Snakes don’t often have the best reputation, and many of us attempt to keep them from our gardens. There are numerous species of snakes in Australia that are also venomous, making them highly undesirable in any garden where children or pets play.
One of the common statements heard by many about snakes is that they are repelled by lizards. So do blue tongue lizards keep snakes away, or do goannas keep snakes away? In this article, we will look at this and other ways that you can keep snakes out of your garden.
Do Blue-Tongue Lizards Keep Snakes Away?
The blue-tongued skinks are a favourite species in Australia (and the world). They look impressive and their tongue fascinates loads of people. The blue tongue is a great way for the skink to warn potential predators away.
However, that doesn’t mean this is true for snakes.
Blue-tongued lizards eat a varied diet, and newly hatched snakes might be part of their diet. Therefore, in one small way, they can become an active, natural part of reducing snake populations.
So, are snakes scared of blue-tongued lizards? Snakes are active hunters and eat a varied diet themselves including rodents, amphibians, other snakes, and even lizards. Many of Australia’s snakes will eat blue-tongued skinks when they’re fully mature.
Therefore, a blue-tongued lizard in your garden might not deter some of the larger snakes but rather attract them.
Do Goannas Keep Snakes Away?
Goannas are monitor lizards found in Australia. Most monitor lizards are highly aggressive to prey items, and will pretty much eat anything that they can overpower. They’ve been known to scavenge from prey items that are much larger than themselves.
So, do goannas eat snakes? There are lots of media reports of goannas hunting, killing, and eating snakes in Australia. But it isn’t a prey item that they particularly look for. Goannas, like many predators, are opportunistic. They will hunt whatever they find close to them, whether that is a snake, lizard, bird, or a large mammal.
They will also feed off dead animals that they find.
In addition, there has been no significant research to say that the presence of goannas will deter snakes from an area.
Is it Worth Making Reptiles a Home in your Local Area?
If your sole purpose in getting reptiles into your garden is to discourage snakes, then your goal isn’t good enough. Reptiles in the garden do not deter snakes at all. Lizards do not deter snakes, and some attract them.
And goannas can be a worse option than some snakes. Goannas are scavengers, therefore they can sometimes carry diseases that can be spread to humans that can cause significant health risks. Especially if they’ve recently feasted on decaying prey in the local area.
Therefore, there need to be some other options when it comes to deterring snakes from a local area. These might include some of the following options.
1. Envirobug Anti-snake Devices
Using the Envirobug Snake repellent, you can improve the chances of keeping snakes away from your property. A couple of these devices into your ground and they will deter snakes from a large area. The devices send a vibration into the ground, which in turn confuses the snakes into thinking that there is a predator around.
Snakes live in fear and are predated on by many animals. So sensing a predator will usually mean that they will leave an area quickly.
2. Natural Predators
There are numerous birds that you can keep which can help you keep snakes away from your property. Normally these birds have to be kept in a good-sized flock. Like five to ten, but they can deter snakes by their presence.
What normally happens is that the snake will try to enter the garden and the birds will chase it away. Though there are many birds that snakes will just try to stay away from, even if potential food sources are nearby.
3. Keep Natural Food Sources Away
One of the key ways to keep snakes from entering a property is to give no reason for the snake to come to the property. Snakes are often searching for two things: food or shelter. Food can be found in two main sources: rodents and amphibians. So if you encourage either of these into your area, then you are inviting snakes.
Mice and rats are a particular favourite of many different snakes. So if you leave rubbish out or you don’t have the bins cleaned, then you might attract the rats/mice which will encourage snakes to come into the area.
Likewise, small ponds and water features might attract some frogs, toads, and other amphibians. Snakes might come into your garden to catch these individuals.
4. Remove Hiding Spots
Snakes spend most of their time hidden. Rock features and underground holes are perfect locations for snakes as they hide from predators and lay in wait for prey to come close. Removing these from your garden or property can be one of the first steps to keeping snakes around.
You can often be very close to a snake and not know it because the snake wants to remain hidden from you.
5. Use Natural Deterrents
While some animals can deter a snake from an area, you can use plants and natural substances to make an area less appealing. One substance is fox urine. Using this around your garden can deter snakes because foxes are significant threats to the snake, and they won’t want to be close to a fox.
Another natural deterrent is garlic, lemongrass, marigolds, and other plants. These are often strong-smelling, which can interfere with the natural senses of the snakes. Most snakes rely on their sense of smell to detect prey and warn of predators, so these plants are often avoided to ensure they can continue to use these senses.
Are lizards great at deterring snakes? Not really. While blue-tongued skinks have a great reputation, they are only good at removing baby snakes. Larger snakes will be attracted to these skinks as they are a potential food source.
And while other reptiles might eat a snake, no study has found a snake will avoid an area because of a reptile. Instead, scents from foxes are more likely to be effective. Therefore, you have to rely on other means to deter snakes from your property.