Do any plants or repellants work for snakes?

wildmutt(10b)May 6, 2012

Yes, I know snakes are creatures of nature, part of garden life, were here first,more afraid of us than we of them, harmless, have mothers too, keep the (insert pestilence here) population at bay,are important source of zoological curiousity for the kids,are our friends...

Tread lightly, love thy neighbor, circle of life...

Still wanna know.




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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)


    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 6:46PM
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I can tell you that snakes adore Snake-Away. My next door neighbor feels the way you do and so he put that all around his patio. I have a friendly black snake that was snoozing on my lawn and as soon as she smelled it she raced over there to see what was going on.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 11:40PM
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KaraLynn(z9 FL, Inverness, Citrus)

Well you certainly covered every arguement I could think of in favor of having snakes around! That list is funny!

Now as for your question, the only thing that I've ever seen keep away snakes is a small dog (haven't seen a single snake in my parent's back yard since they got their australian terrier) or a housecat that's skilled at hunting.

Word of warning, some skilled hunters seem to believe that the best thing to do with a snake is to present it alive to a member of the household. I had a cat who presented the same live black racer to my mother several times before we relocated the poor snake miles from the house. My mom's terrified of snakes and the cat would only present the snakes to her! Which truyly disappointed me and dad as we love seeing and handling snakes.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 8:17AM
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Yeah, the teenager next door and I have a running joke about him keeping HIS garden snakes on HIS property, thank you very much.

For a while I would go banging on his door to come and fetch one of the snakes out of my yard, but that got a bit ridiculous. (Teenagers don't appreciate bright-and-early Saturday and Sunday surprise visits. Who knew?)

Of course, they are harmless black racers or whatever, and I am not nearly as phobic as I used to be, but I still smack my shovel around and try to make all kinds of noise to let them know I am coming when I head out into the garden.

I have taken to sending my dog, Scout, (who I now call Snake Scout, hoping she will get the hint) outside ahead of me to make the commotion so they won't surprise me on the stone patios in front and back where they like to sun.

Those little dudes even sun themselves stretched across THE TOPS OF MY HEDGES!! Not cool.

The ironic thing is, now we have these fat, disgusting curly tail lizards (not your average cute indigenous insectivores, but carnivorous, semi-erect dinousaur-looking things that have invaded from the depths of hell, build nests with twigs like birds do, and hunker down in one spot to spawn more little vermin), and I have to say that if there was a showdown under the boxwood I would definitely be rooting for the snakes. On principle.

Oh well, I will just keep smacking the hedges and making as much noise as possible before I go into the foliage.

Gina, Garden Wimp

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 11:58AM
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KaraLynn(z9 FL, Inverness, Citrus)

How funny, my parents terrier is also named Scout and she is quite the hunter. Australian terriers are actually bred to go after snakes and rodents. She hasn't attacked anything but when she finds a critter in her yard she makes a fuss over it until Dad comes to check it out. As soon as he deals with whatever it is she calms right down.

Yeah, some snakes like to sun themselves in high places. Years ago mom had an arbor over a sidewalk that was covered in confederate jasmine. Well, late one afternoon dad was walking under it and had a large racer fall off the arbor and slide down his body before hitting the ground and taking off! Needless to say the jasmine was quickly cut down and relocated and now a much thinner and tamer climbing rose is growing there.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 12:59PM
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Gina, I think you might be talking about Knight Anoles. I have a few here too. Some one said they aren't native and should be destroyed, but I am not sure about that. BTW, your post was very funny and it made me laugh out loud. :o)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 6:48AM
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I had placed a cement roof tile (it is V-shaped) in front of a new bamboo shoot so the lawn guys would not weed whack it. I went out to take the tile away when the shoot was tall enough to be easily seen, and I picked up the tile to reveal a very small baby snake who had apparently been using it as his own little puptent. I thought he was cute, but you probably would not have been amused.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 3:52PM
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I see on tv a product called Liguid Fence and it is supposed to keep out unwanted critters. You buy the one you need. I haven't tried it myself, but thought about the one for rabbits.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 7:16PM
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In West Texas they use moth balls under the houses to keep rattle snakes out from under their homes. I do not know how well it works but it is used quite a bit there.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:29AM
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Moth balls are part of the formula in snake-away, which seems to attract rather than repel snakes, so I doubt the efficacy of that.

