Snakes in the garden can be an unpleasant sight. Whether they scare you or not, they are dangerous creatures that can be a nuisance in your daily lives. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to keep snakes away, with a popular choice being repellent sprays.
Some of the best sprays to repel snakes are: Ortho Snake Repellent, Bonide Snake Stopper Spray Repellent, Dr. T’s Snake Repellent Spray, Snake Defense Natural Snake Repellent, Bonide Repels-All Animal Repellent Spray, Nisus Snake Away and Victor Snake-A-Way Hose-End Spray. Combining these sprays while clearing your yard of debris will be most effective
There are a large number of repellent products available on the market that claim to keep snakes at bay, but only a small number of them work. To make sure you pick the right product, read on to learn everything there is to know about repelling snakes using sprays and other methods.
The Best Snake Repellent Sprays
Bonide offers a snake repellent that is suitable for covering large areas. It is safe and practical to apply, and has a pleasant smell. Do note that it’s not tested to be safe for use near plants, so keep it away from gentle flowers and vegetables.
The snake spray contains cedarwood, clove, and cinnamon essential oils along with sulfur. These are popular in keeping serpents away. The liquid formula is very easy to apply as it’s manufactured to be used as a spray. It’s great for application around the porch, in the attic and around the perimeters of your house.
The spray is non-toxic, so it’s friendly for use near chicken coops and birdhouses. It’s safe for households that have pets and can take care of serpent visitors in an instant.
While this product has a pleasant smell, it will have a scent similar to the ingredients about and possibly be almost spicy as a scent. It’s important to understand that Bonide spray, as many of the other sprays on the list, work better and are generally inteded for DETERRING snakes and keeping them out.
Basically, you really should try and use these sprays as preventative measures.
This snake repellent spray is registered by EPA and is approved to not harm snakes. It contains 28% sulfur and 7% naphthalene as active ingredients. It has a 91% success rate in keeping snakes away from the property they would otherwise visit often. This 32 oz product can take care of an area up to 500 square meters! It needs to be reapplied every two months.
This repellent is safe for use around plants and pets. It’s a great deterrent to combat garden snakes. It needs to be reapplied after rain, however.
Generally, many pesticides and insecticides need to be applied after a rainfall (you can read our article about that here). Spray deterrents really aren’t much different.
Now, as you read above this product won’t harm snakes, which meets the goal of it being a REPELLENT.
If you need to remove snakes from your yard or garden, you should call your local animal control/wildlife professional to help you handle the task.
This spray comes from the reputed brand Exterminator’s Choice, which sells various different repellent products for bugs and reptiles. Their snake spray is excellent and performs well when sprayed around doors, gates, and windows.
The spray is a blend of all-natural essential oils, including peppermint and clover. The smell isn’t offensive to any other animals except for snakes, meaning it’s suitable for households that have pets. Children should be kept away from the spray itself, but it doesn’t do any harm if you spray it around their treehouse or tent. You can also spray this repellent on grass, but try avoiding flowers. It works well and is safe for garages and vehicles too.
This snake repellent spray works for all species but is particularly good against copperheads, rattlesnakes, water moccasins, and grass snakes. You should definitely buy this product if you’re finding these snakes in your backyard. Make sure to carefully use the spray against rattlesnakes and copperheads since they’re venomous and can pose a serious health risk.
In order to make sure that the spray works to it’s full effectiveness, Exterminator’s Choice recommends that you remove as much debris as possible from your lawn, like piles of wood, that snakes can potentially hide in.
Additionally, this product is made and certified in the United States.
This is yet another spray repellent by Bonide. But unlike our previous mention, the Repels-All Repellent Spray is formulated to keep all animals at bay. The product contains a unique blend of natural and safe chemical ingredients that cause slight irritation in the nasal passages of all animals. Whenever an animal sniffs, touches or tastes the repellent, it feels irked, and its natural instinct to run gets triggered.
This repellent spray is formulated to keep pests away, so the list will include animals like rats, skunks, moles, mice, birds, raccoons, snakes, deers, rabbits, squirrels, moose, etc. If you have indoor pets, there shouldn’t be any problem. The smell can be obnoxious for guard dogs, however.
