How to Get Rid of Snakes | 10 Effective Remedies


There’s no doubt that there are people out in the world fascinated with snakes, their appearance, and their overall course of living. However, you will seldom come across people who want to share their living or outdoor space with these reptiles.

Irrespective of whether you live in the city or the outskirts, no one wants to be surrounded by snakes. Controlling the unwanted snake population where you live is thus key to living safely and without any consequences.

Since snakes are unpredictable and often harmful, they should be dealt with by professional consult. The last thing you want is to get bitten by a venomous snake and land yourself in a matter of life and death.

This article will walk you through all the basics you need to know about snakes and how to get rid of snakes from your property for good.

Also read: How to Get Rid of Ant Hills? | 9 Quick and Easy Remedies

What are the Common Types of Snakes?

Unless you live in Australia, where snakes are abundant and new species roam around freely, there are a handful of categories of snakes that you need to be aware of.

Additionally, despite their sleek size, snakes are very fast and will slither through the smallest spaces in and around the home before you can even distinguish their type.

Following are the three common types of snakes you should know of:

1. Garter Snakes

Garter Snakes
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Abundantly found across North America, Garter Snakes are generally found in arid, dry, and deserted areas. This type of snake has three stripes running down the length of the body, featuring a much larger head than their bodies. These types can grow a lot, typically up to 50-55 inches.

2. Rat Snakes

Rat Snakes
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Another common type of snake commonly found in the rat snake. They have a similar appearance to a garter snake, featuring a colorful body and stripes. Compared to their neck, they have a larger head and are very proficient in the water.

3. Kingsnakes

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Last on the list are king snakes. They are the most common type of backyard snake that you will come across and are often mistaken for coral snakes, which are venomous. Kingsnakes aren’t venomous and are comparably smaller in size. As for their appearance, their body is splattered with red, black, and yellow markings.

Once you learn to distinguish between the different types of snakes, it becomes easier to determine the next step in the process.

Why is there an increased Snake population in my Backyard?

Snakes aren’t common reptiles that you will find chilling in your backyard. If you notice a sudden spike in their population, something is instigating their presence in your backyard.

In most cases, if your backyard has an elevated level of rodents, fish, frogs, slugs, small farm animals, etc., that could be why you notice more snakes in your backyard. Since your house is a good food source for them, they are reeling in more numbers.

Besides food, snakes also require shelter in the deep bushes and shrubs in the backyards. If you live somewhere with low snake predators like raccoons and foxes, that is another potential reason why you notice more snakes in your backyard.

How to detect if I Have Snake Infestation Around?

Noticing one or two snakes around might not bother you. You might think that you noticed them in the passing, but the issue is much deeper than that.

Some of the signs that you have a snake infestation in your home are:

+ Strange and weird smells in enclosed spaces
+ Snake droppings
+ Shed skins
+ Snake holes
+ Dirt from the snake slithering on the ground, etc.

If you notice any or multiple of these signs, it is time that you take the situation seriously and get the help you need. In most cases, the snakes you find around your house are non-venomous. However, we’d recommend that you don’t take any risks.

What are the Characteristics of Venomous and Non-Venomous Snakes?

Snakes, for the most part, have a very similar appearance. They are cylindrical and long, with strips and splatters on their body, right?

This is a common perception that most people have regarding snakes and their appearance. However, what you need to realize is the fact that snakes are fairly different in terms of their appearance and their characteristics.

You can easily distinguish venomous and non-venomous snakes. Just follow what we say:

Venomous Snakes:
+ Have a triangular head
+ Thin
+ Vertical pupils with yellow or green eyes
+ The color difference in different types

Non-venomous Snakes:
+ Rounded head
+ Rounded pupils
+ Colors will vary depending on the type

If you notice a snake infestation, you first need to identify whether or not it is venomous. In most cases, it shouldn’t be. However, in cases where it is, we’d recommend getting professional help immediately.

List of Natural Ways to Get Rid of Snakes at Home or Backyard

When it comes to how to get rid of snakes, there are multiple ways to solve the issue. Many people have this misconception that eliminating snakes is impossible. But, with the proper measures, you should not only be able to remove them but ensure they don’t return.

1. Find & eliminate the food supplies

As we mentioned earlier, snakes are infiltrating your property for certain reasons. The most common of them is food. Food sources like rats, frogs, fish, slugs, etc., in your backyard, act as an invitation to snakes.

So, if you wish to eliminate snakes from your backyard, you must first eliminate all these food sources in the surrounding area.

2. Use a hose

This might sound pretty useless initially, but it works in certain situations. Firstly, if you are spraying a hose to eliminate the snake, ensure and confirm that the snake is harmless and non-venomous. Once you are sure it is, bring out a hose.