In one way, I suppose it works, since you will not want to go outside and so will not be likely to see the snakes. :)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:29AM
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I suppose since I live in what should still be the Everglades that I am just lucky I don't have boas and anacondas that idiot pet owners let loose.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 12:09PM
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Guineas usually will alert you to anything going on in your yard. They jump straight up in the air when there is a snake and will pin point it for you. They are easy on the garden too. Alas, they roam and do not want to roost where you have designated them to. Grays are better than whites as you won't lose many to hawks with the gray color. AND most snake repellents are moth ball based and they do not work. There is nothing that will inhibit a snake other than a bullet. AND if it isn't poisonous why not leave it alone? Learn to to tell the good from the bad and please do not kill the good ones! Thank you!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 5:26PM
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I hate to say it, but, plant okra. Snakes are smart; they HATE okra. Happy Mother's Day to all.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 4:25PM
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johnjsr(9A DeLand)

First of all, you should be happy to see snakes in your garden. they do a lot of good and no harm as far as I know. There are two things I can think of that predate snakes. King snakes and Red Shouldered Hawks. You may not be happy about the King snakes and the hawk will probably go away once it has cleared the are of snakes. Get over it.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 1:28AM
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FreeIsGood(9b FL)

Most cats will do a number on snakes. I keep all my cats indoors though.
We've been in a drought so I set out shallow containers of water for the lizards, skinks, and snakes. I have a nice 4 ft black racer that visits my garden. I'm quite fond of him.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 2:16PM
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Richard (chuggerguy)

I neither hate nor love snakes. But I do enjoy seeing the Black Racers here in Florida and have caught and released 6 foot Black(Rat?) Snakes(from my bedroom) in Ohio. That said, I'll introduce a poisonous threat to me, my dog, or the neighbor kids to the business end of a hoe and not feel too quilty. Not that I've ever had to do that, I haven't.

Garter snakes? I've never seen that many in my yard to be concerned with but I suppose if I did, like in the Idaho house, I'd be getting a couple outdoor cats. Or chickens? That or call call an exterminator.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 2:59PM
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beachlily z9a

Hummmmmm. Guess I'll tell my story.

About 2 years ago, I was taking foliage off my daylilies. I gave a leaf a jerk and a snake comes flying out of the daylily box, bounces off my leg and lands on my foot. I did a dance that convinced him he was endangered and he disappeared.

About 3 weeks later. My husband was in the guest room recovering from cancer surgery two days before. Wouldn't disturb him for ANYTHING!! I needed something from the garage, grabbed it and sped out to the backyard (I always walk fast). Stepped into the grass and stopped in my tracks. I had stepped on that **!*??@ snake. He writhed under my feet, hitting my legs with his fangs. Finally I took a step back and ran like ..... to the garage. The "incident" was in front of the window to the guest room where husband was recovering. I couldn't yell! I came back out in time to see the snake leaving the ferns under the window. Those ferns were removed later that day. That's when we named the snake MUSTGO.

Oh, about a month later. Helped the NJ lady who owns the home behind us. She is skittish about FL, but as nice as they come! We were trimming the palmettos that are on the property line between us. I stepped back to admire our work and there was MUSTGO. Up in the palmettos, about 6 ft off the ground. Watching us. I didn't panic, so she didn't either. I went home, got my husband (who was sorta recovered) and he did in MUSTGO. To this day I regret it.

