Watch your step for snakes when on the trail
Connor Mollison headshot

This article was written by Connor, one of our founding editors. Connor is a full-time travel and lifestyle photographer with extensive experience in the outdoors industry.

How to Keep Snakes Away

Even if they’re not venomous, snakes in your yard can be unpleasant and can pose a threat to children or pets. Like you, we’ve done our fair share of reading on how to keep snakes away. It gets difficult to know what to believe, especially when half of the guides are looking to sell repellent products.

In this guide, we’re going to look at the definitive answers on how to keep snakes out of your yard, as well as pondering some of the more controversial methods, like snake sprays and repellents. It is important to keep in mind that there are inevitably some variables and there is no one fool-proof method for keeping snakes away from your home.

The 'Cut-to-the-Chase' Answer

  • Keep your yard tidy from debris

  • Build a snake-proof fence

  • Remove climb-able objects around the fence, like trees and bushes

  • Make sure fences go underground and don’t have gaps

  • Remove natural hiding places like leaf piles, rocks, and logs

  • Consider letting your pet roam frequently

  • Invest in a snake trap

  • Keep rodents and insects away

What Attracts Snakes?

Before we tackle methods to keep snakes out, it is vital to learn what it is that attracts them to certain areas. With a simple understanding of snake behavior, you’ll quickly be able to identify whether your yard is a snake’s paradise or not.

Snakes are looking for two things: shelter and food.

Snakes are naturally reclusive creatures and prefer to keep themselves out of harm’s way whenever possible. As a result, this leads them to look for suitable hiding places that don’t make them vulnerable. Snakes will typically choose to hide under objects like rocks, logs, leaves, and bushes. These provide the perfect natural shelter from any outside danger.

As well as looking for shelter, snakes will look for food. If they know that there is a food source, a snake will be attracted to a certain area. They usually feed off rodents and insects and it is not uncommon for them to eat birds.

Finally, snakes are often known to look for clean sources of water. In yards, this can come in the form of low-level bird baths as well as ponds and water features.

How to Keep Snakes Out of Your Yard

Now that you know what attracts snakes, it is much easier to be able to identify the next steps needed in order to stop them from coming in, foraging, and nesting in your yard. Let’s take a look at some of the more definitive answers on how to keep them out.

Maintain Your Yard

So, we know that snakes are looking for shelter. In order to drive them away from your yard or to make it the least attractive as possible, you should aim to provide little opportunities for shelter. This means regularly maintaining your yard to keep it clean of debris and natural hiding places.

You should aim to keep your grass short and consider removing bushes. Additionally, remove leaf piles, rocks, and logs. Not only will removing bushes and keeping the grass short limit hiding places for snakes, but it will also help to keep down rodents and insects, also making your garden less attractive.

If you need to store things like logs, you should aim to store them around 2 feet or so above ground level. You can do this by placing them on concrete slabs.

Build a Snake Proof Fence

It’s no secret that fences should keep unwanted creatures and animals out. However, a snake-proof fence is slightly different since snakes are talented at finding any small gap or way in.

You should make your fence go a few inches underground and ensure that there are no gaps throughout the entire perimeter. Just as important, you make should make it as hard as possible for a snake to climb over the fence by removing overhanging branches, bushes, and anything leaning against the fence.

Let Your Pets Roam

You should frequently allow your pets to roam your garden frequently as this will make snakes aware of their presence and hopefully avoid the area. In addition to this, it will also help to keep snake prey away, ultimately making it less attractive to a snake for foraging.

Invest in a Trap

Although traps, like glue traps, aren’t necessarily designed to be a repellent, they are an extremely useful way to manage a snake problem. Traps can be placed anywhere you see snakes linger and they work by sticking a snake to a glue sheet.

If you use traps, you need to check them regularly since a snake physically cannot move and will therefore die if you leave one for a prolonged period. It is thought that the scent on some of the glue sheets is capable of deterring snakes as well as trapping them.

What About Snake Repellent?

Using snake repellents, like granule-based products or sprays is highly debated. Research suggests that the products are largely ineffective, however, there are many online reports of them actually working. If you can afford the gamble and have a problem with snakes, we suggest opting for a repellent with natural ingredients.