When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more

How to Keep Snakes Away (A Complete Guide)

Snakes have had a bad rap since the Garden of Eden. No one wants to find this creepy critter in their home; finding one in your yard is bad enough.

Figuring out how to get rid of snakes is one thing. Keeping them away is another.

In this guide, you can learn what attracts snakes to your home or property and 4 different methods to keep them away.

How to Keep Snakes Away

Looking For A Trusted Exterminator?

Below are our top ranked exterminators we’ve reviewed for each type of pest. We’ve arranged it so you can get free quotes in just a couple minutes. 

Rating: 97.50

Our #1 Ranked For: Ants, Roaches, Spiders, and Rodents Issues

Rating: 97.00

Our #1 Ranked For: Termites, Bed Bugs, and Larger Infestations

Rating: 95.70

Our #1 Ranked For: Mosquito Removal, Fleas, Ticks, Wasps, And Other Stinging Insects

What Attracts Snakes in the First Place?

Food is the number one thing that attracts snakes. Insects and rodents are a popular food source for snakes. These sources can provide some snakes with a steady supply that will keep them coming back for more. 

Small rodents that attracted by your garden will be food sources for snakes. By feeding the rodents, rabbits, and such, you’re also feeding the snakes that dine on them. Bird feeders do the same thing.

Habitat and environment are two more attractions.

Snakes are predators who like to hide in ambush then attack without warning when their prey approaches. Wood piles, mulch piles, and tall grass are all places a snake would love to hide out.

Is your house sitting on a pier-and-beam foundation? The crawl space underneath is exactly the kind of home they’re looking for.

Pair food with a nice home and you're just asking for snakes to come a'slithering.

Types of snakes

Many types of snakes aren’t poisonous but enough of them are that you don’t want to take any chances. After all, they have the same diet regardless of their venomous status or lack thereof.

Read also: Where are the most dangerous snakes found?

Garter snakes aren’t poisonous but they’re attracted by the same prey as rattlesnakes. A rat snake is harmless but a copperhead isn’t. But both of them will be slithering around your house looking for food and shelter.

You need to keep the venomous snakes away for safety reasons, and getting rid of them requires the same snake removal method used for the harmless ones.

So let’s take a look at some methods to see which ones work and which ones don’t.

Want To Solve Your Pest Problem Now?


We’ve partnered with Terminix to bring you exclusive discounts and priority service for your pest control needs. Click to get your free instant price quote.

Limited Time: Save $50 off your pest control service.

Four Ideas To Keep Snakes Away

There are four different ways you can get snakes away from your home and prevent them from coming back.

  • Pest control
  • Snake repellents
  • Snake traps
  • Snake-proof fencing

All are discussed in detail below.

Pest Control

Pests like ants, spiders, and cockroaches are a few kinds of pests that snakes eat. Utilizing pest control is a straightforward way to eliminate a snake's food source. If there is nothing to eat around your house, they’ll have no choice but to forage somewhere else.

A word of warning on this tactic though.

Snakes can survive without eating for extended periods of time. They are cold-blooded and if they stay in one place without moving, in their dens and cracks and crevices where they hide, they can prolong their fast for several weeks at a time.

You can’t automatically assume that just because you eradicated their food sources that they’re going to disappear overnight.

Eight weeks would be the minimum amount of time for you to wait before assuming that all the snakes are gone. Even then, you should continue an active pest control regimen to make sure there isn’t a resurgence.

Before we forget, many pests enjoy feasting on pet food. If you leave it out at night, the insects and other critters will have something to eat that isn’t tainted with pesticides. They’ll survive and prosper, and so will the snakes that feed on them.

Don’t leave the pet food out – okay?

Use Snake Repellents

There are countless snake repellent products available to rid your home of snakes. Not all of them work, but they can certainly be effective if you find the right one!

Read also: The top 5 snake repellents on the market

There are other kinds of DIY snake repellents that people swear by, like mothballs and essential oils. If you go online you’ll find endless testimonials by people swearing they put out some mothballs just once and have never seen another snake.

That’s hard to believe.

Researchers have tested mothballs and never found any evidence to support claims that they’re effective at repelling snakes. Older mothballs were made primarily of naphthalene, a highly flammable chemical.

New mothballs are made with paradichlorobenzene, sometimes called 1,4-Dichlorobenzene. It hasn’t shown any more repellent properties than naphthalene, so it’s a difference without a distinction from our point of view. 