Fastfoward to two days ago. I'm removing leaves from that same daylily box, and I see a movement. Ain't no anole. I smile. I've seen a 3' black races on the back sidewalk and he doesn't respond to "shoo, shoo". Today left the house by the front door and was occupied with putting keys back in my purse and I darn near stepped on that snake. I think he's MUSTGO's grandson or great grand son. He's safe. He just sticks his tongue out at me and I stick mine out at him. My husband doesn't understand, but the snake is still safe.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 8:48PM
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I saw liquid fence, SnakeAway, and high pitched frequency sound emitters, while searching for a nice way to repel deer. Where is Saint Patrick when you need him? I have Black Racers, they don't eat hard to find plants from Siberia...see post "Eastern Prince Magnolia Not Deer Resitant. " I can live with snakes, difficult to wake up and find nubs where a plant used to be though.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 9:44PM
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Thanks for all the fun snake stories...i only saw Snakie once this week.

And John, Mr. Bossy-Pants, I thank you for finally curing me forever of my snake phobia. The "get over it" stuff is GENIUS! How lucky you are to fear nothing.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 1:14AM
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So this morning I am taking my daughter to school (smack in suburbia) and there is Snakie curled in the hedge 5 feet from the front door, minding his own business.

I saw him in the same spot yesterday, curled up sleeping. Kinda reminded me of the dog.

I was planning to give that hedge a haircut, and I thought to myself, well, I could whack it down to a foot of leafless trunks, and maybe he will go away.

But then I realized, ya know, it would really suck if I came home and someone had bulldozed my house. (Might be more like if someone ran over my favorite recliner with a 4 x 4, but go with me here.)

So I seem to be making some major psychological progress, anthropomorphizing the little dude (he is about as thick as a hotdog and maybe 18 inches long) and sympathizing with him.

It has taken me 46 years to get to this point, and I am not in general a wuss. Bugs, problem.

I have dissected many species, dead and alive (sedated) ,including a human cadaver, and performed countless surgeries and bloody medical procedures.

If anyone wonders the surest way to create a snake phobia in a kid:

From when he/she is tiny, start putting snakes in his/her face at zoos and nature centers. If she shies away, take her little hand, drag her up to the snake, and put her hand on it, insisting how it's not slimy or scary.

At parties where the "Steve the Snake Guy" brings his reptiles, be sure to shove her into the photo with all the kids and the big snake draped over all the little shoulders.

Play fun family games in gift shops and toy stores where you toss rubber snakes at her, and tell her to buck up when sadistic older siblings have friends come over with pet snakes coiled around their necks to chase her around the house and yard.

In short, do everything you can to expose your kid to snakes "up-close and personal". After all, you mean well, your kid needs to learn to get over her fear, and you know better than she does, right?

Just sayin'.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 9:38AM
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Hi Gina,
I don't know if you'll get this message, but I'm disappointed in the messages I'm reading, because I don't think they are very helpful. It's sad to hear most seem to laugh at that phobia, and not take how you feel seriously. You just want an answer.
I love to organic garden, and live in CT by the shore. I too am not the girl who would enjoy stepping on snakes while I'm finding peace digging and planting.
I found a great article, that is more helpful.
( (1). I plant short marigolds against my home, about four feet from my tomatoes, etc. - I don't have too many issues with bugs due to this. This also doesn't give snakes too much to eat, I believe it helps starting with the bottom of the food chain, naturally, of course. (2). Don't put wood or cement down in your garden, seal places they love to hide, etc...).
Here's the article: (It may be all we can do until the day we feel comfortable picking one up and giving it a big kiss, like some others have no trouble with! Lol!)-cut & paste:

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 2:32PM
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Personally, I HATE SNAKES. I am such a phobic that I have to kill every one I see....yes...even the "good ones"!!! (I will kill my own bugs and mice too, thank you.) The only good snake is a dead one. I get very physically ill when I see them. However, they MUST DIE! My family is able to recognize in a split-second my "snake scream." Therefore, let me assure you the following story is gospel truth...

