Do Sulfur, Lime, or any Plants Keep Snakes Away?

Short of getting yourself a mongoose, pig, or hedgehog, the animals most well-known for keeping snakes away, there are few options available for doing this.

Hire a Professional
This is the most failproof way of going about getting rid of a snake infestation. It is also the most expensive method, so if you are a do-it-yourself-er, read on.

Buy a Snake Repellant
This may be the easiest option; however, all currently-tested snake repellants have been found to be wholly ineffective. There may be one or two snakes that did not care for the smell of one or more of the repellants around, but they were outliers. No particular species has been eradicated by any specific snake repellant. Do not waste your money, because if you are willing to put some work into it, you can get and keep snakes away.

Buy, or Make, a Snake Trap
Lethal traps
Lethal traps are traps that kill the snakes that make their way inside of them. They consist of a body gripping device, but only work if the snake enters in a head-first fashion; if they are a sidewinder, this type of traps will not be effective. There is really no reason to use a lethal trap, given the usefulness of snakes in keeping the rodent and insect population to a manageable level.

Non-lethal traps
While there is surely the complicated wire-mesh type of traps used to catch lobster and crabs, these are not actually available commercially, and are only used by herpetologists, or perhaps professional pest controllers. You would have to build one by hand, which is both difficult and takes time to get it correct.
The hands-down winner of snake traps is the lowly glue trap, often used for catching rodents, as well. It is best to attach the glue strip to a long narrow board with a handle for easy retrieval and removal. You then simply lay the long board down along a foundation wall or other type of border. To remove the snake, once you have gotten it to a safe place, all you need to do is pour several cups of canola or any other vegetable oil over it; the snake will wriggle itself free and surely flee from you quickly! There is also a commercially available trap of this type, simply called Snake Trap, and found in home improvement stores.

Buy, or Build, a Snake Fence
Since snakes can burrow and climb, your fence has to be built according to certain specifications, although the material can also depend upon the region you live in. You can augment an existing fence or erect a completely new one to specs. While it is possible to erect a very tightly fit wooden fence, it is difficult to angle it outward, and you must also continually inspect the wood for rot, which could allow snakes to wiggle through it.

Generally, it is recommended that you use a fine wire mesh, at least 36 inches high for the fence. You must first dig a furrow at least six- to eight-inches deep, place the mesh down into the furrow, securing the mesh with fence spikes inside of the fence (to keep snakes from crawling up them), and then fill in the furrow with gravel, followed by the turf that was dug up. The fence must be secured at an outward angle of at least 30 degrees, so that the snakes cannot climb them. You must also regularly inspect the fence to ensure that there are no holes or sags that snakes may take advantage of using.

Following up
Once you have your snakes caught and released elsewhere, and your fence built to keep them from returning, you must perform the follow-up care. By nature, snakes like to be hidden, eat undisturbed, and sleep in a warm, concealed area. The number one thing you can do to keep snakes away is to mow your grass, and keep it low. You must also keep the plants and flowers trimmed back, and remove any debris that may be laying around, such as last season’s leaves, trash, or other places that snakes can hide.

Sealing the foundation and siding of your home is another important consideration. You must inspect the foundation area very carefully, looking for any cracks, holes, or gaps that a snake may be able to squeeze through. And do not forget, snakes have the capability of compressing themselves through very small apertures, so watch out for even the smallest of holes, using material appropriate to your home to repair them. As for the area covered by siding, any holes are best fixed by expanding foam sealant, as it will harden. Snakes will not chew (though rodents will), and therefore will look elsewhere for a home.

Read the How to get rid of snakes page for helpful information and to learn more about Do Sulfur, Lime, or any Plants Keep Snakes Away?

Do Sulfur, Lime, or any Plants Keep Snakes Away?

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