There is also a wide-spread belief in the power of essential oils such as clove oil, cinnamon oil, and others. Despite unreliable anecdotal evidence, there isn't any research confirming that essential oils repel snakes.

Trapping Snakes

This brings us to a method that does work – trapping. There are a variety of snake traps available that work.

But before we get started there is one caveat.

Snakes are hunters. They like to hunt live prey. Trapping relies on bait that is either dead or was never alive in the first place. Putting a dead mouse in a trap isn’t much bait to a predator that is waiting for its dinner to go walking by.

That being said, trapping can still work, if and only if, you’re willing to invest a little time and energy into it, along with a double helping of patience. Here’s how you do it.

Spend some time observing the snakes around your house. If you have an idea where they’re nesting, sprinkle some talc or baby powder around the opening to it then watch to see if they leave a trail in it when they leave it and come back.

Once you establish the pathways they use you’ll know where to put your traps.

The other thing you need to to trap snakes is their schedule. You don’t want to be standing by the entrance to their nest setting a trap when they decide it’s time to go out hunting.

It's more likely that snakes will be away from their den when it's warm and back home when it's cool. This is because snakes are cold blooded and can't regular their body temperature. They bask in the sun when it's warm and tend to be more active in the heat. When it's cold, they're more sluggish. 

Setting a Snake Trap

Once you know their habits, set a trap directly along the path they normally use and cover it lengthwise with a heavy tarp. Make it look like a tunnel.

Snakes aren’t afraid of tight enclosed places and if it’s directly in the path they’re accustomed to taking, they should go right on in, expecting to be able to get out at the other end.

Once they’re trapped, they’re yours to do with as you please.

Snake-Proof Fence

The last option is one that assumes you’ve already gotten rid of the snakes. You need to snake-proof your house and your yard.

Patch up any holes in your house that snakes can use to get in. Snakes have been known to crawl along telephone wires and power lines to get into a house, so don’t forget to check for holes up in the attic.

Once that’s done, get some wire sheeting, preferably in rolls that are 36 inches wide or more. Wrap it around the outside of the fence around your yard, with the bottom of it buried four to six inches deep in the ground so they can’t tunnel under it.

The top of the wire sheeting needs to be angled slightly outwards (5-10 degrees should be fine) so they can’t climb it.

Not only will this be a snake-proof fence, but it will also be a rabbit, possum, raccoon, and general critter-proof fence too. Keep ‘em all out!

Final Thoughts on Getting Rid of Snakes

Snakes are beneficial in many ways. They eat insects and critters that we regard as pests. Furthermore, most snakes aren’t venomous. Many of them are very pretty, from a strictly aesthetic point of view.

Nonetheless, we don’t want to live cheek-by-jowl with them. As long as you don’t get sucked into urban legends, and you’re willing to do the necessary work, you don’t have to live with them.

Other Snakes Guides

Curious about snake related articles? Check out our other detailed guides to help you deal with your pest problems.

Any encounter with a venomous snake, whether in your yard or out in the wild, can be potentially dangerous. Although[...]
Snakes have had a bad rap since the Garden of Eden. No one wants to find this creepy critter in[...]
Cottonmouth snakes are aggressive, poisonous, and they look like they're munching on a ball of cotton all the time. This[...]
​Of more than 3,000 species of snakes that slither across the globe, only ​ around 200 have been classified to[...]
Do you want to find the a pair of nice snake proof boots in 2020? Then you've come to the[...]
Looking for a pair of decent snake gaiters in 2020? Then you're in the right place!In this Pest Strategies product[...]

Get Your Free Quote In Seconds

Because pest control products can be dangerous to your family if mishandled, we always recommend consulting with an exterminator even if just to ask for advice on how to apply pest control products yourself.

Our pest experts review each company for quality, cost, customer service, safety, and 100’s of other important factors and assess a rating out of 100. Below are our top 3 picks based on that review for pest removal. We’ve set up a direct line with each company so you can get fast free quotes right now.

Rating: 97.50

Our #1 Ranked For: Ants, Roaches, Spiders, and Rodents Issues

Rating: 97.00

Our #1 Ranked For: Termites, Bed Bugs, and Larger Infestations

Rating: 95.70

Our #1 Ranked For: Mosquito Removal, Fleas, Ticks, Wasps, And Other Stinging Insects

Leave a Comment