Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital’s Blog
Natural Snake Repellents Can Protect Your Pet
Despite their reputation, snakes contribute to our ecology in important ways like helping to control rampant, disease-carrying, crop-destroying rodent populations. Fear and inexperience drives our perceptions of snakes, however, this doesn’t mean that snakes aren’t deserving of our consideration and respect. With natural snake repellents, pet owners can subtly drive snakes away while protecting their pets from potentially dangerous interactions.
Avoid Causing Harm
Naphthalene, the main ingredient in both moth balls and commercial snake repellents, is not among natural snake repellents. It is known to be a highly effective irritant to snakes, which explains it’s popularity. But this toxic ingredient can cause harm (and even death) to other wildlife, pets, and children if ingested.
Sulfur powder is another known snake repellent, but it’s strong odor and skin irritant may cause concern for pet owners.
Easy, Safe, Affordable, Natural Repellents
People depend on natural snake repellents because the ingredients are cost-effective, easy to locate, and safe.
Certain plants, such as lemongrass and wormwood, deter snakes around your home. Plant in landscaping beds to keep snakes out of the yard. Mulch key areas with coral, sharp rock, holly leaves, pine cones, or eggshells to create a barrier between snakes and the house.
Pet owners can rely on vinegar to repel snakes near a water feature or pool. Simply spray areas that you want to discourage snakes from frequenting.
A great deal has been said about the impact essential oils can have on pets. Perhaps unsurprisingly, certain oils are highly effective natural snake repellents, but can create problems for pets if exposed. Only apply when your pet is indoors, and in areas they cannot easily access.
Natural Snake Repellents
Snakes dislike the scents of clove, cedarwood, and cinnamon. Mix these essential oils together and spray in spots they’re known to frequent.
Similarly, the combination of garlic and onion is highly repellent to snakes. Crush, mix with salt, and sprinkle near your boundary, or combine in oil form, and spray.
Lime, hot pepper, and peppermint are excellent natural snake repellents, as they detest the smell and the effects this combination has on their skin.
Other Great Options
In addition to the above-listed natural snake repellents, there are additional tactics to get rid of snakes.
- Keep chickens or pigs
- Keep the property free of structures like wood piles
- Enclose the bottoms of porches, decks, or sheds
- Keep garbage and compost neatly secured
- Seal any holes in fences, or cracks in walls
- Keep grass mowed
- Plant drought-resistant plants in the garden to reduce snake prey (worms, slugs, frogs, etc.)
- Install a perch for birds of prey, such as snake-loving hawks or owls
- Trim trees and shrubs with low-lying canopy
- Move bird feeders away from the house to limit rodents attracted to fallen seed
It remains a high priority to keep your pet safe around snakes. Remember, snakes can sneak up on you and your pets. A bite from a poisonous snake is a pet emergency. Please call us at (916) 624‑PETS (7387) with any questions or concerns.