You can spray water using a hose at the snake to steer them away from your property. It isn’t a permanent solution by any means, but it works for the time being.

3. Change things in your backyard

Plucking Weeds
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If snake infestation is recurrent in your backyard, it has something to do with the landscaping of the backyard. There could be holes, burrows, or overgrowth that’s prompting the snakes to come back and live in your backyard.

Your work is to identify those favorable conditions and remove them entirely so that the snakes don’t find their way back into your backyard. This includes cleaning the gutter, eliminating standing water, cutting overgrowth, etc.

4. Leverage the Power of Natural Predators

Fox Urine

Snakes, despite being so threatening, are afraid of their predators. So, animals like raccoons and foxes are the bane of their existence. If you live somewhere where foxes are indigenous, one fantastic trick to keep snakes away is using fox urine.

The pungent smell is enough to deter the snake and keep them out of your property. You can find them in stores; if not, you can contact animal control to help you out.

5. Use Naphthalene

Napthalene Balls

This is one of those underrated remedies that not many are aware of. Most commercial snake repellents you find in the market use naphthalene as their primary ingredient. So, if you don’t want those toxic commercial snake repellents, the best alternative is to use naphthalene balls.

You can source them in the hardware stores near you. They are toxic, so ensure that you sprinkle them somewhere your babies or dogs won’t have access to them.

6. Fill the Burrows

If you have a snake infestation around your home or in your backyard, you are bound to find a lot of holes dug up into the soil. This is where the snake burrows and lives. One effective way to eliminate the snake population is by filling those burrows.

Not only does it eliminate the current population, but it also prevents other snakes from slithering into those already-dug burrows. You want to fill those burrows with not just soil but gravel and rocks too.

7. Use Essential Oils

Essential Oils
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Again, this might not be everyone’s choice of action, but it works. Essential oils like clove and cinnamon work effortlessly in eliminating the snakes from your backyard. It acts as a natural repellent and prevents them from being on your home’s premises.

You can use this as a fumigant in a diffuser or direct spray the solution with essential oils onto the snake to keep them out of your property. Only do the latter if you are 100% sure it is a non-venomous snake.

8. Use Garlic & Onion

Onions And Garlic
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Aromatics like garlic and onion have a chemical called sulfonic acid, a natural snake repellent. You can blend onions, garlic, and some rock salt and then sprinkle the same around the perimeter of your home.

The pungent fumes of the chemical will act as a repellent, keeping the snake out of your property. You might have to repeat this process every few days to ensure the effect lasts.

9. Use Ammonia


You’d be surprised to know that snakes despise the smell and fume of ammonia. So, if you live where snake infestation is quite recurring, ammonia is an excellent fix for the issue.

You can sprinkle the ammonia across the perimeter of your home. The strong odor from the ammonia is effective in deterring the snakes for good.

10. Use Lime & Pepper

As unrealistic as it sounds, the combination of lime and pepper crushed and sprinkled around the house keeps the snake population away from your home.

If you have tried all the above methods and nothing seems to be working, we’d recommend that you give this a go. The fumes from these natural items often make the snake’s skin itchy, keeping them out of your property for good.

Also read: How to Get Rid of Groundhogs? | 11 Effective Remedies


If you are worried about snake infestation around your home and have been wondering how to get rid of snakes, we hope this article gives you all the insights you need. Ensure that you have a check on all these tricks, and if nothing works, you can always reach out to a professional team to help you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use vinegar to get rid of snakes?

If you have a swimming pool in your home and find snakes lingering around, vinegar is a good repellent for those situations.

What scent will keep snakes away?

The combination of cinnamon, clove oil, and eugenol works excellent in keeping the snakes away from the property.

What kills snakes around your home?

Several predators, like raccoons, cats, turkeys, pigs, etc., can kill snakes loitering around your home.

What chemical kills snakes?

If you have snake burrows around your home, using calcium cyanide is a great way to eliminate the snakes from those areas.

What gets rid of snakes fast?

The faster way to eliminate snakes from the property is by contacting a professional animal control center, especially if the snake is venomous.

Do snakes come back to the same place?

If you are planning to relocate a snake, thinking it won’t return, you are highly mistaken. They will most likely return.

Where do snakes go at night?

Snakes tend to slither away and hide in the dark and warm spots in and around the house at night.

Is there a spray to keep snakes away?

There are several commercial snake repellents that you can use to keep them away and out of your house. Victor Snake-A-Way repellent is a good example.

Which acid keeps snakes away?

Carbolic acid is one of the most effective compounds scientifically proven to keep every species of snake out of the house.

Does Dettol repel snakes?

The short answer is no. It won’t deter the snake or even keep them away from your home. Use a stronger snake repellent instead.

By James Edwards

James Edwards is a writer & editor with almost 15 years of experience from Murphys, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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