Common Attempted Repellents:
Mothball Flakes - The most commonly sold snake repellent product.
Sulfur - Another commonly sold repellent, sometimes mixed with mothball flakes.
Predator Urine - Such as coyote urine, bobcat urine. Sold in liquid, granule form.
Blend of All-Natural Ingredients - Hot pepper, sulfur, peppermint, garlic, etc.
Ultrasonic Sound Emitters - Send out high-frequency signals meant to scare anything.
In my 15 years as a snake removal specialist, I have seen it all. I have been to customer's homes in which they've dumped a whole five-pound box of "Snake Away" (mothball flakes + sulfur) down a gap with a few snakes - and the snakes just kept slithering in and out for months - they didn't care. I have seen sound devices, ground vibrators, sprays, powders, granules, ropes, fences, plants, and magic tonics of all kinds. All of my customers can attest, absolutely none of them affected snake behavior in the slightest. No company that sells these products will be able to provide any real definitive proof that they are effective. Snake repellents are a trick, meant to steal your money. The makers of snake repellents market the same garbage for every possible type of animal. "Snake Repel" - "Liquid Squirrel Removal" - "Raccoon Spray" - "Rat B-Gone Flakes", etc(again, usually mothballs + other gimmick ingredient).
Something that actually works: how to build and install a Snake Fence
Types of pets or animals that keep snakes away Animals that Kill Snakes
Oftentimes, people who are afraid of snakes see a transient one passing through the property or come out of hiding, freak out, buy a repellent and apply it, and then assume it's working when they don't see the snake again, even though that snake was simply a rare and temporary sighting anyway. My tiger whistle also works great at keeping away tigers.
Go ahead and do an internet search for snake repellent, and you'll see all of the brands shown below, and many more. If you search for a snake repellent review, you'll find plenty of glowing testimonials*. You can even find snake repellent granules for sale at Home Depot or Lowe's or other reputable hardware stores. Go ahead and buy them if you wish, but they are a waste of time, and worse, some are harmful to the environment or even your health.
Let’s face the facts: If you live on the planet Earth, in a place that has a season above forty degrees Fahrenheit, you will encounter snakes. This fact is true about any civilization, rural or urban, unless on a completely isolated island somewhere in the middle of the ocean. (Even then, there is a good chance you’ll encounter a snake.) So, before you place a giant stone fence around your property, consider the fact that a passing snake is probably not an issue. If, however, you home seems to be a communal site for the serpents, you might want to consider taking action.
You’ve probably searched high and low for a snake repellent. There are a variety of chemical and home remedy repellents out there. Mothballs are the most common solution it seems for almost any pest problem. The reality is that mothballs are ineffective against most home invaders, even those with sensitive smellers, snakes included. The real danger lies in children and pets coming in contact with the toxic carcinogen (because that’s what mothballs are!) and becoming sick. The active ingredient in mothballs is known to cause liver and kidney damage.
Pig manure is another common snake repellent that is ineffective. Snakes may fear pigs, but just because an area smells like a pig doesn’t mean a pig is around. Snakes have eyes and the ability to hear as well, so if they don’t see a pig, they are likely to wiggle right through the manure and into your yard—and who wants a yard lined with pig dung? Some people are under the impression that snakes can’t hear. This is untrue. Just because no external ears are present does not mean the snake is oblivious to sound. Special membranes handle sound much like our ears do, so a snake will listen for a predator just as much as a human will. Snakes are more sensitive to vibrations than sounds, so if a snake smells a pig but doesn’t hear, see or feel one, then the reptile will be unconcerned.
Some repellents boast natural ingredients such as cinnamon, mint, or hot pepper additives. The claim to fame of these repellents is that a snake will be leery of crawling over an area containing the liquid or spray for fear of burning its skin. Some people recommend coarse rope lengths spread along your property for the same reason. In reality, the outer surface of a snake’s skin is made of hardened scales. Even snakes with relatively smooth skin have a protective barrier. How else would these legless buggers slither over rocks, logs, and sharp debris?
