How to Get Rid of Snakes

Published December 6, 2019
Common kingsnake slithering in grass

You can get rid of snakes when you learn how to use different methods to repel them. You can create a homemade repellent and take proactive steps to ensure snakes leave your home and yard alone.

1. Strong Odor of Garlic and Onions

Snakes are highly sensitive to smells. They smell using their long tongues and you can take advantage of this by using highly odorous repellents in areas where you've seen snakes or snake activity. As with many DIY homemade repellents, garlic and onions are the stars. Snakes, like other varmints don't like the smell of garlic or onion. You can make a simple repellent using garlic and onions.


  • 1 garlic head (bulb)
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 paring knife
  • Mesh strainer
  • Food processor or blender
  • 1 pair of disposable plastic gloves
  • 1 gallon of water
  • Garden sprayer


  1. Pull the garlic bulb apart. You can leave the sheathing intact. Place the garlic cloves in the food processor or blender. Use the pulse function several times until the garlic is a paste consistency.
  2. Remove the paper like skin from the onions.
  3. Cut onions into quarters.
  4. Place the onions in food processor or blender with the garlicc.
  5. Use the pulse function until the two ingredients are mixed.
  6. Remove the garlic/onion mixture and place in a gallon container.
  7. Fill with water.
  8. Let the mixture set for 24 hours.
  9. Using a mesh strainer stain the mixture into the garden sprayer well.
  10. Screw on the sprayer.
  11. Spray the garlic/onion mixture on your yard and garden.
  12. Repeat as necessary.
  13. You can substitute the garlic and onions with garlic powder and onion powder, using 1:1 ratio. The powders will dissolve in the water with no need for straining.

2. Spray Fish Emulsion

Many gardeners use fish emulsion for a fertilizer. The added benefit is a good feeding to your yard and garden while the repulsive smell drives snakes away. The downside is you, too, may be repelled due to the strong odor, but it may be enough to keep snakes away for a long time.

Man spraying lawn

Perimeter Barriers

If you don't wish to spray your garden and lawn with fish emulsion or a garlic/onion spray, you can create an invisible barrier. Simply spray your favorite concoction around the outer perimeter of your yard and garden. Snakes won't cross a repugnant smelling area and will turn away.

3. Snake Repellent Sprays Using Essential Oils

You can create an inexpensive and aromatic essential oil spray to repel snakes. Opt for essential oils that have a strong smell, such as cinnamon. You can mix other essential oils together for an even stronger smell. Douse a cotton ball with the oil(s) and place in areas you've seen snakes. You can place one or more saturated cotton balls in any openings you don't want snakes exploring.

4. Moth Crystals and Cat Litter

This combination is a great repellent since snakes detest the smell of moth balls. Instead of using moth balls, opt for moth crystals since these can be broadcast over the area with better coverage than moth balls.

Mix Moth Crystals With Cat Litter

You can mix a 1:1 ratio of moth ball crystals with cat litter. The cat litter will cling to the snake and irritate its underbelly as it moves over the area. Together, these two materials will drive the snake away. Be generous in how you use this mixture, since you want ample coverage of the snake's favorite spots.

5. Landscape With Snake Repelling Plants

You can use aromatic herbs as living barriers for snakes. Any plant with a strong smell can repel snakes. Plant garlic and onions in areas snakes like to live. If you've ever smelled marigolds, you know the scent isn't pleasant, snakes feel the same way. Beautify your yard with a marigold border, along with lemon grass and aromatic herbs, such as rosemary, lemon balm, mint, and lavender.

6. Snake Fence for Protection

In some regions, snakes are a very real health concern, such as rattlesnakes. A snake fence is a necessity in these areas to protect your family and pets from poisonous snakes. You want to use a wire mesh fencing that has small openings. The best test for snake proof fencing is to use a pencil to see if it will go through the mesh openings. If it won't, then you have the right size of wire to prevent baby snakes from entering your yard.

Fine wire mesh fencing

7. Cleanup Around Your Yard

Snakes come into your yard in search of rodents to eat. If you have stacks of wood, debris and even an open compost pile, rodents will quickly move in and snakes will soon follow. The expression, a snake in the grass, says it all. Tall grass and overgrown areas are perfect hideouts for snakes. Abandoned holes in the ground are calling cards for snake tenants. Clean these areas and your snakes won't find food options.

8. Cracks, Crannies and Crevices

Snakes look for a cool dark place to nest and they love any type of opening. This can be a displaced brick that opens into a basement, a drainpipe that doesn't have a screen shield, or a shed door that is no longer a snug fit when closed. These are all fixable and a great way to ensure no snakes take up residence.

9. Steel Wool and Silicon Caulking

You can instantly seal any holes or other openings that a snake or rodent may like to investigate. All you need are some non-detergent steel wool pads. Stuff the pad(s) into the opening and seal using silicon caulking around the edges of the steel wool so it can't be dislodged. Snakes and rodents are repelled by the rough prickly sensation they get when touching the steel wool.

Steel wire wool

10. Snake Traps

There are several snake traps on the market. However, these aren't humane options since the snake gets trapped by the highly sticky substance and is unable to move, causing it a long and torturous death. There are far better ways to redirect the snake away from your yard and home.

Finding Ways to Get Rid of Snakes

When you explore the many ways to get rid of snakes, you'll realize the snake's sense of smell is your best defense. You can take quick action to repel snakes from the areas in your yard and home.

How to Get Rid of Snakes