Snake Repellant Info Needed : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Years ago I remember being surprised to read in Countryside that snake repellant product(s) were available that apparently actually worked. At the time I wasn't interested enough to take further note of it, but now I have some friends who have become fledgling gardeners but live in an area in which rattlesnake visits are not uncommon. Needless to say, they are worrying about poking into heavy garden cover in search of a harvest as their plants mature. I'm anxious to encourage them to keep gardening, but understand their concern. Rattlesnakes don't ALWAYS rattle a warning. Can anyone recomend something, especially if its been tried and proven?

-- Mark Sideris (, June 15, 2001


Snake repellent? I've never heard of that, but sounds like a good idea . . . a .410 shotgun always has worked for me!

I've done a lot of woods wandering in my younger days and a investigation with a staff into hidden areas saved me (and some snakes) some grief. I'm glad your friends are not interested in just killing them all; rattlesnakes are a part of the environment too, in particular rodent control. And they are not to get anybody, despite Hollywood portrails (sp?).

Try and keep one of their main food sources down in their garden area (rodents in particular); that goes a long way. Snakes around the ranchhouse were usually precipitated by mice infestation in the our hayshed. Mowing the natural cover back and weeding the garden I would think would be a natural thing to do. Got any bull snakes?

-- j.r. guerra (, June 15, 2001.

My old neighbor use to burn tires to keep the snakes away! She is mad because we are now part of a national park so she can't do that anymore. She can't burn her plastic bags either so she HAS to chuck them down the side of the road. This woman is to old to educate or explain why dumsters were created!

-- kelly (, June 15, 2001.

I have a horrible phobia of snakes and since moving to Kentucky have discovered that moth balls really do help keep them at bay. I put them around the garden and anywhere else I don't want to run into them. It has worked very well! Hope this helps, jean

-- jean from Ky (, June 15, 2001.

The only snake repellant that I can recall which actually worked was napthalene flakes, which is what mothballs are made of. Unforunately, napthalene is fairly nasty in its effects on all kinds of things and you certainly don't want your pets or livestock eating it and I'd be careful about letting it get into your local groundwater.

I'd like a snake repellant myself. The damned yellow rat snakes are eating an inordinate amount of eggs. I've caught and transported four so far and I think I've got another one helping himself to an egg dinner but I haven't caught him yet. I take them off better than ten miles away and I'm sure they've all been different snakes. You'd think the local population would begin to thin out...


-- Live Oak (, June 15, 2001.

As I don't like the critters either, I use a slingshot to shoot mothballs under the house and into areas they like and let a chainsaw idle on the ground a couple time a week to keep em away from our buildings.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, June 15, 2001.

Garden sulphur, spinkle it in line around the area that you want protected. the snake will not cross it, it is very irrating to they skin.

-- Rich (, June 15, 2001.

You're more likely to get hit by lightning than bitten by a snake. Even if you were to get bitten by a rattler, it's not as bad as people make it out to be. They are overreacting.

-- April (, June 15, 2001.

Well, Lord knows that plenty of my family are phobic about snakes and it's taken me thirty years to convince them not to kill anything that crawls on general principles but rattlesnakes are not to be taken lightly.

As a boy growing up I buried four dogs killed by rattlesnakes - three bitten and dead while we were at school and the last died on the way to the vet. Had several more who presented us with expensive vet bills for their treatment. Our particular area was bad for pygmy rattlesnakes and it was common to kill one pretty much every time we mowed our rather extensive lawn. Diamondbacks weren't exactly thin on the ground either.

Chances are if you can get to modern medical treatment in good time you won't die of an envenomed rattlesnake bite, that is true. On the other, if you get an envenomed bite it is excrutiatingly painful and can lead to a disfiguring injury and possibly major loss of function of a limb. A neighbor took a diamondback strike to the back of his left calf when I was growing up and though he survived it made a hell of a mess out of his leg and years later he still walked with a limp. The scarring was not pretty. Just for the record from the time he was bitten to the time he made the door of the ER was just over twenty minutes. I know because I drove him.

I don't advocate killing anything without need and I transport any problem snake that I encounter to release them elsewhere but rattlesnakes and moccasins in near proximity to my home, barn, livestock and so on I kill as a matter of policy. I've caught more than a few alive but that kind of thing is hard to do on the spur of the moment when there's nothing useful to hand to catch them with.

Unfortunately, I still don't know of any good snake repellants that I've actually seen work.


-- Live Oak (, June 15, 2001.

Our guineas seemed to keep the rattlers away. I've heard they eat the babies which makes the mamas not want to be around. I've seen them attack full sized snakes (non poisonous). All I know is we didn't have much of a problem once we got the birds. They are noisy though.

-- Sharon in OR (, June 15, 2001.

Oh Lordy, what a helpful hand. I am still stuck in the mire of asking Jesus to keep my physical body safe from the bees and fire ants. They abound here. I still live and breathe. I have wiped out two colonies of fire ants. with such simple methods as baking soda and vinegar. Actually, they never bothered me, I was offended by their mound. In fact, one mound brought me back to my sences. It is a long story.

-- My Story (, June 15, 2001.

looks like it's about time to go search out another mound...

-- nobody (, June 15, 2001.

I tried mothballs after an insulation crew found snakes in our crawl space. The insulation company folks said throw mothballs under there and they would send another crew out the next day. I cleaned out Home Depot. :-) I bought two boxes of mothballs and pitched them in as best as I could (being too cowardly to go under there), and the insulation was put in the next day with no complaints. A fellow in the first crew threw his flashlight at the snake he saw, so I can't say whether they ran the snakes out or the mothballs did. The second crew had nothing at all to say about snakes, however, I tipped them well, because I thought they were brave to go under there, snakes or no snakes.

-- Cha (, July 28, 2001.

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