What Smells That Snakes Hate? (Top 5 Scents)

what smells that snakes hate

Like most people, you are probably not a fan of these slimy and slithering creatures, mainly because they unnerve you with their presence, and the fact that they can easily kill you (if venomous) makes it even worse.

However, have you ever thought about the role of snakes within an ecosystem? Although they are not the prettiest thing to look at, they are actually a natural form of pest control!

That said, killing them is not always the best choice, especially when there are many different natural and store-bought solutions to repel them rather than kill them! Let’s check those out!

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When and Why Do Snakes Come Out?

Before we start dealing with the home remedies and smells you can use against snakes, let’s first learn when and why snakes come out and inhabit our places and yards. Like most animals, snakes like to inhabit areas where they can easily find food.

Considering that they have a versatile diet, which includes rodents, insects, and amphibians, and they will follow it wherever it goes, we will eventually cross paths. Snakes like to eat rats, known as pests that inhabit human spaces.

The snake will follow the mice into a house, and that is a situation that happened to me at my weekend house. Luckily, the snake hid in a plastic bag, so I just took it outside in the bag (while screaming simultaneously).

Now you see why dealing with the mouse infestation is vital as soon as possible. So, when do snakes usually come out? You have probably noticed that snake sightings are most frequent during spring and summer.

They generally prefer warmer climates, and their favorite temperature range is between 70 and 90 Fahrenheit; temperatures under 70 Fahrenheit make them sluggish. Although they like warmer climates, that does not mean they thrive in high temperatures.

On the contrary, they are active mainly in the morning and late afternoon when the temperatures die down a bit. What do they do during fall and winter? They are usually hibernating or brumating!

5 Scents That Repel Snakes

Like people, animals, including snakes, have certain smells or scents they like to avoid. For example, the smell of boiled cabbage will not kill me, but it will definitely make me leave your residence!

1. Garlic and Oil Solution Spray

Garlic and Oil Solution Spray 1

Although snakes are not vampires, they are not a great fan of the garlic or onion smell, probably because it is pungent, strong, and long-lasting. Onion contains something called sulfonic acid, a chemical that makes us cry whenever we chop onion.

Most of us have garlic at home so you can make this solution right now! Here is the list of things you need!

  • 5 Cloves of Garlic
  • Garlic-infused oil or sunflower oil
  • Spray Bottle
  • Water

Step 1: Make a Garlic Paste

If you have a blender at home, you can use it to crush the garlic cloves. If you do not have a blender, grind it with a fork or potato masher with some water and mix until you get the right paste-like consistency.

Step 2: Add the Oil

You can use regular or garlic-infused oil. The latter is a better choice because it will definitely pack a punch! You can make garlic-infused oil by yourself, just place a couple of garlic cloves in a jar filled with olive oil and leave it to rest for a while.

Considering that making garlic oil will take some time if you do not have it at hand, go with the sunflower oil. Then, combine the paste with the oil and stir or blend it a bit more!

Step 3: Spray Away!

After you have blended the mixture, you can add some more water to make it liquid so you can apply it with a spray bottle!

Most people prefer to use a spray bottle because it is less messy! If that is not your jam, you can place the solution or mixture into a jar and leave it for an hour with the open lid before using it.

Then, place some drops or use the spray around the perimeter of your home, any area that is getting mice or snake activity. If you keep any animal, such as chickens, you can apply it around the chicken coop.

 Snakes love chicken eggs, which pose a very nutritious and whole meal for them.

The garlic odor is strong and durable but not everlasting, so you must reapply the solution in the same places after 2 weeks to make it effective. If you do not feel like making this solution, you can buy powdered sulfur and put it in some common snake ‘routes.’

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2. Snake-Repellent Plants

Snake-Repellent Plants 1

  • Snake Plant

Also known as the Mother-in-law’s tongue, the snake plant is a succulent with thick and shiny leaves. The thing about the snake plant is not the odor that keeps the snakes away but the fact that it is very poky, and they hate its appearance (it looks like an upright snake).

Since snakes like to make themselves comfortable in our gardens, bushes, and around small plants, they will skip the snake plant.

  • Marigold

 The snake plant is not the only plant that repels snakes; the marigold is also very effective because of its strong odor. Marigold is a common annual plant with distinctive, rich, and yellow blooms.

But besides its beauty, this plant has a very intricate root system which also gives off a smell that resembles the ones associated with skunks. It means that due to its intricate roots, which grow very deep, and this smell, the snake will avoid the plant and perimeter around it.

  • Wormwood

As you know, snakes have a very strong sense of smell, so they like to avoid certain plants and remedies made with those plants. Their sense of smell is a great advantage because it allows them to find a food source effectively, but it can be used against them.

The next plant that may discourage a snake from entering your garden is wormwood. Also known as Artemisia absinthium or Mugwort, wormwood is a perennial and aromatic herb commonly used in medicine and for making alcoholic beverages.

It has a very intense and astringent smell that snakes like and hence will try to avoid.

  • Lemongrass Plant

Regarding lemongrass plants, such as West Indian lemongrass, some people use it as a natural snake repellent because of its citric smell. Generally, citrus fruits contain a chemical, limonene, which is yet another smell snakes cannot stand.

Lemongrass is commonly used for solutions and sprays to repel mosquitoes.

You can plant lemongrass in strategic places that may serve as your garden’s entry points. Another option is to make a solution with lemons or other citrus fruits and spray it around the areas where snakes may congregate.

Just cut some limes, combine them with peppermint oil, and apply them around your house.

3. White vinegar

White vinegar has a versatile use ranging from cooking to cleaning, but did you know snakes hate the smell of vinegar? Yes, it is very pungent, and I know people who cannot eat or even smell white vinegar.

When it comes to snakes, the acidic scent of white vinegar confuses their sense of smell, meaning they will probably try to avoid it and the surrounding area. You can make a simple white vinegar solution just pour it into a spray bottle, add a bit of water, and that is it!

4. Cinnamon Oil and Clove Oil

Cinnamon Oil and Clove Oil 1

Although we love the smell of cinnamon and clove, they are definitely not on Snake’s list of favorite scents. Several studies have shown that these oils can discourage snakes from ‘trespassing.’

Cinnamon and clove oil are easily available, and you can buy them in stores that sell other essential oils, such as lavender or peppermint oil. Combine the two oils, add some water, and pour it into a spray bottle. Apply where necessary!

Important note: If you have any pets, do not apply these oils around areas that are accessible to them because they can be toxic to dogs.

5. Fox Urine

Generally, urine has a very pungent smell and will also repel humans, not only snakes. Spraying fox urine in your yard can be a very good solution for repelling snakes because foxes are natural predators of snakes.

Previously buying fox urine might have been an issue, but today you can buy it at Walmart or order it on Amazon.

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What Else Can I Do To Repel Snakes?

If you have a constant problem with snakes, try installing snake-proof fencing before you start using these solutions. These fences are specifically designed to prevent snakes from entering your garden.

If you live in a rural area, you can acquire animals, such as turkeys, guinea pigs, and chickens, which attack and kill snakes (or at least try).


Snakes dislike several smells, including various essential oils such as gloves and cinnamon oil, and then homemade remedies with garlic and red onions.

Numerous plants, such as wormwood, lemongrass, marigold, and snake plant, can also serve as good snake repellents. You can use white vinegar, ammonia, or fox urine to repel these reptiles.

Have you ever tried any of these solutions? What is your way of dealing with the snakes? Please share your experience with us! If you have any questions, fire away!

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