Face it, most people don’t like having snakes around the house. Even though they may help eat mice and other vermin, most of us would rather invest in mouse traps and snake repellent. If you want to make a home snake repellent, there is no one miracle cure—there are, however, several things you can do to make you home less attractive to snakes.
Step 1—Clear the Area
Snakes are in your yard because you’ve given them an attractive place to live and to hunt for food. Change that. Mow your grass shorter. Remove piles of lumber, rocks, or other debris that furnishes cool places for snakes to den up, and places for rodents to breed. If you are losing birds, consider putting a barrier on the pole to your bird feeder to deter snakes. If they have no place to live, and no food source, they will leave.
Step 2—Try a Dry Repellent
In addition to clearing the area, you can make a dry garden snake repellent. Wear a mask and work in a well-ventilated area. Mix 2 cups sulphur, 1 cup moth ball flakes and ½ cup crushed red pepper. Sprinkle this in a thick line around the perimeter of your yard, garden, outbuildings and home. Replace every 30 days or following heavy rains. Wash hands thoroughly after mixing and applying.
Step 3—Try a Wet Repellent
As an alternative, mix 4 cups of ammonia with 1 cup of lemon-scented dish soap. Again, work in a ventilated area and wear a mask. Sprinkle the mix around any area where you want to keep the snakes away. Reapply every two weeks or after a hard rain. Wash hands thoroughly after mixing and applying.
Step 4—If You Have Kids or Pets
If you are afraid of leaving the poisonous naphthalene (moth ball) mixture on the ground, where a child or pet could possibly get at it, two alternatives are available. For point area control, you can lay a heavy, rough rope on the ground. The snakes often dislike the sensation of the fiber, and will avoid crossing it. You can also punch holes in the sides of a coffee can, then fill the can with mothballs and cinnamon capsules and place anywhere you want snakes to avoid. Remember to cover the top of the can. This allows the smell of the chemicals to act without allowing them to be exposed.
You can also try a cat, as they often drive snakes away. Pigs will likewise root for snakes, but come with their own issues.
Remember, any chemical repellent may damage your lawn or flowers, so take care where you put it. Also, if you find a dead snake, take care in handling it—it may not be dead, and might be poisonous. If you have any doubts, contact your local extension office before handling.