What Smells Do Rattlesnakes Hate? (Best deterrents)

Snakes have an incredibly great sense of smell. This increases their ability to hunt and follow their prey but it also makes them easy to scare away by using the right odors.  So what smells do rattlesnakes hate?

Rattlesnakes hate the smell of garlic, ammonia, cloves, naphthalene, sulfur, and other powerful scents. While scent deterrents are not foolproof, they may encourage rattlesnakes to find somewhere else to live and hunt.

Rattlesnakes can be quite the pest if they’re in your yard and they can end up being quite dangerous if you don’t know they’re there. 

Not only will they make you jump out of your skin, but they may also be harmful to you, your children, and any pets you have. They have powerful venom that can seriously injure or kill living things.

Getting rid of them is never foolproof, but using the guide below, you’ll be able to create a home environment that is more likely to keep snakes away.

Not only can you use their hated smells to deter them from your property, but there are other great strategies as well.

Smells Rattlesnakes Hate

Snakes hate a wide variety of smells that stretch all across the board.

This could include anything from plants to oils, to smoke, to chemicals. Obviously, they really shy away from potent smells which make them feel uncomfortable.

The reason for their increased sense of smell, like we mentioned earlier, is part of their survival technique. Their smell can lead them to potential food, and even help them track down prey that is hidden or far away.

The Jacobson Organ is a highly developed organ that gives snakes a distinct advantage over their prey.

When a snake is flicking out its tongue, it is actually smelling the air! While it is a great resource for snakes, it is also a great resource for humans who want to keep them out of the areas they shouldn’t be.

Natural Home Remedies to Deter Rattlesnakes

The nice thing about using home remedies is that you can often find or make them at home!

Maybe it entails a short trip to the store, but it is at least something that has other uses besides just repelling snakes. They tend to be cheaper and can be used on a trial and error basis. You can use as many different types as you need, plus they won’t damage your yard if you use natural ingredients.

As we mentioned earlier, snakes really hate the smell of garlic, cloves, and sulfur, but there are a variety of other natural scents which will help to repel snakes. Cinnamon and cedarwood are also great essential oils to use.

To do that, you would choose the essential oil you want or create a combination of two or more.

Anyone who has sniffed an essential oil bottle can tell you that it’s so powerful you can almost taste it. Imagine how much worse it will be for the sensitive scent organs of a rattlesnake. 

Many people will mix cinnamon and clove oil together in a spray bottle.

Use it on surfaces that can absorb it, such as a wood deck or a lava stone. And obviously, you will need to reapply the concoction multiple times and regularly in order for it to really help. Sweet spices like clove and cinnamon also smell nice to us, so it can be a wonderful solution.

If you would rather use garlic, a great way to do this is to smash some garlic up and put it in a bag or a bottle of olive oil. Then leave it for a while so that it is able to adopt the garlic smell.

Once you have left it for a week or so, you can strain the olive oil mixture and spray it around the perimeter of your yard or home.

Lime and hot pepper is another mix you can create to pour around the perimeter.

This mixture, as well as peppermint, will not only cause them to avoid the smell, but if it happens to get on their skin it can be itchy and irritating which will also encourage them to leave.

It may also be helpful to mention that if your snake problem centers around your pool or another water feature, vinegar will be your best help. If you just pour vinegar around the edges of a pool or pond, it will mix around with the water and make the snakes less likely to jump in the water or hang out nearby.

Be careful though, vinegar can harm plants and aquatic animals if used too often, or in too high of a concentration.

Store-bought Remedies to Deter Rattlesnakes

There are so many smells that will help to repel rattlesnakes because of their heightened sense of smell.

There are a couple of key smells that they do not like, which can be found in many store-bought remedies. Naphthalene is one of these scents.

It is quite smelly and often it can be found in mothballs.

This scent can also be found in cigarette smoke, or exhaust, but was registered as a pesticide in the United States in 1948 and has been used since then to help repel pests like rattlesnakes. Naphthalene can also be harmful to humans and pets, so use it with caution and keep it out of the reach of children.

Sulfur and ammonia are also common ingredients found in snake repellants because they dislike the smell.

A simple internet search will yield a plethora of different results for snake repellents. You’ll be able to find a wide variety of choices at a local home and garden store, or hardware store. There are so many good ones out there that will help you to keep those rattlesnakes out of your yard.

A really popular one to start with is ‘Snake B Gone‘ made by Ortho.

