Control Company

Depending on your situation, you could benefit from contacting a qualified pest control company to help you with your snake problem.

This is especially true if you do not feel confident about removing the snake from your swimming pool yourself or if snakes keep returning despite your efforts to keep them away from your pool.

Exterminators will not only be able to remove the snake in a way that is safe to both you and the snake, but they will also be able to give you some reliable tips on how to keep snakes away from your pool effectively.

That’s a Wrap!

Finding a snake in your swimming pool can be a real problem. Luckily, there are some easy ways that you can repel snakes away from your pool and yard. If you are looking for a natural remedy to your problem, there are several plants that will naturally repel snakes.

If you are looking for a more radical approach, then there are a number of effective snake repellent products out there that can help. If you need to remove a snake from your pool, then it is important to do so cautiously and contact an expert when needed.

References

Roe, J. H., Kingsbury, B. A., & Herbert, N. R. (2004). Comparative water snake ecology: conservation of mobile animals that use temporally dynamic resources. Biological Conservation, 118(1), 79-89.

Greene, H. W. (1997). Snakes: the evolution of mystery in nature. Univ of California Press.

Mushinsky, H. R., Hebrard, J. J., & Vodopich, D. S. (1982). Ontogeny of water snake foraging ecology. Ecology, 63(6), 1624-1629.

Roe, J. H., Kingsbury, B. A., & Herbert, N. R. (2004). Comparative water snake ecology: conservation of mobile animals that use temporally dynamic resources. Biological Conservation, 118(1), 79-89.

San Julian, G. J. (1985). What You Wanted To Know About All You Ever Heard Concerning Snake Repellents. Second Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conference. Raleigh: Digital Commons.

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