The best homemade snake repellents to use in your house and yard

snake in the water
There are many homemade snake repellants out there that have been proven to work. In addition, most recipes and repellent ideas can be made with ingredients readily available around the home, like garlic, essential oils, or white vinegar.

Snakes are the legless, scaly reptiles slithering into your yard, garden, and home. Venomous snakes can cause life-threatening bites, and it’s only natural when you see one; you run the other way.

However, some harmless or non-venomous snakes are great for pest control as they keep the rodent population under control.

A single snake can eat three to four mice at one time and can eat voles, insects, fish, and moles. Even with that said, most homeowners don’t want them slithering around their property.

Fortunately, some excellent homemade natural snake repellents are available in your yard, garden, and house. Let’s dive in!

Do snake repellents work?

There are many homemade snake repellants out there that have been proven to work.

In addition, most recipes and repellent ideas can be made with ingredients readily available around the home. With these ingredients, you’ll have an easy time making an effective repellent that works. 

Making most natural snake repellents is safer.

Most commercial ones have chemicals that cause liver damage and other health problems like the naphthalene contained in most snake-a-away repellents.

There are numerous snake species, from the tiny, slender blind snake to the largest amazon anaconda and non-venomous to venomous. Regardless, snake bites will hurt you, your loved ones, and your pets despite the type. 

coiled up large brown snake opening its mouth to bite

What is the best snake repellent?

Different homemade snake repellents have varying levels of success. Besides, there’s no rule of thumb for the best natural skin repellent. It just depending on the user and the materials accessible.

Below is a verified list of the very best snake repellents and how to use them:

Cat litter

You’ve probably seen how a snake moves on a video or in person.

The slithering movement is always daunting for a snake, and if you make it even more challenging for the snake to move, it won’t use the energy.

Snakes are cold-blooded reptiles who prefer saving their energy. Therefore, sprinkle cat litter around your home’s or yard’s perimeter.

The rough texture of the litter makes the snake’s movement challenging. It will also stick to the surface of the snake, making it even more uncomfortable. The same goes for adding gravel around your garden, yard, or home.

Salt and garlic

Snakes have a very unique and sensitive sense of smell. So, anything that’s slightly unpleasant will help solve your snake problem.

One of the most effective natural snake repellents is a mixture of 50-50 crushed garlic and salt. The smell of the garlic upsets the snake, while the salt irritates its skin.

You can sprinkle this mixture using a spray bottle around your yard, garden, and home to keep snakes at bay.

Garlic and onion

If you’re looking for something a bit more robust than just garlic and salt, you can add onion to the mixture. Onion contains its active ingredient, sulfonic acid, which will even make your eyes cry.

This mixture is a sure way to make an effective, all-natural snake repellent.

Essential oils

Essential oils work on all snake types making it one of the best homemade snake repellents.

This mixture requires cedar oil, cinnamon oil, clove oil, and water. Shake the mixture in a bottle and create a strong odor that snakes detest. 


Smoke is one of the smells that scare snakes the most because it yells danger.

You can light a small fire such as a pit or barbecue grill and leave it to smoke. Allow the fire to burn for several hours to a day to ensure snakes are kept away.

White vinegar

White vinegar is a standard household cleaner with a pungent odor that acts as an effective snake deterrent. Sprinkle some white vinegar around the edges of your property and watch snakes slither away. 

coiled up green snake close up

What plant keeps snakes away?

The best way to snake-proof your property, yard, or garden is to make it inhospitable initially.

Luckily, there are various snake repellent plants that you can use to help keep snakes at bay. The most common snake repellent plants are:


Garlic emits a scent detested by many snakes. Therefore, you can plant garlic around your yard or garden to help keep snakes at bay.


They have a deep, sophisticated, and aggressive root structure that inhibits the snake’s movement through the garden. Snakes prefer paths with the least resistance, and marigolds do just that. 


Lemongrass emits a citrus smell that snakes hate and is also a low-maintenance plan. 


Basil smells terrific with its strong scent, but it also keeps away mosquitoes and flies besides repelling snakes. Basil is typically used in cooking and gives the entire garden or yard a great smell.


Bees love it but not the snakes as it releases a strong scent that’s unpleasant to snakes, bugs, and pests. Lavender also makes good flowerbeds.


This is commonly known as snake mother-in-law’s tongue or snake plant known for its sharp leaves. Its appearance helps keep the snakes from crossing over. 

close up of striped snake in the grass

Which chemical is used to keep away snakes?

Carbolic acid, also known as Phenol, is one of the oldest chemicals used as antiseptic agents in households to keep snakes at bay. Phenol is also used in various commercially available skin repellent products.

Phenol has a stringent smell that snakes detest and is also chronic for the skin, which will burn the snake’s skin and eventually die. Other effective commercial snake repellents include sprays and snake granules. 

What smells will keep snakes away?

Many scents will keep snakes away, including:

  • cloves
  • lime
  • garlic
  • hickory smoke
  • creosote oil
  • coal tar
  • cedar
  • sulfur
  • cayenne pepper
  • guard vines
  • cowboy rope
  • mothballs
  • onions
  • cinnamon
  • eugenol
  • smoke

What else keeps snakes away from your house or yard?

Apart from homemade snake repellents and physically relocating snakes, there are other ways of keeping snakes away from your house and yard. These include:

  • Draining stagnant water
  • Cutting the tall grass
  • Filling unattended holes
  • Clearing debris and woodpiles
  • Keeping hens and turkey
  • Smoking them out
  • Eliminating food sources
  • Using natural predators

Hopefully, this guide has helped you find several homemade snake repellent tips and tricks that will keep snakes from your house and yard.


Joseph Wales is a professional SEO content writer specializing in pest control, varmint removal, pets, and everything in nature. When not publishing, he’s busy teaching college and university students how to write admission essays and structure their academic papers. Writing has always been his passion, and he spends most of his time outdoors with his two lovely daughters in his spare time. He is also a skilled farmer, always traveling to his rural home to check on the livestock and corn field when he has the time. Armed with hands-on experience, Joseph uses his SEO writing skills to communicate accurate and engaging information that will also be valuable and educational, adding to the value of his readers.

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