Of all the snake repellents out there, electric repellents are the strangest. Ultrasonic pulses, emitted by a high-tech device hidden somewhere in your yard, are advertised as being effective against snakes. By and large, ultrasonic pulses do not work against any animal, let alone snakes. Nothing occurring naturally in nature mimics the ultrasonic pulse, so it is not a stimulus the snakes respond to. If you are trying that sincerely to rid your home of snakes, you may want to consider the help of a professional. Some homes and yards are riddled with snake populations, and unless a homeowner knows why, there will be little that can be done to prevent the issue from worsening.
Instead of spending money on over-the-top snake repellents, spend your time researching the type of snake problem you are experiencing. By knowing what type of snake you are dealing with, you will have a better chance at eliminating them than if you purchased all the snake repellents in the world.
You basically have four options for getting rid of your snake(s). First, you can call a professional wildlife expert from my below directory. This person can catch and remove the snake(s) and take other actions necessary to solve the snake problem. Second, you can purchase a snake trap if you wish to catch the snake yourself. Third, you can modify your land and seal up your house to help keep snakes away and out of the house. Fourth, you can try a snake repellent if you didn't believe any of the above.
Option 1 - HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
Option 2 - BUY A SNAKE TRAP
You can always just wait to see if the snake moves on by itself. However, if you simply must
buy something, I do recommend a trap, which at least works, rather than a garbage repellent. Especially if
a snake is in the house, garage, basement, the trap has a near 100% success rate. Outside, there's a good
chance it'll never catch the snake, because the snake has moved on. However, I have had houses with many
snakes on the property, and caught up to 7 snakes outside at one house in a month, using this snake trap. I have reviewed and field tested several snake trap designs, and
the one featured on this website is the most durable and effective.
It is the highest quality snake trap available on the market. You
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Snake musk spray to repel snakes - There is such a thing as kingsnake musk to repel snakes. However, looking for it at all with the intent to purchase will do you no good. Kingsnake musk and mongoose urine, the other somewhat effective snake repellent, are not available to the average homeowner. You must have a wildlife license to purchase those substances. It would be wonderful if a chemical existed that would keep snakes away from your property. Even the two items that are not purchasable have mixed results. If you live in an area where there are snakes, there is nothing you can do to keep them away completely. You could install a fancy fence, but it would be very expensive in order to meet all the criteria to keep snakes from wiggling over or under. The best defense for your property is to adapt to what snakes don’t like. Snakes want to be able to regulate their temperatures; they want to be hidden from prey and predators; they want a safe place to sleep. In order for your yard to eliminate these variables, you need to think like a snake. What is the one thing a snake would use to get from one area of the property to another? The grass. Keeping your lawn mowed will prevent snakes from venturing too far out. Short grass provides them with nothing that is appealing.
Rope snake deterrent - The theory behind using rope as a snake deterrent has to do with the assumption that snakes do not want to crawl over scratchy materials if they don’t have to. Unfortunately for the cowboys who created the myth and for the homeowners who use it today, there is nothing about rope that wards off snakes. Snakes are wild animals; they live in all areas of the world and can move across all terrains. A rope is not enough of a deterrent. If you want to keep snakes away completely, the only thing you can do is to install a perimeter fence. Not only will the fence have to be smooth to prevent climbing, it will have to extend into the ground to prevent gaps and cracks that snakes will use to enter. Aside from this extreme step, keeping your yard free of debris and thick vegetation will be the best way to prevent an undue number of snakes from crossing your path. You will never be rid of the reptiles all together, but proper lawn care will significantly reduce your encounters. What scares snakes away? There is no effective product, like a vibrating noise machine that will scare away a snake, but some animals that prey on snakes do a good job. Read about enemies that snakes are afraid of here. As stated, you can't intimidate or frighten snakes off with any scent, from human urine to pig poop to any other smell or device, but you can definitely catch and remove snakes.
You can also read about Do mothballs help repel snakes? and Does sulfur or lime keep snakes away?
*Customer Testimonial - Snake catcher David is the handsomest, most charming man I have ever met, and he smells like spring lilacs. His smile has the shimmer of the Aegean Sea at dawn. This review is real, and not made up, just like all internet reviews posted online. Sincerely, Really McRealperson.
You can also visit Keep Snakes Out of Your House or Yard for more info on that subject.