For best results, apply this spray around the exterior walls of your house, in your garden, in garbage cans, on your patio, under sheds, and around swimming pools. This spray is biodegradable and can be used in gardens. You can apply it to flower beds, bushes, and trees.
The product comes in a container and has a hose-end sprayer attached to it. You can connect this sprayer end to your garden hose for fast application and the effects of the spray typically last up to 2 months, according to the manufacturer.
This snake repellent comes in a concentrated form. You should apply it directly to the snake’s den (after removing the snake physically). When using around trees, gardens, patios, sheds, barns, and swimming pools, make a solution with water. Try not to apply it directly on areas where children and pets play, rather around it in a 6-inch band.
The product contains cinnamon oil, cedar oil, and clove oil, all of which are meant to drive away snakes due to their strength of scent. It’s safe to use in gardens but don’t apply directly on top of leaves and edible crops.
Additionally, this spray is biodegradable as well, making it OK to soak into the earth after its unleashed.
This snake spray repellent is formulated to deal with non-venomous snakes. It attacks their highly developed olfactory lobe, causing confusion which then drives the snakes away, even if they’ve built a den.
The smell of this spray is so distinct for snakes that it becomes hard for them to find prey, which makes roaming around in your yard useless for them. In this way, you can also protect your chicken coop from non-venomous snakes. The spray wafts through the air around your house and lingers for a long time.
The normal-sized bottle has a hose end, so you can attach a separate garden hose (it would be helpful to have a complete second hose to use with the spray than your regular hose) to this bottle directly and start spraying. Each bottle can cover an area of 500 square feet or 0.01 acres.
Just like other sprays, this can be applied all around the property, including cabins, sheds, garages, flowerbeds, trees, bushes, etc. Make sure to apply on all wooden logs, trash cans and any other debris floating around in your yard.
OR, get rid of as much debris as possible and then start spraying!
For ideal results, apply this snake repellent in a 6-inch (15cm) wide band. Apply the spray around areas that need protection in a barrier like fashion – almost like you’re spraying a “wall” to stop snakes from crossing over it.
You should apply the spray with pressure on the garden hose so the spray can absorb better into the soil.
Overall, the Snake-A-Way claims not to damage plants. If applied right, you won’t need to reapply until after a month or so. Applying for 3-4 months should permanently protect your property, but as soon as you see another snake, it may be best to start reapplying!
The spray needs to be reapplied after rainfall and is safe for homes. Don’t apply the product directly on top of flowers, or on the food crops that you’re growing.
If you’re having some trouble getting rid of snakes by just using the snake repellent sprays, then you could try granular repellents. Using both of them together gives you a better chance of fighting our pesky slithering friends.
So, that being said, here are some of our top picks to repel snakes with granules:
Ortho offers effective, safe, and easy-to-use snake repellent granules. They have a surprisingly fresh odor, making them perfect for floral gardens. However, they have a shorter lifespan than our previous pick.
Ortho Snake B Gone repellent is rain-resistant and uses a no-stink formula containing essential oils. Their essential-oil based formula makes the granules safe for use in gardens, as it harms neither plants nor pets.
Ideally, you should follow the instructions labeled on the pack for the ideal output. It’s an excellent choice to repel snakes from your yard. You can also throw away a snake nest and place this repellent there, and it’ll surely stop the snake from making another nest there.
The repellent smells like cloves and cinnamon. It produces no harmful chemicals that would damage your grass and claims to cause no health issues for guard dogs or animals tied in your farms like cows, goats, and sheep. The repellent can be a wonderful guard against rattlesnakes and copperheads alike.
Make sure to properly follow the instructions on the repellent package and use it in all the hiding places; otherwise, you’re bound to find a snake or two, slithering in your garden.
Please keep in mind that this repellent, like others, works best if your garden isn’t already a snake habitat.
Rattlesnakes can be very stubborn and are really hard to get rid of. They’re also venomous, so dealing with them always carries a risk of being bitten. If you’re having a rattlesnake problem in and around your house or farm, then definitely go for these repellent granules. They’re perfect for rattlesnakes and garter snakes.
