Summertime is all about hanging out by the pool, grilling scrumptious burgers and hot dogs, and just enjoying the warm weather outdoors with friends and family. While bugs are an unfortunate given during the summer, there’s another (seemingly) menacing creature that could potentially ruin all your fun: snakes.
While not all snakes are venomous or even aggressive toward humans, it can still be a pretty frightening ordeal running across one! Most snakes are repelled by the same scents, and there are even a few tips and tricks you can utilize to help keep the slithering reptiles out of your space. Keep reading to discover the 15 best snake-repellent plants.
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Both French and American versions of marigolds would do well in repelling snakes. They have a strong spicy scent that snakes definitely do not prefer. As an added bonus, marigolds would be a beautiful addition to any landscape!
2. Mugwort plant
Also known as wormwood, mugwort attracts butterflies but is a great snake deterrent due to its strong scent. In modern medicine, mugwort has been used for digestive problems, irregular menstruation and high blood pressure. It can also be considered a sedative, laxative and liver tonic.
3. Lemongrass plant
With its citrusy scent, lemongrass repels not only snakes but mosquitoes, ticks and plenty of other bugs. It has also been used as a pain reliever and swelling and fever reducer, and is thought to reduce levels of sugar and cholesterol in the blood.
4. Society Garlic
Its scientific name is “tulbaghia violacea,” and is not directly related to the garlic we use for cooking. Its leaves and flower stems emit a garlicky odor that repels snakes but attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
5. Allium Gallon Pot
Alliums are perennial plants that contain hundreds of different species including onions, garlic, scallions, shallots, leeks and chives. Its strong scent is what keeps snakes far away from it, and the plants can last multiple years if properly taken care of.
6. King of Bitters Seeds
“Andrographis paniculata” has bitter-tasting roots and leaves, and a strong smell that is unpleasant at best to snakes. What’s more, the chemical smell that is emitted can irritate the snake’s skin and it has anti-venom properties. It’s a win-win-win!
7. Clove Basil Seeds
Although the effects are stronger in the form of essential oils eugenol and thymol, clove basil plants deter snakes due to their scent. They have also been used in natural treatments for digestive issues, headaches, congestion and the flu.
8. White Snakeroot Seed Packet
On top of deterring snakes, snakeroot was traditionally used to treat snake bites as well as earaches, toothaches, sore throats and colds.
9. Pink Agapanthus Seeds
Although this plant boasts pretty pink flowers, it’s actually a member of the onion family. Once again, its strong scent is what keeps snakes away. Once you plant it, it will be fast-growing and can be as tall as three feet!
10. Citronella Plant
A popular choice for warding off mosquitoes, a citronella plant will also help to keep snakes away. It has also been used for slowing or preventing the growth of bacteria, reducing muscle spasms, calming headaches and improving energy.
11. Blue Holly
Low-growing holly is most effective at keeping away snakes, but you can also clip the spiky leaves off any holly bush and spread them around any areas you want the snakes to keep away from.
12. Cactus Plants
Snakes don’t like anything spiky or thorny, so cacti are the perfect things to plant to keep them away! This variety pack of different cacti is the perfect starter kit for you to experiment with!
13. Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, (Sansevieria)
While also repelling snakes, this plant is known to reduce airborne allergens and thereby ease allergic reactions in humans because it absorbs pollutants. While these benefits are mostly experienced when this plant is kept indoors, it does not minimize the fact that this plant is beneficial to have around!
14. Chives Plant
Snakeshate the smell of onion, and it just so happens that chive plants give off a rather strong scent of onions. Strong enough to keep snakes away from any area you choose to plant them!
15. Sage Herb Plants
Much like basil, snakes do not like the scent of sage. Commonly used to help increase memory and thinking skills, lower high cholesterol, and ease symptoms of menopause, sage has also been thought to soothe sore throats and sunburns.
What Scents Will Keep Snakes Away?
Snakes hate anything minty or too citrusy as these scents really irritate them. You could sprinkle either peppermint oil or lemon oil in your yard to keep snakes away. Another oil you could use that emanates a scent snakes try to avoid is clove oil. Not only do these fragrances keep away snakes, but they repel mice as well and the lack of a food source will help to deter snakes.
How Do I Snake-Proof My Yard?
There are a few ways to help prevent snakes from entering your yard, here are some great tips!
- Don’t leave trash around that could attract a snake’s food source: small rodents, lizards, slugs, etc.
- Make sure there is nothing in your yard they could use as shelter. They like cool, dark places that are generally enclosed, like under rocks, logs, in leaf piles or in old branches.
- Make sure there is no standing water. Snakes love water.
- Trim bushes and trees as snakes like to use these as hiding spots.
- Mow your lawn often, they prefer to hide in tall grass!