Do Natural Snake Repellents Work? - How to Repel these Pests!

When you live in snake country, a normal thought is to wonder just how to repel snakes from your yard. Naturalists tell us that these animals are good, but even though they might like them, here are some easy ways to convince these animals to move on.

snake on the grass

Do you know that most snakes are harmless to humans? Did you realize that your mower is an effective pest repellent? Can you identify venomous serpents?

Snakes are Good, Not Bad

The first point to understand about seeing snakes in your yard is that it’s positive, because it indicates that your property exhibits a healthy ecosystem, so says David Mizejewski, a National Wildlife Federation naturalist, in his blog entitled Eliminating Snakes in Your Yard.

We have a long history of hating these animals, especially those of us who live on the North American continent, when, in fact, most of these animals are perfectly harmless to humans. Consequently, innocent serpents often meet an untimely death from shovel-wielding humans.

Snakes eat a number of animals considered as pests to humans, including lizards, slugs, snails, voles, mice, and rats, and the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife claims that in order to take out these unwanted pests, your best approach is to leave them alone.

Your biggest concern is with venomous snakes, but remember that of the over 3,000 species of serpents worldwide, 600 species are poisonous, and of those, only 200 are considered lethal. This state-by-state list of venomous animals can help you identify the poisonous ones.

Do Natural Snake Repellants Work?

Vast arrays of snake repellant concoctions are sold, promising to keep these animals away from your yard and home, but they just don’t work. Likewise, filling your home, vehicles, or your yard with mothballs doesn’t repel the pests, but the smell might repel friends and neighbors.

Most snake repellents use the sense of smell as their method of deflecting these pests, but the animal smells with its tongue, which is only effective if the tongue is outside of the animal’s mouth at the precise moment it’s near the repellent, a fact that often doesn’t happen.

Instead of wasting your money on ineffective repellents, a better idea is to enhance a common trait inherent in the natural world—the predator/prey phenomenon, in which serpents hide from animals that hunt them, such as large carnivores.

Natural Ways for Repelling Snakes

Think about it for a second and you’ll realize that the crawling nature of these animals means they are only spotted by predators if they are on bare ground or in short grass, so an easy solution to keeping them out of your yard is to simply keep all of your grass mowed.

Snakes seek tall vegetation, locations filled with trash, and broken-down buildings that nobody enters as their favorite haunts. Mow tall grass, remove refuse, and tear down old buildings and you reduce the comfort level of visiting cobras, causing them to move on.

Building a snake fence out of ¼-inch (6 mm) mesh galvanized hardware cloth, which is 30 inches (75 cm) high, buried 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 cm) in the ground, and tilted 30 degrees toward the area containing the serpents, is another pest blocking idea.

Such a fence must receive a regular inspection by you to ensure that holes don’t develop underneath it, that debris doesn’t get blown into it, and to confirm that grass and weeds are mowed away from either side of the fence.

How to Trap Snakes as a Last Resort

snake weaving through bushes

When mowing, cleaning up garbage and debris, eliminating old buildings, or building a snake fence fails to eradicate a serpent issue, trapping is your last resort. The best type of serpent trap is one which allows you to set the serpent free and unharmed.

The humane Cahaba Snake Trap contains a removable glue board placed into a dark box with a hinged lid, which is placed along walls where serpents travel and then checked once or twice a day in order to save the serpents before they die, due to a lack of moisture.

cahaba trap

Snakes caught in this type of humane glue trap are taken to a natural area outside your yard and released by pouring or spraying vegetable oil on the glue board, which allows the animal to wriggle free, unharmed.

See exactly how this humane glue trap for these animals work by viewing this YouTube video of a news report showing the trap in action and an interview of the Cahaba Snake Trap’s inventor, Buddy Hawkins.


Even though naturalists say that spotting these animals on your property is good, the following steps are methods of how to repel snakes from your yard:

  • Keep your yard mowed, remove refuse, and tear down old buildings;
  • Build a fence out of partially-buried hardware cloth; and
  • Use a humane Cahaba Snake Trap and release trapped animals by pouring or spraying vegetable oil on the trap’s glue board.
cahaba trap

If you see a snake traveling through your yard, leave it alone, and it will be on its way. Please respond with a message if you have any questions.

Or you can visit this page to learn more about how to get rid of snakes in your home or yard: