Benefits of Having Snakes Around
It may not seem like snakes would be beneficial, but they can help keep rodent populations down. A single small snake can eat 3-4 mice at a time, and larger ones can go after rats. They also eat moles, voles, insects and some can even go after fish. In other areas of the country, snakes will eat animals like rabbits, nutria and other rodents that may be destructive to homes and crops.
Natural Snake Repellent Ideas
There are many natural snake repellent ideas that allow you to get rid of snakes without harming them.
One of the most common snake repellents you’ll find is naphthalene. It is found in products like Snake-A-Way. You can go a much cheaper route and use mothballs, as this is the main component in them. I toss a few under the porch to keep the snakes from hanging out under there. Be aware that the scent of naphthalene is very pungent and can linger for weeks and even months.
It’s not known exactly how lemongrass repels snakes, but it does. Plant some around the perimeter of your home or garage as a snake repellent. Lemongrass bunches can get really large, so you’ll want to keep an eye on it.
Like lemongrass, wormwood (from the genus Artemisia) can help keep snakes away. Keep an eye on this plant too, as it can spread rapidly.
Snakes will sometimes try to get into chicken coops for the eggs. Chickens, as well as guinea hens and turkeys, will attack and kill snakes that get into the coop. Pigs will attack snakes too.
Snakes will try to get into birdhouses for the eggs too. They seem like bluebird houses the best, maybe because they’re on a post. I plant rose bushes at the bottom of the post and wind the stems around the post. And they make for a great snake repellent. No more snakes in the bluebird house!
Cinnamon, clove, and cedarwood essential oils will all repel snakes. (Find them all here.) It’s thought that snakes think the oils will melt the scales, so they stay away from them. True or not, they work to keep snakes at bay.
What works to keep snakes away?
Keep food, water, and shelter opportunities to a minimum. View your property as habitat to be exploited by local wildlife. The fewer resources exist for animals, the lower the chances are of having a surprise rattlesnake encounter.
A few of the big ones:
- Rodent control – rattlesnakes eat rodents, so having rodents coming and going from your property will bring them in.
- Eliminate cool and moist areas, like the leaky hose or patch of lawn that nobody really uses.
- Clean up dog poop. This can attract rodents and the rattlesnakes that look for them.
- Rattlesnake Fencing to physically keep them out.
- Keep a generally tidy yard, and eliminate any opportunity for a snake to hide.
When Do Snakes Come Out?
Snakes are more commonly encountered when temperatures average between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit; usually during the spring and throughout the summer. They are most active in early morning and late afternoon, as summer temperatures are often too hot for them to be out in during the hottest times of day. Snake activity will pick back up again in late summer and early fall before they go into hibernation or brumation. Brumation is more common in southern states where the climate is warmer and snow is less likely. Snakes don’t actually sleep in brumation but rather their bodies adjust to the lower temperatures, slowing down their metabolism, and making them less active. On warm winter days, brumating snakes will sometimes come out to bask in the sunshine, often surprising unsuspecting people with their presence.
While calling a professional pest control company is a guaranteed and safe way to tackle a snake problem, there are also some home remedies you can try to repel snakes. Home remedies to keep snakes away offer several benefits including:
- Availability: Most home remedies to keep snakes away contain ingredients or methods that are readily available and easy to obtain. The guidelines for their use are also easily found on the internet.
- Affordability: Most home remedies to keep snakes away are significantly cheaper compared to the cost of professional products and services on the market.
- Ease of Use: Most home remedies to keep snakes away are easy to make or implement.
- Safety: Most home remedies to keep snakes away are non-toxic to humans and pets compared to professional products on the market.
How to chase a snake away
If you spot a snake you suspect could be venomous, make sure to call animal control immediately. But if you know it’s a non-venomous snake and you just wish it would go away, chasing it off can be as easy as reaching for the hose. Spray the snake until he slithers away, hopefully before you get the creeps.
DIY snake repellent
If snakes seem to always find their way into your yard, keep them away with ammonia. Snakes hate the smell and won’t come near it. Soak rags in ammonia and place them in unsealed plastic bags. Leave the plastic bags where you usually see the snakes, and they won’t come back again.
Keeping snakes away from your pool
To keep snakes and even bugs like flies away from your pool, pour white vinegar around the perimeter. Snakes can absorb liquids through their skin, and won’t slither over the vinegar. Meanwhile, it’s same for kids and pets!
6 MUST-KNOW FACTS ABOUT SNAKES — READ TO STAY SAFE!
During spring and fall, temperatures are perfect for snakes to be out and about during the day. Not too cold, not too hot, just right for startling unsuspecting gardeners who are also outside taking advantage of the pleasant weather. During the summer, you need to watch out for snakes more in the early morning and at night, but they’re likely to be hidden away someplace dark and cool during the heat of the day.
While most snakes are nonpoisonous and tend to avoid contact with people when given the chance, they can still give quite a scare. The best way to avoid trouble with snakes is to understand their habits and how to avoid close contact with them.
Follow these tips:
1. Avoid Snake Habitat: In general, snakes hang out in damp, cool, protected areas. Watch out for them around rocky streams, wooded areas, retaining walls, garages, or anyplace around your house where there might be cave like conditions. Keep debris and wood piles far away from your house, and screen off underneath porches and crawl spaces to keep snakes out.
2. Watering Attracts Snakes: If you keep your lawn and garden well irrigated, you’re more likely to attract frogs, lizards, birds, and rodents which attract snakes. Well-watered, mulched areas (such as shrub beds and vegetable gardens) also offer cool shelter for snakes in summer, so be careful when walking or working in these areas.
3. Control Rodents: Snakes eat rodents, small reptiles, and birds. To minimize snakes around your house, keep bird feeders and nesting boxes away from the house, and work to reduce the rodent population.
4. Know Where to Find Snakes: On hot days especially, watch out for snakes in shady, cool areas – such as under your car or beneath piles of wood or debris. On cold days, expect to find snakes warming themselves in the sun, on a warm rock, or even a driveway or car engine. On perfect spring and fall days, keep an eye out most anywhere!
5. Understand Snake Temperament: Snakes are rather sluggish in early spring when they first come out of hibernation, and in late fall when they’re getting ready to sleep again. During these times, they may be too inactive to move out of the way or warn you before striking. During warmer months snakes are more active and fast-moving, so you may get more warning before they strike, but they can also be more energetic and aggressive.
6. Lift Carefully: When lifting something off the ground that could have a snake underneath, use a pole, and lift it toward you, so that the object will be between you and the snake. If you lift it away from you, the snake – if there is one – is more likely to run over your foot!