13 Home Remedies for How to Get Rid of Snakes

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get rid of snakes

Imagine yourself taking a tour of your backyard on a bright sunny morning only to be greeted by a snake slithering across your way. Most people quite naturally have a deep-seated fear of these animals because the different types of snakes in America can and often do bite with sometimes fatal venom. Before you start running for the hills, consider this: snakes prefer living in conditions that are hospitable to them such as dark, humid places with lots of insects and rodents. [1] To stop snakes from entering your property, try our home remedies to get rid of snakes. They are simple and natural means to keep snakes away for good.

home remedies to get rid of snakesDifferent Types of Snakes in America

A snake is a legless reptile that is entirely covered with scales. The species range in size from being as small as 4.1 inches to as huge as 6.95 meters. Snakes can live in a variety of habitats. You may find them living in trees or even in water. Most of them dwell on land and can also burrow. All snakes are carnivorous and prey on other living beings, but this does not mean that all of them are poisonous.

Snakes usually eat birds, rodents, frogs and other reptiles. They have a forked tongue that helps them pick up a scent and target the prey. Once they capture their prey, they hold it between their rear-facing teeth to prevent it from escaping. Snakes have an ability to eat an organism thrice their size because their jaws can completely detach from each other. [2]

Most species of snakes are not aggressive but most of them are notorious for attacking humans. Venous snakes can not only hurt their prey with teeth but can also inject their poison or venom through fangs into the body, killing the prey in a matter of minutes.

Almost 3000 species of snakes have been identified all across the world. [3] In America, both friendly and dangerous snakes can be found. Depending on the region, the habit and behaviors of these snakes may vary. Some of them are shy and rarely come out of their hiding place while others live within human settlements and often have encounters with people.

Following are some of the most common types of snakes you can come across in America:

  1. Kingsnakes

home remedies for kingsnakesCommonly found in North America, this type of snakes consists of smooth, shiny scales. They are further subdivided into many categories including California kingsnake and milk snakes. They are usually non-poisonous and named so because they prey on their own species. These snakes are slender and usually, range from 0.6 to 108 meters in size.

  1. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

home remedies for rattle snakesThis particular type of snakes is one of the most dangerous ones and has a high fatality rate of about 10 to 20 percent. This predator usually hunts rabbits but can attack humans upon encountering them. The venom of Eastern Diamondback is said to be so poisonous that it immediately induces hemorrhaging. The venom further contains some specific peptides that can trigger cardiac problems, eventually leading to fatality.

  1. Coral Snakes

home remedies for coral snakesCoral snakes are highly venomous and can cause neurotoxicity in humans. Most commonly occurring in North America, these snakes are bright in color and have red and black stripes on their bodies. These snakes are unable to inject their venom in one go and may require some time to fully release it. If you are unfortunate enough to be bitten by one of these species, hospitalization is recommended. Symptoms usually take a whole day to fully manifest, but the progression is quite rapid. While the natural instinct would be to avoid any snake with such bright coloring, milk snakes, also common in the US, have very similar coloring yet are non-venomous. For identification, remember the rhyme ‘black on yellow will kill a fellow, black on red, venom they lack’.

  1. Copperhead Snakes

home remedies for copperhead snakeA bite of cottonmouth snake can be harmful to humans. This species is not usually aggressive and rarely bites. However, when it feels threatened, this kind of snake follows a “freeze” strategy and uses the camouflage technique to hide in the surrounding. This makes it easier for you to step on it and provoke it to bite you. Copperhead snakes are unique in a way that they do not inject venom into your body during their defensive strikes. However, you may get injured by the attack and require hospitalization.

5.  Garter Snakes

home remedies for garter snakes

The garter snake is one of the most common snakes found in North America and has a variety of colorings and markings but is typically identified by its long thin stripe down the back. The typically grow only to a few feet and are non-venomous to humans.

Because Garter snakes live in colder states, they hibernate in winter by searching out nooks and crannies and will often be found hibernating in warmer outbuildings and barns, often in large numbers for warmth.

How to Get Rid of Snakes

  1. Clove Oil & Cinnamon Oil

One of the easiest home remedies to get rid of snakes is to use a snake repellent. You don’t need to spend lots of money to buy an effective repellent when you can make one on your own. Using clove oil and cinnamon oil can work as an effective repellent for all types of snakes. [4]

Wildlife Service has rightly reported how spraying cinnamon oil or clove oil can make the snake immediately vacate your home or backyard. While you use this home remedy, be sure to spray the repellent directly on the snake. This is because the snake generally tends to slide in the opposite direction as the repellent is sprayed on it. So, spraying it on the snake from behind can make it move in your direction and attack you.

Clove oil and cinnamon oil can also be used as a fumigator. Pour pure oil on a rag and blast with heated air from a paint stripper gun to volatize the oils.

  1. Powdered Sulphur

Powdered sulfur can be considered among the non-toxic home remedies to get rid of snakes. [5] However, it is recommended to wear a mask in order to cover your mouth and nose properly. This is not because sulfur is toxic, but because it smells really bad.

What is the advantage of using sulfur powder? You can sprinkle this powder just about anywhere. This includes the whole backyard and even the little cracks of your home where you normally cannot reach.

Addition of mothballs in sulfur powder is a great way to enhance the effectiveness of this home remedy. However, these balls are quite toxic and may induce diarrhea or other sicknesses. Hence, avoid using mothballs if you have children or pets as they can prove fatal if swallowed.