It comes in granules that can be sprinkled in areas where you have seen snakes, or where you feel snakes are prone to hide.

It is incredibly affordable and has a base of essential oils. It is long-lasting and resistant to rainfall so that it continues to perform even after a thunderstorm.

You can find it on Amazon here.

Because it uses essential oils as a base, it does not give off a horrible chemical smell that also repels the people. 

Another great repellent for snakes is Victor Snake-A-Way.

It also comes in granules and lasts from 2 to 3 months. It normally comes in a 4-pound bag and will cover about 1/2 of an acre. 

It can be purchased on Amazon here for about $14 dollars.

What it does is temporarily disrupt the snake’s smell reception. It is recommended to use it around the perimeter of your yard or property in hopes that the smell will motivate the snakes to leave.

Lastly, the Exterminators Choice Snake Defense Spray is another great option to help repel snakes.

It is a liquid spray that can be used indoors and outdoors because it is not toxic. It is made in the united states and is effective in keeping snakes away.

It was made by real professional exterminators and has 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. You can find it here on Amazon for about $22 dollars.

Now that you know some good store-bought options to start with! You can seek out natural or store-bought repellents to begin getting rid of the snakes that love to pay you a visit.

You can make them want to leave because of the smell but also because of the physical atmosphere.

Other Ways to Prevent Snakes

There are plenty of other ways to help keep snakes away besides scent-based deterrents.

This could include changing some things in the yard, applying repellants, planting some new plants, getting a few more animals, and others.

Choosing a variety to practice at once might help to successfully get rid of all the problems you have with snakes. Just remember that if there is a snake in your yard right now, you can chase it off by spraying it with the hose until it leaves.

Make sure you stay at a safe distance and never get within striking range. 

Planting a few new plants will be a great deterrent because of their powerful natural smells. Some great plants to put around the perimeter of your home include lemongrass and wormwood.

These plants give off potent smells that may cause rattlesnakes to flee.

There are also quite a few animals that prey on snakes, and snakes know this and stay away from them.

Chickens are a great example of this. Snakes like to come around and get into the eggs but a protective chicken will often attack snakes in order to keep them out of the chicken’s enclosure. A couple of other really great animals which will also attack snakes are guinea hens, turkeys, and even pigs.

Purchasing one of these animals will be another great way to help keep snakes out of your yard, home, and garden. Foxes and raccoons will also eat snakes if they are around the neighborhood.

Make sure you keep domestic animals like cats and dogs inside if you’re worried about rattlesnakes though. They may be curious and wind up with a deadly bite! 

Cleaning up your yard will also do wonders for keeping snakes at bay. Rattlesnakes will not stay in areas where they do not have a sufficient number of places to hide.

These hiding places can be in a stack of logs, a pile of old trash, or a patch of really long grass. Scan your home and yard to see what kind of places you are providing for rattlesnakes to hide in and clean them up.

Throw out all that trash, mow the grass around your old machines, or move old wood inside a shed.

If we think about this logically, rattlesnakes will only stay around if they have some food to eat and a place to rest right? Well if we are able to get rid of these attractants then the rattlesnakes will move on to another place in search of food and shelter. Rattlesnakes mainly eat rats, mice, birds, frogs, fish, moles, and insects.

Each of these is also a pest and so if your yard is animal-free, there is less reason for a rattlesnake to approach.

If you are worried about snakes getting into your house, then you must block all access they have to the house. When they see a crack or hole in the wall, they will see this as an invitation and come right on in. You can plug holes with rocks or a foaming sealant as well as some fencing materials.

These will aid in keeping snakes out of your house while you try to get them out of your yard. 

If you’ve tried everything but you can’t get the snakes to leave you alone, there are still two more options:

  • Hiring a professional
  • Relocating the snakes yourself

Both of these may prove to be a challenge but are completely possible and effective.

On average, hiring a professional remover would cost you around $400 dollars or so depending on which one you choose and how many snakes they had to catch. Often times you can find a removal company that will relocate not only the snakes but also their food source.

They accomplish this through trapping most of the time.

While they are there ask them for more suggestions on how you can keep the snakes out of your house permanently by offering prevention ideas.

Snakes hate a lot of smells and we can use these predatory skills we can use this to help guide them in a different direction than your home or yard. Try out one or more of these methods to get rid of the snakes.

Remember that even though they are dangerous, they may be keeping other pests at bay. If you remove snakes from your yard, you may find a lot more insects, rodents, and other animals become a lot more common.

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