In general, snakes get a bad rap. These slithering reptiles are an important part of their ecosystems, as they help keep other pests at bay. In addition, snakes don’t start their mornings thinking, “It sure would be fun to creep out some humans today.” In fact, they’re often likely to hide if they sense you coming.
That being said, if you’re like most people, you probably prefer that your yard and garden be free of snakes. And we honestly can’t say we blame you. Especially if you live in an area of the country in which venomous snakes are common. So take a look at the following five tips for keeping snakes off your property.
1. Keep your yard clear of clutter
Snakes like clutter for a couple of reasons. First, it gives them a good spot to hide from predators. Second, snakes are reptiles, which means they need warmth to survive. Clutter-like compost piles or stacks of wood can make a nice, cozy den that protects snakes from the elements. Look for alternatives that are less attractive to snakes.
2. Keep your yard mowed, your garden weeded, and your shrubs trimmed
Snakes like tall grass. It’s where their prey lives. It provides the perfect cover for hunting and also keeps them protected from predators. Keep your grass trimmed, and snakes will be more likely to look for areas in which they’re not as exposed.
Mice love tall grass, overgrown shrubbery, overgrown plants, and garden areas with many covers. Since mice love these areas, you’re going to find snakes there.
Weeding can be hard work and time-consuming, but it keeps the snakes (and rodents) away.
3. Learn about the snakes in your region
Reading up on the snakes that are local to your region gives you a better idea of what their habitat is. Once you understand what conditions create the ideal environment for different snake species, you can purge your yard of the elements that make it a snake haven.
Additionally, learning about the snakes in your area gives you a better idea of how concerned you need to be with the reptiles in your yard. Vipers, which are very common in many Kenya, are venomous and do bite people. You definitely want to take steps to prevent these from setting up camp in your yard. On the other hand, Black Centipede Eater is generally considered to be beneficial.
4. Secure the perimeter of your home
One of the main issues with having snakes in your yard is that they can find their way into your house. Nobody wants that.
To keep snakes out of your home, you’ll want to inspect the perimeter of your house — and other freestanding buildings like garages or sheds — regularly to make sure there aren’t any cracks or holes snakes could slither through. Be sure to check that basement windows are properly closed, and consider covering any openings or vents with a fine mesh (refer to your manufacturer’s instructions or call a qualified professional to do so, though). If you do have cracks and holes, you’ll want to patch those as soon as you can.
5. Keep feed tightly enclosed
Again with the rodents. Where you attract rodents, you’ll attract snakes. And leaving food open out here would result in the neighborhood raccoons having a feast anyway right outside the chicken coop. Keep all feed, pet food, chicken, rabbit, horse, goat, whatever you’ve got going on… in a tightly lidded container. We use metal trashcans with tight-fitting lids to store our feed in.
Just whatever you use, make sure the lid fits well, and try not to sprinkle too much feed all over the ground if your chickens aren’t going to eat it. Though ours like to get in the bowl and scratch it out all over the ground anyway….
If you keep the rodents out, you won’t have near the problem with snakes. This isn’t to say that they won’t come around, they will, but fewer rodents equal less snake activity.
6. Smoke them out
Snakes have an elevated sense of smell and are ultra-sensitive to odors and fumes. One smell they particularly dislike is smoke. One remedy is to dig a fire pit and let it smoke for several days – covering the embers with moss and leaves can give you the best effect.
7. Utilize natural products
Several natural products work well as snake repellents. Some of the more common ones include:
- Naphthalene: Naphthalene is a common ingredient found in many commercial snake repellent products. It is one of the most common snake repellents. If you don’t want to spend money on a commercial product, naphthalene is also the main ingredient found in mothballs. The smell of naphthalene irritates snakes without harming them. Place mothballs in holes, cracks, crevices, or any other areas around your property where snakes may be a problem. One caveat to using mothballs is they can be toxic and fatal to children or pets if they are ingested so use caution or avoid using them if you have pets or children in your home.
- Sulfur: Powdered sulfur is a great option to repel snakes. Place powdered sulfur around your home and property and once snakes slither across it, it irritates their skin so they won’t return. Sulfur does give off a strong odor so consider wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth when applying it.
- Clove & Cinnamon Oil: Clove and cinnamon oil are effective snake repellents. These should be mixed in a spray bottle and sprayed directly on snakes for maximum effect. Use caution as snakes will often run in the opposite direction of the spray. This mixture can also be used in a diffuser indoors as a fumigant, as well
- Garlic & Onions: The sulfonic acid in garlic and onions (the same chemical that makes us cry when we chop onions) repels snakes. Mix these with rock salt and sprinkle them around your home and yard for effectiveness. You can also infuse garlic into any essential oil and use it to fumigate rafters, basements, and other hard-to-reach places.
- Ammonia: Snakes dislike ammonia’s odor, so one option is to spray it around any affected areas. Another option is to soak a rag in ammonia and place it in an unsealed bag near any areas inhabited by snakes to deter them away.
- Vinegar: Vinegar is effective at repelling snakes near bodies of water including swimming pools. Pour white vinegar around the perimeter of any body of water for a natural snake repellent.
- Lime: Create a mixture of snake repellent lime and hot pepper or peppermint and pour it around the perimeter of your home or property. Snakes don’t like the smell of the mixture and the fumes are also itchy on their skin.
8. Call a snake control professional
While there are certainly methods for capturing snakes, leave it up to the professionals.
Although snakes aren’t evil creatures out to make our lives miserable, they do make many homeowners uncomfortable. Practicing the above preventative measures will allow you to keep snakes out of your yard but in a humane way. Contact +254737898884, +254759292158, +254789231328, +254742448334, or drop an email to to talk to a team of experts.
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