IMPORTANT: IF YOU’RE DEALING WITH RATTLESNAKES OR ANY OTHER SNAKE KNOWN TO BITE, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL WILDLIFE PROFESSIONAL FOR TAILORED ADVICE FOR YOUR PROPERTY.
FOR A LIST OF VENOMOUS SNAKES, PLEASE VIEW HERE.
So, if you use the granules, all you have to do is spread them around the area you want to protect from rattlesnakes. The formula of each granule works to drive these pesky snakes away by blocking a sensory receptor called Jacobson’s organ. This is harmless for the animal. The temporary disruption of the sensory organ is thanks to the presence of naphthalene and sulfur. Once the response is disrupted, the snake quickly runs away from the area to get some fresh air.
There are some concerns with naphthalene, as they are the primary ingredient in mothballs, This is something to keep in mimd.
These granules are made to repel both venomous and non-venomous snakes. The granules come in a 4lb resealable bag. The effect of these granules lasts for a month. Even weeks after the first application, the granules would repel 91% of rattlesnakes and garter snakes.
To apply the granules, wear gloves. Spread in a band-shape along the perimeter of the snake-ridden area. You should always avoid using this product indoors. You can use it in your backyard and near areas like the garage and patio. The odor is very potent, so make sure not to open the bag inside.
IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE YOU READ ALL SAFTEY INSTRUCTIONS ON THE PACKAGING PRIOR TO USE.
This is yet another snake repellent that contains potent natural ingredients that specifically target the nasal passages of snakes, causing them discomfort. Snakes always leave areas where they can’t process information.
This particular snake repellent has a long list of active ingredients. More doesn’t always mean better, but biologically active ingredients are the actual reason why snakes stay away from the area. The protection is also long-lasting.
The repellent contains botanical oils, and the scent is very pleasant. It won’t make your garden stink. The cedar scent means it’s safe for pets and wouldn’t repel birds if you spray it around a bird feeder. It does not contain naphthalene, a common ingredient in mothballs.
You can spread this granular repellent all across your lawn, porch, chicken coop, barn, swimming pool, exercise area and other areas designated by the instructions. You can apply granules in any place you want to be protected.
This snake repellent is an efficient blend of natural oils like clover, peppermint, garlic, and sulfur that successfully keeps away snakes without causing harm to your garden’s plants, your pets, or your family.
Snake Shield is formulated with active ingredients that work together to trigger a natural response of flight in snakes, a behavioral trait that keeps them at bay. This snake repellent is free from the inorganic and unnatural substance, so it won’t cause any damage to your property or your family.
Snakes are very cautious about every move they make. They use their noses to process information about their surroundings and send this information to the brain, which then understands the environment. The signals are caught and interpreted by Jacobson’s organ and help the snake navigate.
Once this organ is blocked from capturing nearby information, it’ll move to an area with the fresher wind. Snakes don’t like not knowing of danger, and with this obstruction, they’re sure to leave.
These granules release the safe chemicals a little time after they are applied and act as a lasting shield against snakes. Spread the granules in 8-inch bands while wearing gloves and make sure to read the product instructions!
Other Natural Repellents
Here are some possibly effective natural repellents that allow you to repel snakes without causing them any harm.
There are some repellents, like napthalene (mothballs) that can possibly be succesful but you SHOULDN’T use mothballs to deter snakes.
One study from 1995, found that a repellent containing naphthalene was able to be sensed by snakes but not alter their behavior. One of the best things you can do, reported the study, was to execute habitat modification (i.e., clearing debris from your yard!)
Nevertheless, here are some more natural repellents you can use to help keep snakes away!
There’s no scientific proof of lemongrass repelling snakes, but many homeowners have tried planting it, and it has worked for many. Lemongrass has a very fresh scent. You can plant it around your home and garage. Make sure to keep an eye on the bunches and chop them often as they get huge after a while.
Planting rose bushes underneath a pole or tree will stop the snakes from climbing up on them. You can also plant roses around the sitting area in your lawn.
Cedarwood, clove, and cinnamon essential oils are all ingredients of natural snake repellent sprays, so naturally, they’re bound to work. You can mix a pair of these essential oils and spray around the parts where you’re likely to find the snakes.
