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Last Updated on April 24, 2020 by Diane Hoffmaster
If you have pets and small children, you may be wondering how to keep snakes out of your yard naturally to help keep them safe. I know this is a huge concern for us here in Georgia. A few years ago, my husband and I found two rather large copperheads in our yard. Needless to say, there was a lot of commotion over this fact since they are poisonous. From snake traps to snake repellents, what works and what doesn't to repel snakes from your yard and garden?
Kids and Poisonous Snakes Don't Mix
I am a huge nature lover but I can't have poisonous snakes in my yard. Unfortunately, we had to kill both copperheads which was very upsetting to all of us. What I really want to do is to keep snakes away before they even cross my property line! If you are concerned about snakes in the yard, here are a few tips on how to keep them out!
How to Keep Snakes Out of Your Yard
There are many different methods to keep snakes away. Some require that you buy products, others will require you to do some physical labor outside. But, with a little bit of work, you will reduce your chances of a snake bite while strolling through your backyard.
Please remember, however, that not all snakes are 'bad'. You really need to get a snake identification guide so you can properly identify poisonous snakes that may be a threat. Some species, like rat snakes, are GOOD to have in your yard because they actually eat poisonous snakes, which helps keep you safe!
There are many snake repellents on the market today. There are mixed reviews online about whether or not they actually work. Some you will not want to put anywhere near areas that your pets and children have access to. If you are looking for something to keep snakes away from a small area, these may help. Here are a few options:
Solar Powered Pest Repellent:
This Solar Powered Pest Repellent doesn't actually get rid of the snake itself. It is designed to repel small mammals like moles, chipmunks, mice, etc.
In theory, if you get rid of the food source, the snakes will leave for better hunting grounds. One of the best ways to repel snakes from your yard is to remove their food source. Then, they will leave on their own!
Snake Repellent Granules:
These Snake Repellent Granules can be sprinkled in the yard to help keep snakes away. The ones I linked to are supposed to be all natural and safe for pets and children. They contain sulfur granules and essential oils. If you have kids and pets, please use only natural ways to keep snakes away.
DIY Snake Repellent:
If you want to try some DIY snake repellent, try ammonia. Supposedly snakes hate the smell. Soak rags in ammonia and place them in unsealed plastic bags. Leave the plastic bags where you usually see the snakes. Hopefully, they won't come back!
There are plenty of studies that say ammonia snake repellent and using mothballs to get rid of snakes are just old wives tales. But, they are cheap to try if think they may help.
Keep Snakes away from Home and Yard with HAIR!
Snakes are just as afraid of you as you are to them. Honestly...they really are! Let them know humans live nearby by leaving your hair around areas they like to hang out. Next time you get your hair cut, ask for the trimmings. Spread them around your wood pile.
Take the hair from your brush and stick it near the bushes around your front door. You can do this with pet fur, too. This is a great way to keep snakes out of the garden since you don't want to put snake repellents around your food growing areas.
Know Where Snakes Live and Kick Them Out!
Snakes love places that they can hide. Remove clutter from your yard to reduce places where they like to hang out. Store your wood pile off the ground in a firewood holder so they can't live in it. Remove unneeded piles of rocks, lumber, or other scrap material in your yard. Patch holes in sheds and trim bushes, especially the lower branches. Mow your grass regularly to make it less appealing for snakes.
The best way to keep snakes away from your yard is to not give them places to hide. Your spring yard care routine should include trimming, tossing out trash, and generally straightening up the yard to remove places where snakes like to hide.
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Put up snake proof fencing
Yes, there really is such a thing as snake proof fencing. There are several ways to go about this. You can buy small mesh sheets and nail them to existing wood fences. Or, look for local fence companies that can help if you want to install this type of fence around your entire yard.
Snake fencing is really a last ditch effort, however, to keep snakes out of the yard. It is really difficult to keep those tricky buggers out of your space! A snake fence must have the following characteristics if it is going to be an effective snake deterrent:
- It must completely surround the entire perimeter of the property
- Must be completely flush with the ground. Or, even better, actually go INTO the ground, in all areas.
- Needs to be solid, or with a mesh of less than a quarter inch. Solid is better. Baby snakes are REALLY small.
- It needs to be unclimbeable - either a slick surface, or sloped outward, perhaps at 30 degrees.
Knowing how to keep snakes out of your yard in theory is one thing. Having it actually work is another. And Mother Nature will almost always find a way to win. Don't assume that just because you put up a snake proof fence that there are absolutely no snakes in the yard.
Plants That Repel Snakes
I bet you have heard all sorts of things when it comes to plants that snakes don't like. Does lemongrass repel snakes? Do marigolds keep snakes away? Well, they aren't going to magically get rid of your problem overnight.
Keeping snakes out of your yard needs to be approached from several angles. Plants that snakes don't like is just a small piece of the puzzle. But, if you have a green thumb, plant a few of these things to help keep snakes away:
- Marigolds: These are very common in most nurseries and may help keep snakes away, as well as other pests.
- The Mother-in-law’s tongue (Variegated snake plant ) This has very sharp leaves that snakes don't like.
- Lemon Grass: This is a great culinary plant as well as one that repels snakes and mosquitoes. Growing Lemongrass is very easy! It also provides natural mosquito protection which is an added benefit.
- Sarpagandha: Also called Indian Snakeroot and Insanity herb, this plant is known for its ability to repel away snakes.
- Garlic is a natural repellent against snakes and tasty to eat. You may want to consider growing some!
If you are looking for ways to keep snakes away from a small area, these plants may help. No plants have been scientifically proven to be snake repellents. However, there are many people who swear by these snake repelling plants in their own yards. If you are wondering how to keep snakes out of the garden, plant a few snake repelling plants there!
Use Snake Traps
Sometimes, knowing how to keep snakes out of your yard isn't enough. These slithery little reptiles don't read signs and they really don't care about your snake phobia. If you find a snake in your yard consider putting down a humane snake trap. Before setting up snake traps, contact your local animal control officer or state wildlife agency. You want to make sure that the procedure is done safely and legally.
Please do not put down snake traps that are basically glue on a piece of cardboard. There is no reason to indiscriminately kill whatever happens to walk or slither across it. Humane snake traps will catch the snake live and it can be relocated to a less populated area. Knowing how to keep snakes out of your yard is important for safety but do it as humanely as possible.
How to Identify Poisonous Snakes
Knowing how to keep snakes out of your yard will give you greater peace of mind when your children and pets are outside playing. Remember, however, that not all snakes are BAD. We have rat snakes in our yard. They actually eat small copperheads so I am happy to have them here.
Know which snakes are poisonous and which aren't by checking out the Wildlife Land Trust. Have any other tips on how to keep snakes away? Like this post on how to keep snakes out of your yard? Check out these similar articles!
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.