How to repel snakes.
I recently saw a hub published by a gentleman named Randy Godwin that was titled: "How to catch a Snake: How to make a snake catcher". Naturally curious, I read this wonderful hub and thought to myself maybe that is what I need.
You see I live in rural VA in the mountains where we have a whole host of creepy, crawly, slithery and venomous snakes. Such as copperheads, eastern cottonmouths and timber rattlers. I like, Mr. Godwin agree that there is a necessary need for all types of snakes. They are God's creatures after all. But, I will be honest they creep me out.
Therefore, I honestly respect Mr. Godwin and his snake catching tool, his catching ability and the sheer nerves of steel that it must take to load the caught snake up and release it somewhere else. That approach is not for me. The catching and releasing of snakes in my opinion is a chore that is dedicated to the closest adult male that I can find. And since, my son is only 11 and due to a long commute my husband's work hours are not always consistent for dealing with snake problems. So, I have chosen to make it so snakes don't want to come around as much or if they do they leave quickly.
After, much research and many conversations with other non-snake lovers I have come to realize that there are many easy, and natural ways to keep snakes from coming around your home.
The first and most important thing to remember is that snakes are always looking for a warm place to hide, they don't like open areas and they need a food source. For, most snakes the food sources is usually mice, other snakes, and other small creatures. So, your first line of defense is to make your home and property a place that snakes won't seek out.
In your quest, to keep snakes away it is important to keep your grass mowed, don't keep brush piles around, and keep any woodpiles away from your house. Also, walk around the outside of your home and look for places that snakes could get into such as cracks in siding, window frames, door seals, dryer vents and chimneys. In regards to any cracks crevices in your exterior of your house we use expansion foam and steel wool to chink any cracks. As for you dryer vent you can purchase ones that have a lid on the top that only open when the dryer is running. As for chimneys you can by caps for your stove pipes (if you have a wood burning stove) or mesh screens that will keep birds, snakes and other debris from getting into your flue. By doing these things, you are depriving snakes the cover they like, and warm places to hide.
However, by these things will certainly help to keep new snakes from coming around, yet there may still be some that are still hanging around. In my quest, for keeping snakes away from me and mine I realized that if they can't get in or can't eat they normally leave. This leads me to my next line of defense. Is if you keep the food source away they aren't likely to stay this means keeping mice and the like out of your house.
Now, if you live in the country you know that this is often easier said than done. But, never fail there are lots of things you can do to deter the mice and other rodents. First and foremost keep your house clean. This one is obviously a no brainer but needs to be said. Secondly, keeping food items (like cereal and dog food) in plastic containers helps to deter them. Mice and rodents, like snakes, want a warm and food filled place to hang out. By depriving the mice and friends a place to hang out, the food source disappears for the snakes.
Now, if you are paranoid, (like myself) there are many products that you can use that will keep the snakes away. Most of them you can make yourself at home or you can buy commercially. In many hardware stores you can purchase a product called "Snake -A-Way". This product is made of a combination of naphthalene moth flakes and sulfur. Both things that snakes and mice alike hate. However, keep in mind that moth flakes and sulfur are toxic if ingested by kids and pets so if you are using these items keep them where pets and kids can't get them. One way to keep pets and animals from getting into it is to place the mixture in an old coffee can and poke small holes in the lid so that the smell escapes but is harder to get into. If you can't find you can make this product by buying the sulfur and moth flakes separately. This product can be used outside as a perimeter spread outside. You can also mix this with kitty litter and spread around the edge of your property. Snakes don't like kitty litter as it sticks to their scales and they won't crawl through it.
If you are looking for a less stinky and toxic way to snake proof your home. You can use a mixture of equal parts clove and cinnamon oil in a spray bottle. Snakes really don't like this, I have even read that if you are confronted by a snake you can spray it at it and it will deter them. You can use this in places where you don't want to use moth flakes and sulfur like around the garden and inside your home. You can also add cedar oil to this mixture as well or use it alone. If you don't want to mix this your self we use a product called "Serpent Guard" which combines all three ingredients. You just add water per the directions and spray.
While all these things will help to solve the problem we all still need to be aware of snakes poisonous and non and treat them with respect. They want us to leave them alone as much as we want them to leave us alone. So just be careful and aware.