Homemade snake repellent

Updated March 23, 2017

A great way to rid your property of snakes is to repel them with a natural snake repellent. This method keeps snakes from being harmed as well as avoiding the use of toxic chemicals which may poison a pet or child.


A simple homemade snake repellent is to use mothballs. The Los Angeles SPCA recommends trying them because the active ingredient, napthalene, is the same as the active ingredient in commercial snake repellents. All species of snakes will avoid areas where there are mothballs, though the exact reason for this is unknown. Some believe that the napthelene is irritating to the snake's chemical receptors. Others believe that it merely drives away the snake's natural food source. Regardless of the mechanism, mothballs seem to work for some. If you have particular areas where snakes tend to congregate, such as a basement, cellar, or garden, sprinkle a few mothballs around the perimeter. The snakes will usually vacate the premises within a week. If the snakes are more stubborn than that, try mixing sulphur powder with moth crystals and sprinkle around the area. The major drawback for this method is that the treatment is somewhat limited in scope, only affecting the areas where the moth crystals have been applied, and sulphur has a distinct “rotten egg” odour that humans also find repulsive.

Combining cinnamon oil and clove oil

Another common mixture you can use to deter snakes, especially if you have a larger area to treat, is combining cinnamon oil and clove oil and spraying the mixture on garden plants, the foundation of your house, and anywhere else you think you might have a snake problem. Use equal parts of cinnamon and clove oils and shake well before and during the application process. The major drawback of this method is that the mixture will need to be reapplied often as the mixture does not have much residual action, especially after a good rain.

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