I don’t mind snakes but I don’t want them coming into my yard, campsite or approaching me while hiking. Over the years, I’ve heard of countless snake repellents and I was wondering which ones are the most effective?
Which are the ones that are proven to work to repel snakes and keep them away long term?
The most effective snake repellents are natural habitat removal or reduction, rodent control and physical barriers (like snake fencing or portable snake borders for camping).
Commercial snake repellents can also be effective, as can natural snake deterrents, such as essential oils.
It's important to note that ultra sonic snake repellents do NOT work and there is no proof that these are effective at all
It turns out there are a lot of effective snake repellents and many of them work in different ways meaning you can combine them to get maximum effect.
Understanding how effective various snake repellents are can help you to choose the best one for your property or when camping or hiking.
1. Habitat Removal or Reduction
According to a study by the University of Nebraska, removing or reducing a snake’s ideal habitat is the most effective way to keep them away.
We feel that the only way to reduce the number of snakes found in and around houses is to remove or reduce their habitat. Snakes are attracted to areas that have rodent populations or provide needed cover and shelter. The removal of log or trash piles close to houses or frequently used buildings will help reduce cover for snakes and their prey. Keeping the vegetation adjacent to houses closely mowed or trimmed will reduce food and cover for rodent populations. Tight fitting screens and doors along with the sealing of all cracks and holes into the crawl space or basement will keep snakes out of the house.Gary J. San Julian – North Carolina State University 1985
Snakes are reclusive animals and prefer places with lots of vegetation (i.e. long, camoflaging grass and weeds) and forested areas. They also like piles of dead branches and vegetation to hide under and sleep.
To make your property undesirable for snakes, consider:
- Keeping grass short.
- Keeping your lawn and flower beds weed free.
- Keeping your yard neat and tidy and removing dead vegetation and wood piles.
When camping or resting while hiking, choose sites with short vegetation and without dead logs or piles of old vegetation.
Using commercial of home remedy snake repellents can also be effective. However, minimizing the attractiveness of the area to snakes should be the #1 thing you do to repel snakes from the area.
2. Rodent Control
Snakes often move to different locations to hunt and they prey on rodents and similar small animals. If your property or campsite doesn’t have rodents, snakes are far less likely to enter it because they will be lacking a food source.
You can keep rodents away when camping by:
- Keeping food in sturdy and sealed containers.
- Removing food crumbs and greasy fire ash.
At home, you should:
- Keep your compost heap covered with wire mesh.
- Ensure your trash container is sealed and doesn’t have holes.
- Pick up fallen fruit if you have fruit trees.
- Feed your pets indoors or avoid leaving pet food in bowls for extended periods.
3. Snake Fencing
If you live in an area with a high snake population, creating a physical barrier that they can’t cross can help keep them off your property and is worth the investment.
Unfortunately, standard snake fencing won’t keep all snakes away and you should consider the following to make your your fencing more effective:
- The mesh is fine enough and preferably ¼ inch or smaller (many snake fences have ½ inch mesh which is large enough for baby snakes to climb through).
- The fence should be buried several inches into the ground to prevent snakes from crawling underneath.
Here’s a helpful YouTube video explaining more about effective snake fencing:
When camping, consider investing in a portable snake barrier which takes less than 5 minutes to put up. Effective models (like the one in the video below) have fine mesh and an apron to prevent snakes from breaching it.
This YouTube video proves how effective camping snake barriers are:
4. Commercial Snake Repellent Products
If you’re not able to make your backyard or campsite’s habitat less desirable to snakes, or you want to add an extra layer of protection to repel snakes then you should consider using a commercial snake repellent.
These have potent and long-lasting smells, allowing you to apply the product and then leave it for 2-3 months.
Avoid snake repellents containing naphthalene because it’s considered carcinogenic by the EPA and consider ones that are safe to use on vegetation and won’t harm pets or wildlife.
Here are the most effective commercial snake repellent products (that you can buy from Amazon):
Snake B Gon
This product comes in granule form and is a powerful combination of the following strongly-scented oils:
It can also help repel other pests, like rodents and squirrels.
This ready-to-use formula can cover approximately 1,440 sq. ft. per bottle and acts as a snake repellent to prevent them entering the area, nesting and foraging. Has a 'no-stink' formula and is long lasting up to 30 days.
This product is registered with the EPA, is safe to use around wildlife, vegetation and pets and repels a snake’s sensitive sense of smell. It can protect an area of up to ½ an acre.
It has a potent sulfur-like smell and can also repel other unwanted creatures, like foxes or racoons.
These granules begin working immediately to repel venomous and non-venomous snakes. The granules temporarily disrupt snakes’ olfactory sense organ, sending them in search of fresh air.
One application lasts for up to 2-3 months. Reapply after heavy rain for best results
Pufado Snake Repellent
Pufado Snake Repellent can be used in your backyard, garage or campsite because it comes in handy pouches. Simply place it around the perimeter and enjoy a snake-free experience.
The snake-repelling ingredients include garlic, sulfur and gypsum and it’s effective against:
- And more
Snake Repellents are able to repel copperheads, rattlesnake, cottonmoth and other breeds of snakes. They contain a scent that the snakes hate, providing barrier for your yard and home effectively.
The effect lasts for 2-3 months and is rain resistant and sun proof
5. Natural Snake Deterrents
Like commercial snake repellents, natural snake deterrents can also have strong scents but these tend to dissipate quickly and can get washed away after a rain shower.
Although they can be effective, you need to apply them almost daily, making them uneconomical for your home. However, they can be fantastic when camping.
Below are the most effective natural snake deterrents:
I love white vinegar because I can use it for many things when camping, including cleaning and as an emergency bug repellent.
With its strong, sharp odor, it’s also a good snake repellent and you can spray it around your campsite’s perimeter.
Snakes find the scent of certain essential oils overwhelming and will move away from the smell. These essential oils include:
To use essential oils as a snake repellent, pour some into the soil at regular intervals or spray the vegetation around your property or campsite.
If you don’t feel like buying essential oils (which usually come in tiny bottles), you could always buy a bulk, readymade essential oil product like Snake Mace from Amazon.
It comes in a large 25 lb bucket and contains several essential oils.
Snake MACE formula is scientifically backed to have more active ingredients than any other snake repellents. It has the power and strength to completely repel snakes from your home, garden, yard, etc.
Features all natural ingredients, is safe to use and can provide year round protection no matter the season.
Citronella is another powerful natural substance that snakes hate. It’s convenient to use when you’re relaxing on your patio in the summer because it also repels bugs like mosquitos.
When camping, you can burn citronella candles or burn the oil in a burner or use it as fuel in your camping lantern.
Hyoola Citronella Lamp Oil from Amazon is a great example and it burns without creating smoke.
Burns clean, smells great for you and your guests and helps to keep away unwanted pests. The lamp fuel is odor free for humans but can be smelled by pests - helping to repel them.
UltraSonic Snake Repellents Are ‘Snake Oil' and Don't Work
Ultrasonic snake repellents make high pitched noises that are means to scare away snakes.
However, snakes don't actually have ears and multiple tests have shown that snakes are not repelled by these ultrasonic devices. In fact, a snake will curl up around a ultrasonic snake repellent that is meant to scare it away.
Snakes are only thought to hear frequencies between 50 to 1,000 Hz and ultrasonic devices emit sound at frequencies much higher than this. There are no studies or proof that this is effective at repelling snakes at all.