You can plug holes with a foaming sealant, mesh or hardware cloth. Every hole can be a snake’s future den. To stop inviting snakes over, plug the holes in your yard.
Snakes like holes and tall grass so they can stay hidden from potential predators. By covering up and plugging holes, thats one less place they can get to.
Many creatures hate the smell of garlic, and the list also includes snakes. You can make your own garlic spray in just a couple of steps and use around hiding spots:
- Finely chop garlic cloves.
- Add them to an oil (any oil works).
- Let the cloves infuse for a couple of weeks.
- Strain and transfer to a spray bottle.
Sulfur works similarly to essential oils. It messes with the heat and smell signals of snakes and discourages them from slithering around areas where it’s used. Sulfur has a distinct smell, however, and can be irritating. Sulfur can also damage edible crops, so be wary of the area you’re using it in.
Corals and eggshells, among other mulch-type items, keep snakes at bay. You can apply them on top of the soil surrounding plants. Mulch also improves the fertility of your soil, so if you grow vegetables, flowers, bushes, or other kinds of plants, you can promote its growth using mulches.
People often find water snakes in their swimming pools, which can be an unpleasing and often scary sight. You can pour vinegar along the sides of your pool to prevent snakes from slithering around it. Snakes absorb liquids through their skin, and acids like vinegar repel them.
The Need to Physically Remove Snakes
Repellents, as we’ve mentioned earlier, won’t make a snake go away as they would work on a bug. They’re only good at preventing snakes from coming to your property. It’s important for the snake to be physically removed from your garden if it has built its den there.
The dens are underground, so the strong scent of repellent is only slightly irritating. Plus, during breeding season, you should take no chances, as the snake can lay eggs and get quite aggressive when protecting her eggs and babies.
If you see a snake den in your garden, turn back and go to the safety of your house. Avoid approaching the den at all costs. You should call the local animal control center and explain your situation.
If you’re not familiar with snake species, don’t try spray repellent or approach the snake. In this situation, the wisest decision you can make is to go indoors, lock your pets and children and call an animal control team or a local snake removing team. Even standing a few feet away is dangerous as venomous snakes strike at incredible speeds. Don’t let your pets or children out to play in the yard for the next two to three days after the snake has been removed.
If an old snake keeps returning or you’re finding a new snake every now and then, even after getting a couple removed by professionals and spraying effective repellents, then the issue is your yard. You won’t get rid of snakes, especially if you live in a serpent-ridden area if your yard is providing the snake with food and area for shelter.
As a preventive measure, keep your yard free from piled up leaves and debris. Keeping the grass properly groomed is important. Filling holes, ditches, and gaps in the ground help repel snakes as well.
Yards that have mowed grass and are free from logs and hiding spots are inhospitable for snakes. If you have any decorative items in the yard, check them for holes. These holes can be a potential snake den. Lastly, installing a snake fence would definitely keep the serpents away from your lawn.
Alternatively, you can install snake traps. We don’t recommend them and a trap should be your last option.
The most effective traps for snakes are box traps that lure the snakes inside but don’t give them a way out. These are more humane. You can install them in the yard if you find snakes occasionally. If you do end up with a snake inside, call a pest control team or ask a trained individual you know to help you release the snake in a different location.
That’s A Wrap!
There are many spray repellents for snakes available in the market. Many of these products have been tried and tested. Essentially, this list contained some of the best sprays that you’ll find online!
Using sprays to repel snakes is a very convenient method and generally safe, but spraying alone isn’t enough.
If you have to have the snake physically removed, make sure you call a professional.
Once the professionals call the area clear and find the den empty, you can proceed to throw away its den before using sprays, granules, or any other natural repellent. You’ll also have to clean your yard often to make it less appealing to snakes. Once you’ve taken all the steps, there’ll be no reason for any snake to linger around your home!
Ferraro, D. M. (1995). The efficacy of naphthalene and sulfur repellents to cause avoidance behavior in the plains garter snake.
Ferraro, D. M. (1995). The efficacy of naphthalene and sulfur repellents to cause avoidance behavior in the plains garter snake.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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