Cedar Mulch and Snakes

sam_mcgowan(Z9 TX)November 19, 2008

Does anyone know if cedar mulch will repell snakes? We seem to have snakes all over the place this year and yesterday I found a coral snake in our back yard. Fortunately, I evidently had run over it with the lawn mower the day before because it had been cut in two and was dead. A herpetologist tells me that they feed on brown snakes and other small reptiles. The non-venomous snakes don't both me but they will evidently attract the venemous ones. I've read that snakes don't like cedar. We live in Sienna Plantation in Ft. Bend Country and I've been told that there are a lot of coral snakes being reported around the Missouri City area this year. Our first encounter was a small reddish-brown snake that decided he liked our front porch area. I can live with that but had just as soon not have coral snakes around since we have dogs and cats.

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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

There is no foolproof way to prevent snakes from entering one's property. Some products are sold with claims of deterring snakes, however the effectiveness of these products remains to be proven. The repellent products that are most commonly advertised contain either sulfur or naphthalene (mothballs). However, the amount of product required to be effective against snakes would make the treated area intolerable for almost everything else, including people.
Be careful where you put your body parts! They usually hide away from people in dark places.PJ

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 6:02PM
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I understand the Cedar oil is harmful to reptiles. It is much better for keeping other unwanted insects away. Coral snakes can be kept down by just good lawn management, they hid under almost anything. Coral snakes have small mouths and they have to chew not bit.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 9:13PM
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Here is my opinion. I have a chipper that will do 6" wide logs and an abundance of cedar trees in the 6" range and therefor, an abundance of cedar chips. I have not found cedar to repell ANYTHING. It may for a short time but that quickly wears off. I still have copperheads under the house. I see bugs in the cedar all the time. Pill bugs seem to love it.

Use it as a mulch. Educate yourself and family about where snakes live, what they eat and how to avoid them and what to do if the chance anyone ever gets bit by one. Live with them, not in fear of them. Alas, I step from my soapbox.

I have a 10 year old weiner dog that has been bitten 2X in the past year alone by copperheads. I don't think she'll ever learn though.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 8:45AM
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sam_mcgowan(Z9 TX)

Thanks for the inputs. I've read in some forums that cedar is harmful to pet snakes. As for snake repellent, I did get some at Houston Garden Center and put it under the garage door where the little (if you can call 2 feet little) brown snake liked to get and haven't seen him since. On the other hand, it left a shed the last time I saw him and that may be why he was in there in the first place. Clint the Snake Man is coming by tomorrow to take a look at the property and give some suggestions as to what to cut back and what not too. I think I'm going to just start weed-eating everything in the back yard rather than trying to keep it landscaped. We live next to a nature area which is cut pretty close and have a power line easement on the other side. We do have some copperheads around but I've only seen one and it had evidently died of dehydration. I grew up with them in Tennessee and have had dogs bitten by them, but they would usually just "tree" any snake and bark at them until someone came. We had a lot of Bluejays around and they would start hollering whenever a snake got in a tree. It seems to me I've seen chicken snakes (rat snakes in Texas) in cedars but that was a long time ago and I'm not sure.

By the way, I understand that the supply of antivenom for coral snake bit is nearly exhausted and the supplier doesn't make it anymore. Clint tells me that there is a good one in Mexico but it hasn't been approved by the FDA yet so the only option for a person bitten by one is to put them on life support until the venom has passed.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 5:50PM
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I think this is a good post and hoping to boost it forward since it is spring, and snake season. We have a local cedar mill that sells fresh cedar mulch cheap, its beautiful, aromatic, and I bought it for weed control. However we also have tons of copperheads and a few rattlesnakes=they love wood piles so I was hoping the cedar might be a little less inviting. Everything around the planted areas is kept mowed. I would alert the original post to reconsider the little reddish brown snake and be sure it wasn't a copperhead. The females can look a little less harmlss than the males. Although there are many beautiful snakes that have similar colors. I agree that the cedar doesn't repel much for very long. Ticks love my cedar trees. So if anyone has anything new on mulch and snakes please let us know.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 12:15PM
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