I sometimes camp in areas with venomous snakes and wouldn’t want to encounter one. Sometimes I forget to bring a snake repellent and need some emergency snake repellent options.
I’ve heard that diesel can keep snakes away – but is this true and is it worth using as a snake repellent?
Diesel does NOT keep snakes away and the most it can do is harm them if they get a lot of it on their skin or breathe in too many fumes. Diesel is also a dangerous snake repellent to use because it’s toxic to humans, plants and animals and it's flammable.
So while it might seem like a good emergency option the data does not back up diesel as an effective snake repellent. Given how toxic the fumes can be for humans and animals and how bad it can be for soil and the environment when spilled or spread out I personally wouldn't use it.
Especially not when there are a lot of other cheap and natural alternatives that are safe and effective at repelling snakes.
If you want to keep snakes out of your campsite or backyard, it’s a good idea to understand which products are effective and also safe to use.
Why Doesn’t Diesel Repel Snakes?
Diesel doesn’t repel snakes because they don’t find the smell overpowering (even though they have a well-developed sense of smell).
The only time diesel would keep snakes away if there is so much that the snake drowns in it or breathes in too many toxic fumes that it effects the snakes health. This means you would have to have A LOT of diesel and this could also be incredibly damaging to your own health.
Snakes drink water, and with their keen sense of smell, it’s also highly unlikely that they would mistake diesel for a water source.
Another issue with using diesel as a snake repellent is its toxic properties. It contains benzene (a cancer-causing substance), toluene and xylene which can cause short and long-term health issues in humans and animals.
In addition, diesel is flammable and if you’re using it around your campfire or barbecue, it can cause an uncontrollable fire.
All in all, it's a terrible product for repelling snakes and there are much better alternatives out there. Check out my post on the best natural snake repellents that actually work.
What About Unleaded Gas or Other Forms of Gas?
Unleaded gas, white gas, kerosene, isopropyl or denatured alcohol are also ineffective snake repellents. Like diesel, their toxic and flammable properties make them dangerous to humans, animals and plants.
It’s not advisable to use any petroleum product if you have pets or wildlife in your yard or campsite. A study by the MSD Veterinary Manual revealed that it can be toxic if ingested or inhaled or cause skin irritation.
This means that the risks outweigh the benefits when using unleaded gas or another form of gas as a snake deterrent. Especially when there are some many other natural, safe and effective products on the market that work better.
What Are Effective Snake Repellents?
If you’re looking for a humane snake repellent, consider the following:
- Snake fence or barrier. These are specially designed barriers that snakes find impossible to cross. Although they can be expensive, it’s only a once-off cost and a permanent solution.
- Commercial snake repellent. Using a commercial snake repellent is a better option for your backyard as one application typically lasts a few months. They can also be suitable for some campsites. Many products are also non-toxic and safe to use around pets and kids.
- Essential oils. Peppermint, cinnamon and cloves essential oils are known to repel snakes and you can spray or burn them.
Snake Defense Spray from Amazon is a fantastic choice if you don’t feel like mixing essential oils but want a natural repellent.
Works great on most common types of snakes such as Garter Snakes, Rattlesnakes, Copperheads, and many more. Features all-natural ingredients and no harmful chemicals, so it is safe to use around your pets and kids. Ingredients include clove, cinnamon, and peppermint oil.
To use the spray bottle, just a few spritzes using the included spray nozzle onto the designated area
- Snake repelling plants. Snakes hate the smell of plants like basil, mother-in-law’s tongue, garlic, lemongrass and yellow alder. Consider planting these in your yard to keep snakes out.
- Vinegar. Snakes find the smell of vinegar overpowering and will avoid it. White vinegar is great to take on camping trips because you simply spray it around your campsite and can also use it for cleaning.