For the most part, snakes are beneficial allies in our lawns and gardens, helping keep destructive insect and rodent populations to a minimum.
However, if you’re concerned about the safety of your family and pets, or regularly spot venomous snakes near your home, it might be time to give them the boot. Here are 6 natural approaches for keeping snakes out of your lawn.
Because snakes are ambush predators, they require hiding spots to successfully hunt. By removing clutter like and unused equipment, you’ll remove these potential hideouts thereby limiting your lawn’s snake population.
Install a Perch Pole in Your Yard
Perch poles help attract birds like hawks and owls, which are natural predators of snakes. For best results, install the perch in an area that provides birds with the best, most wide open view of your lawn.
Remove Their Food Source
Snakes feed on everything from insects to rodents to small birds. It’s simple: If you remove these food sources, you’re not going to encounter many snakes in your yard.
Start with general pest control measures like limiting outdoor garbage and applying a non-toxic insecticide to your lawn each month. Bird feeders and pet food bowls can also attract rodents and bugs which in turn will attract snakes, so consider feeding your pets indoors and removing or moving bird feeders farther from your home.
Landscape with Snakes in Mind
Tall grass, mulch mounds, rock beds, and water gardens make for excellent snake habitats, providing them ample space to hunt, breed, and hide. Avoiding these lawn features and keeping your grass relatively short is essential to keeping snakes away from your yard.
Try Cinnamon and Clove Essential Oils
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services reports that cinnamon oil and clove oil are effective at deterring some types of snakes.
To apply: Mix a few drops of each essential oil per gallon of water, and spray potential entry points, known trouble areas, and throughout grass and shrubbery.
Reach for A Water Hose
The next time a snake wanders into your lawn or garden, avoid killing it and reach for a water hose instead. Typically a few quick sprays with a hose is all it takes to get a snake to leave your property. This non-lethal approach is not only more humane but also safer, as you can remove the snake without having to venture too close