  1. Try Gardening

If you love gardening, we might have some good news for you – gardening is a snake home remedy. A question that might be popping in your minds about now would be that how exactly gardening can prevent snake invasions. The logic is pretty simple.

Gardening is in your own control and you can make it less attractive to these species. This will make your place a lot less like a perfect habitat for snake and hence, will prevent the snake from residing in your garden permanently.

Now the next question is what can you do to make your garden less attractive? Keep the grass shorter and be sure that no debris keeps lying around in your backyard. You can even get your backyard secured by constructing mesh fence around the house, making sure that it is three feet in height and four feet in depth.

Instead of keeping your backyard grassy, consider converting it into a graveled paradise. Snakes do not like sharp gravel. [6]

  1. Get Rid of Food Supply

Snakes like to dwell in places where there is a plentiful supply of food.  So, getting rid of their food supply can be considered among effective home remedies to get rid of snakes.

Insects and rodents are snake food favorites. Use our home remedies to get rid of mice or rats or moles. Crickets are the staple food for smaller snakes but again we can recommend our remedies to get rid of crickets.

  1. Use Sharp Materials

If there is a particular area which you want to secure from snake invasion, using sharp materials can help get rid of snakes.

There are a variety of things that you can use to limit snakes from entering your garden. These can include pine cones, holly leaves, egg shells, rock chips and all other uncomfortable things which will make it difficult for the snake to slither over.

  1. Remove Clutter

Keeping your backyard free of any kind of clutter is another obvious snake control method. Snakes are ambush predators which means that they prefer to attack from dark, covered places. [8] Clutter is an open invitation to snakes, giving them a perfect hiding spot.

So, take efforts to remove any clutter including wood chip mulch, straw mulch, piles of leaves and stacks of firewood to leave no place where a snake may feel comfortable to hide.

  1. Repair all Holes

If you are worried that your backyard is attracting snakes, find all the holes and cracks in your property and repair them at once. Carefully check your home, especially screen doors and garage to find holes and patch them up. Remember that size of holes does not matter as the smallest of them can be sufficient to let a snake squeeze through.

Make sure air ventilation ducts are secure, piping and guttering are in good repair, and access to any area under the house is totally restricted.

Remember that size of holes does not matter as the smallest of them can be sufficient to let a snake squeeze through.

  1. Put up a Fence

Putting a fence around your house can be considered among easiest home remedies to get rid of snakes. The effective of snake proofing property in this case entirely depends upon the kind of snakes commonly found in your neighborhood and how commonly do they travel.

Different kinds of specialized fencing that have proven to keep snakes out of settlements. [9] Three types of snake-proof fences normally exist and you are welcome to choose from them according to your suitability. These types include: steel mesh, plastic sheeting, and catch net fence.

While you are constructing a fence around your house, remember to make it flush to the ground, angled outwards. This will prevent snakes to slide under or above the fence. Also put up similar barriers to around any building that is elevated above the normal ground level. This is to ensure that the snakes do not hide underneath them.

  1. Garlic or Onion

Garlic is perhaps the simplest snake repellent to make. Snakes cannot stand the sulfenic acid in onions and garlic. It is the same sulfenic which makes humans cry and to the snakes heightened sense of smell/taste, garlic and onions are unbearable.

Mixing garlic and rock salt together gives a mixture that can be sprinkled liberally around the properties making a steady perimeter which the snake will not cross.

Garlic oil can be used to make a homemade spray which can be used to ‘fumigate’ rafters, basements and other hard to reach places, making the environment unpleasant for the snake to make a home.

  1. Use Traps

Catching a snake can be dangerous. So, you should consider laying traps for it instead. Try setting up mechanical traps in your basement, garden or any other area where you think the snake is hiding. You can also use glue traps for this purpose.

Just make sure not to use glue traps in the outdoor environment as it can trap other wildlife as well.

11. Smoke them out

Snakes hate smoke. Death from bushfires is a constant natural threat that snakes are keen to avoid. Dig a fire pit and allow it to belch smoke for several days. Hot embers covered in moss and leaves will give you the desired effect.

12. Own a predator

Snakes have many natural predators such as mongooses, large birds, pigs, foxes, and raccoons. If you are thinking about getting rid of your raccoon or fox problem, be aware that they may be keeping your snakes at bay. The enemy of your enemy is your friend as they say.

Guinea Hens and turkeys will also happily peck away at small snakes and scorpions that cross your yard and many people keep these birds for this reason. So indeed will pigs and cats to a degree but you may value your cat’s life higher than that of your chicken. For sure, a larger snake can kill your chicken, pig or cat if provoked, but a snake will naturally keep a wide berth around these animals, avoiding conflict and keeping the snakes away.

13. Fox pee

A useful tip for keeping any animal at bay is to use the scent of their most feared predator or rival. Cat deterrents strategies use lion dung and in the same logic, fox pee acts as a great snake deterrent. Many wildlife and estate managers swear by it. Be warned,  the foxes have to be indigenous to the area that you live for the snake to realize that there may be a threat.

Do’s

  • Take care while walking in grassy areas
  • Remove any unnecessary shrubs and tall trees as they are hideouts for snakes
  • Seal your house and secure it from every corner to prevent snakes from entering in

Don’ts

  • Upon encountering a snake, do not try to capture it on your own. Call professionals for help. [10]
  • Avoid using chemical repellents as they can be dangerous for you as well as other plants. [11]
  • Don’t use mothballs as they are highly dangerous and among the least effective home remedies to get rid of snakes. Your pet could easily be the first casualty [12].

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