Are there any plants that discourage snakes? If not, any other ideas?

Surry, VA(Zone 7b)

We found our first snake of the season today. It came out from the woods surrounding our house. Luckily it was only a black snake. I don't particularly care for snakes (scared), and I don't want to come in contact with any in the gardens if I don't have to. Last fall a snake decided to make it's winter home in an old comforter I had left on the porch from when we moved. Are there any plants or any ideas for detering them?

Troy, VA(Zone 7a)

Hey Carol, when you find out the answers let me know - we have copperheads here......:-)

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

Grow some cannabis sativa, dry the leaves, roll it and smoke it and you won't mind the snakes, lol

Santa Barbara, CA

Snakes don't hang out where there are pets (unless edible), too much shade, mongooses, king snakes; but I know of no repellent plants. Get a roadrunner or mongoose. Just kidding.

I collect kind, gopher and other nonpoisonous snakes for the farm and actually build little shelters and future feeding stations for them out of plywood.


Ladysmith, BC(Zone 8a)

Two snakes, Mom & baby decided to make my garden compost pile their home last summer. I was flattered that they would take up residence in MY garden.

If you have snakes (non poisinous) in your garden feel lucky, as proves you have a healthy garden and they are great for your garden.

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7a)

We have copperheads and BIG black snakes here. We use mothballs spread around the perimeter of the areas we wish to keep them away from.

Helsinki, Finland(Zone 4b)

Try Urtica dioica =)

Richmond, KY(Zone 6b)


Are you sure you actually have both those on your property?

Black snakes, among other things, are deterrents to copperheads. So you should be welcoming the Blacks; they keep your property free of rodents and kill any copperheads that show up.

(Zone 7a)


Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Speaking for myself, I am rather fond of my rodent eating snakes, but they are NON poisonous garter snakes.

One thing you might consider is putting sharp gravel or stone margins around your lawn and garden. Snakes are very sensitive to crawling over anything sharp - like slugs only on a much larger scale, oops, pardon my pun. They would probably have to be about a foot wide to have an effect on large snakes. Just a thought.

Brooklet, GA(Zone 8a)

my husbands grandmothre put moth ball around her house and yard and never saw a snake.

i plant marigolds all around my garden and it deters the rabits and the snakes i think since i have not seen any as long as the marigolds are there

Georgetown, TX(Zone 8a)

I have had from 3 to 34 cats at this house during the time I have lived here, and I have always had some snakes around. I find a few skins every year, intact, so I presume they molted undisturbed. Get a good book from the library and read about the different types of snakes. It might help you to overcome that natural aversion to this useful reptile, thereby avoiding that feeling of tightness in your chest when you encounter one. I don't want them as pets, unlike my 5-year-old granddarling, but I do like to see them in the garden. Some, although not all, eat insects, and some eat frogs. I don't want them to eat the frogs, but their presence might mean I do have frogs. I didn't always. Worthy of note: cats and snakes both eat rodents, which probably explains why cats will kill snakes - they're the competition.

My father in law has guinnea hens he lets them roam his land. he swears they kill and eat snakes???? I do know they eat ticks and bugs.

Kitchener, ON(Zone 5A)

I like woodspirits idea ;)

Georgetown, TX(Zone 8a)

Guineas also make good alarms. I can't have them or geese or ducks, the coons and coyotes are too aggressive here, Audubon notwithstanding. But they will sound off when anything comes near the house. And I do like to hear that "Pit-tack" sound out in the pasture. Sigh.

1 part builders sand
1 part diatomaceous earth (DE)

Mix together and sprinkle a 3 inch wide band around the area to be protected. Snakes won't cross. This is from Jerry Bakers Great Green book of Garden Secrets.

I don't like snakes either but I do know they are good for your garden. DH refuses to kill the black snakes but does kill the copper heads. Pigs will also kill snakes but they would probably also ruin your garden. We didn't see snakes for 2 1/2 years and in a two week span last fall saw a black snake and a copper head. The copper head is dead. Good Luck...vic

Georgetown, TX(Zone 8a)

Vic, I was amused to find this Jerry Baker reference, as I just referenced a grasshopper disease from the same book. If I would only remember all the things in all my books!

lagrange, GA(Zone 7a)

Hey Carol have you heard of the mop handle bush. It's shaped like a mop handle and if you see any snakes you beat the daylights out of the snake with it while you stand on the porch and it rolls around on the ground laughing at you.
Memories of Waldo race through my head. LOL

New Iberia, LA(Zone 9a)

Here has our yard King Snakes always keep them because they kill poison snakes and used to as a pet and let them free so, had brown snake one time as a pet and let them free too so it has guarter snakes as a pet too set them free and Hog snake and sometime rattle snake also water mocos snake so two of is poisonous is rattle snake and water mocos so, not always have snakes here most of time always see King Snakes here. I dislike to near snakes make me so nervous. My boys used to pet snakes but not anymore because no time to take care of them.

(Zone 7a)

Or you can become more philosophical about them and enjoy the piquant quality they lend to the landscape.

