Seeking an Effective Snake Deterrent?
Is there such a thing as a fool-proof snake deterrent? That is your question. You have seen a couple of snakes in your backyard and, being terrified of snakes, you want to figure out a way to prevent them from showing up in your garden. It seems like a better strategy to make your yard unattractive to these reptiles than to have to deal with them after they make themselves comfortable.
Well, opinion is divided on whether there are effective snake deterrents. There are some people who are convinced that they have found the right things to keep away snakes. Among the recommendations from this group are mothballs, sulphur and planting marigolds. The general principle here is that since snakes have a strong sense of smell, they will be repelled by strong unpleasant smells. Some store bought products are made with these ingredients following the same logic. Some pest control companies also try spraying Kingsnake’s musk to scare off other snakes. Kingsnake feeds on other snakes and so in this case the sense of smell is used to generate fear. While there is some evidence of success of this method, it is apparently hard to come by the musk and it is not seen as an easy solution.
There is the other school of thought that says that these do not really affect snake behavior. These people point out that as long as humans settle in places which used to be snake habitats, snakes are bound to explore those grounds for prey. So, if it is their natural hunting ground and rodents and other insects are found around your house, there is a great probability of the snakes continuing to visit the area.
Given that there is no conclusive evidence of anything that really deters snakes, your best bet is to educate yourself and your family about snakes. Learn to identify the poisonous ones and distinguish them from the non-venomous snakes. If what you have is mostly non-venomous, it may be in your best interest to keep these snakes coming because they are effective in dealing with mice and some common garden pests. If there is more of the poisonous kind, make sure that children in the area are aware of them and know how to deal when they encounter a snake.
There are also snake traps and equipments to handle snake from afar and it maybe worthwhile investing in some of these things.
While there are no simple answers to those who seek a snake deterrent, there are few tips on what may make your garden less attractive to snakes. Always, maintain a clean yard. Letting brush or rocks pile up is a good way to attract snakes as they provide ideal cover and hunting area for these creatures. Also keep your lawn well mowed and close to the ground. Tall grass can again be very conducive for snake habitat. If your landscape includes low growing shrubs, trim them to have a foot of clearance from the ground. Similarly if you are storing wood or lumber near the house, place it a little off the floor so that there is a visible clearance under it.
You should also work on clearing out mice and other rodents because this will cut off the food supply of the snakes. If you have pets, do not feed them and leave the debris lying around. All food can prove to be attractions. Keep your trash well-sealed.
By eliminating hiding places and attractive prey, you will significantly reduce the chances of snakes frequenting your backyard. And this well-maintained yard is probably the most effective snake deterrent of all.