One day a couple of years ago I came home from work for lunch. I step out to the porch swing to enjoy the lovely day and the beautiful flowers. What do I see? A writhing mass of ugliness in my yard! My husband isn't home, so I call him as fast as I can hit speed dial on my phone. He says it'll take him about 5 minutes to get home. I tell him to hurry and run to get the garden hoe. I'm sure all the neighbors thought they had a crazy lunatic neighbor if they saw me chopping up snakes while throwing up at the same time! I killed 8 snakes in that bunch! A couple got away and went under my front porch. My husband said they were "only garter snakes" but he would get some Snake-Away and put under the porch to get rid of them. He threw it under one end of the porch and my son (home from Afghanistan on military leave) waited at the other end. The snakes couldn't leave fast enough!! My husband and son killed over 30 snakes as they slithered out from under my porch!! The Snake-Away smells like mothballs, but it had a lovely odor to me!! :)

Hope my story helped. If you don't like the mothball smell, I have also heard that marigolds keep them away too and they're much prettier! :) By the way...I've always kept the garden hoe by the back door of the house since that day!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 9:41PM
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I can't help but think that this last poster is doing a bit of trolling...If not then for shame, and get some education.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 1:22PM
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gardencraze(9b Groveland FL.)


Olny thing works for me is a hoe!!

Sorry, I have heard all the reasons why not harm them, But I live in the wilderness (not by choice) and there are way too many snakes out here, It is nothing to walk out to the patio and find 5 or 6 sunning some being water moccasins. Ergggg! no thank you! I do what I have to do to be safe in my home, there are hundreds of acres around here where they can hang.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 6:22PM
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I'm no fool, I don't like the poisonous ones. But other than that I'm not afraid of snakes. But I do understand phobias since I have one with cockroaches (go figure that I stay here in Florida!) Anyway, last week while in the veggie patch, I noticed the dog growling and jumping at something. Sure enough, it was a HUGE striped rat snake. I made her stop since it's harmless and I don't want her messing with snakes since we have killed rattle snakes here. Later on that afternoon I go to the chicken coop to gather eggs, I opened up the hatch to the nesting boxes and this snake is inside one of them, trying to swallow a golf ball, with a real egg laying right beside it. So I grab a stick and try to sweep it out of the coop, the stick is brittle and keeps breaking off. I finally get it out of the coop on the ground, still the golf ball is in it's mouth. So I go to look for the pitchfork only to pick it up and move it off the property - when I get back it is gone - the golf ball lying there where it finally managed to spit it out. So I'm searching for it, can't believe it disappeared so fast. Then I looked up in a close-by tree and there it is, out on a limb, sticking it's tongue out at me. So I gave up for about and hour and went back to check the coop - it's back in there AGAIN trying to swallow another golf ball. I chased it back and forth all over that chicken coop but it got away through the chicken wire and into another tree. The next time I will get a pair of gloves on and snatch that sucker up and dispense with him to the neighbor's property.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 7:41AM
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Snakes follow scent glands of the females, so I think the moth balls mess up the trails, I have used them for years around my old house and finally see very few. Used to have them in and out of the house. Garters are very prolific, can be hundreds born alive, black snakes lay eggs and leave them, like under a old tree stump.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 8:04AM
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I'd be glad to take in unwanted snakes. I like them, and they do a good job keeping down the rodent population.
I've come across them from time to time in my garden, I leave them alone, they leave me alone.
I used to keep some as pets when I was younger, they are beautiful and interesting critters.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 8:16AM
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Ok...snakes are good...just get over it, right? No. Snakes reside under my back door step. I have asked them nicely to just be aware that it is my space too; please respect that they? Well no, they do not. Fact is that they do fright me upon enter/exit as they just appear, usually quickly; soon I expect that I will break an ankle or hip.
I do not want a dog either. What to do?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 1:58PM
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You are probably going to just have to live with the snakes.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 4:00PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

I don't know about repelling snakes, but supposedly you don't want Muhly Grass. "Snakes love to hide in that stuff" according to my M-I-L. Though, she's seen five or snakes in her garage which is five or six snakes more than I have seen in my Muhly Grass. So apparently if one has an issue with snakes, the last thing one wants is a garage.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 8:58PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

The prior owner of my home carpeted the garage with an indoor/outdoor carpet. When I moved in, I took several large boxes, flattened them and laid them out where I park the car to save the carpet. A few years later, I went to replace the cardboard and between the layers was a perfect snake skeleton.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 9:27PM
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I don't do snakes, they can live somewhere else thank you!!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 4:00PM
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