Surry, VA(Zone 7b)

Thanks for your posts! I'm going to give some of these tips a try since we have found both copperheads and black snakes.

Spicewood, TX(Zone 8b)

An old Mexican man once told me that if you burn a snake, no others will come within a hundred yards of the "funeral pyre." I've only tried it once, with a chicken snake ~ burned it inside the coop for good measure (it's a BIG coop). It's been three years and haven't seen a snake near the chicken coop since. Might be coincidence, might not, but you gotta' get rid of the body somehow, right?

Georgetown, TX(Zone 8a)

I always heard the old folks say if you hung a snake on a fence with its belly up after you killed it, you would have rain in 24 hours or something like that. But I lived in Louisiana at the time, and you would probably have rain regardless of what you did with the snake.

Spicewood, TX(Zone 8b)

I'e heard that, too, Aimee! I think next time I'll hang it on the fence and wait 'til after the rain to burn it. ;-)

Bessemer, AL(Zone 7b)

After being bitten by a copperhead in my back yard, I learned a fact that might help you. Always work in one direction when working among any thickness of plants and bushes. The snakes want to get away, but if you work in one direction, then take a break OR just decide you want to start back to work in the other end of your project, then you are asking for trouble. Just continue in the direction in which you began and that gives the lil rascals a chance to escape.
I was watering a big container and then went around the container to other side and this "lil guy" was coming out that side and felt cornered, so he bit me on the ankle. I now follow the advice I just gave you and no problems since.

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

Here, people say that the Ruta graveolens plant help repel snakes. But this information is not authentic, though the plant also carries the local name of 'nagadaali' to mean that.


Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I've had both cats and dogs, often at the same time, roaming my yard, and they've never deterred the snakes. So far, I've only seen king snakes and garter snakes, so I let them be. I've noticed that anytime I get close, they run away. So as long as they're running from me, not AT me, I let them be.

My neighbor has mothballs all around her perimeter. With my luck, I'd put mothballs all around my perimeter and trap the snakes IN rather than OUT. LOL

Did you know that snakes can't hear? They feel vibrations. So when you're getting ready to work in an area, stomp your feet and make as many vibrations as you can to scare the snakes out of the vicinity.

Pikeville, TN(Zone 6b)

this may sound strange. When I bought my property it came with a large pond and woods, I had problems with snakes all the time. In the second spring I bought some ducks, not for the snakes, just because I wanted some ducks. I don't know if its the ducks, but I haven't seen a snake since and it has been 8 years.

Broaddus, TX(Zone 8b)




Richmond, VA(Zone 7b)

Interesting advice from all. I have been gardening for 20 years and never seen a snake until last week, when I reached behind the azaleas to turn on the faucet and saw a copperhead. By all reports, there are LOTS of them out this year for some reason. Since I am deathly afraid of snakes, I have had a hard time getting up my nerve to go back into my EXTENSIVE borders.

Has anyone had any experience with using Snake Away?

(By the way -- I'm in Virginia, not Texas!)

Lansing, KS(Zone 5b)

San~ my DH used snake away in Spring, after one of the girly pumpkins came upon a black snake sunning itself on the patio. Hated that he used poison in the yard, the pumpkins had to stay away from the treated area for several days. But haven't seen a snake since then...but then perhaps the shrills and wild commotion put them on notice. Also DH burned the snake, so if the above post is true, perhaps the burning helped. Either way, we plugged up everythiing we thought could be a semblance of a hole as rats and mice are not welcomed here either!!

This message was edited Jul 8, 2007 9:21 PM

Sydney, Australia

We have been told to grow lots of geraniums and pelagoniums as the snakes can't stand the smell.....I can't confirm or deny for sure but haven't seen any since planting a lot more of these around the place...some of our snakes are aggressive so I don't want them in my garden.

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

I heard recently that if you use lava rock in your landscape it will deter the snakes. They don't like to crawl over the sharp edges of the lava rock so they'll avoid it. Regular landscape rock is too smooth and heats up nicely with the sun so the snakes love it to sun themselves on.

Adrian, MO(Zone 6a)

the only reason a snake would make their home in an old comforter on the porch is because there was probably a mouse nest in there.
no mice, voles, no snakes.

South Dennis, NJ(Zone 7b)

This company claims their product will repel snakes
I have no experience with this, but the product does smell great, and I can vouch or its effectiveness against ants and crickets.

(Zone 1)

We had two Deadly Coral Snakes in our yard early summer this year! One hubby killed, the other got away! We were afraid they would get into our screen room where the cats like to spend time! There is a huge construction project for a church expansion down the road from us, so all the critters are running this way as they clear the land! Our next door neighbors found two Pygmy Rattler's in their yard awhile back!

I have been told that Snakes only go where there is a food source.

I don't like snakes ... they give me the creeps but I would never kill one on purpose unless it's of the poisonous variety. I realize they are God's creatures too but it really scares me to have the poisonous ones around the yard!

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