Once it was accepted wisdom that the best way to deter a snake in your path was to stamp your feet vigorously. They don't suggest this anymore - and with good reason!
Do vibrations scare snakes?
Experts warn that not only is stomping one's feet relatively ineffective, but it could have the opposite effect – making the snake feel threatened so it is provoked to bite.
You are much safer to stay perfectly still and let the snake go on its way. Snakes primarily work on smell and vibration and so if you stamp your feet in a striking range of the snake it will feel threatened by the vibration and strike your foot.
It is, however, a good idea to stamp your way through grass and areas where snakes may be as the vibrations will forewarn snakes that there’s a large creature nearby and they’ll move away to avoid danger. And of course stick to the golden rule – never try to catch, corner or kill a snake – that’s when most bites occur.
Signs of snakes in your yard
Before you start formulating ways to deter snakes in Australia, it is important to actually know if there is a snake at all (or you’re imagining things). Signs of snakes in your yard in Australia will not be as detectable initially. Snakes like to live a rather quiet life, although it doesn’t match with their spine-chilling disposition. So you may have been sharing your yard with a snake for a long time without realising their presence. Snakes will target your yard or property as their sanctuary if they can find shelter and plenty of food sources in and around your property. This means, if you aren’t getting rid of rubbish or not cleaning your garage or basement every so often, you are passively inviting snakes into your property.
Snakes feed on a variety of small prey like rats, mice, frogs, small farm animals (like chicks), slugs, snails, and grasshoppers. See it this way, if you don’t clean out sheds or get rid of rubbish, you get rats and mice; if you don’t trim grass and hedges, you get frogs, slugs, snails, grasshoppers; and all of these collectively will lead to only one thing: snakes. According to experts, the number one telltale snakes sign in your yard is snakeskin around and inside your property. Other snake signs that give away their presence in your property include -
Nests or snake holes
Snakes love to nest in cool, damp and dark areas. The areas in your property that fit this description are basements, crawlspaces, utility, and laundry rooms. If you have a large enough yard with plants and bushes, you may also find snake holes in shady places.
Snakes don’t have feet but it doesn’t mean that they don’t leave tracks. Snakes slither to move around so if you have an infestation in your yard, you should be on the lookout for slither tracks.
Distinctive snake smell
Snakes give out a distinctive musk which has a similarity with the smell of rotten eggs. This strange odor can be found in crawl spaces and other areas habitable for snakes.
Another way to tell if you are hosting a snake (or many snakes) is to identify snake droppings in your yard or property. Snake droppings (if there is an infestation) may also be found in basements or attics.
Deterring snakes from your property in Australia
If you’re living in Australia, by law, you cannot inflict harm upon a snake in any way unless your life is at stake. Moreover, trying to kill a snake or threatening it will backfire on you because
snakes tend to attack only when they feel severely threatened by humans and other animals. When you can’t fight snakes, you have to prevent them from entering your property at all; and no, stomping your feet to deter snakes doesn’t count as an effective prevention method.
Ways to deter snakes from your garden and property come in all shapes and sizes. You can find a variety of methods to exercise from natural to more artificial approaches. However, the concern is about effectiveness and efficiency of these methods. Firstly, many people consider falling back to natural remedies like planting agapanthus, peppermint, wormwood and lemongrass to deter snakes. There’s a debate among homeowners about the potency of these plants as snake deterrents. Mechanical snake deterrents are more effective, and demand less labour on your part to deter snakes from your yard. Take the EnviroBug solar powered and battery powered snake deterrents for example. As simple as they look and come out of the box, these snake repellers produce vibrations of different frequencies to keep snakes away from your property. This is totally different from stomping your feet, firstly because devices have been developed over many years to be maximally effective against a variety of Australian snakes and secondly, because vibrations you create by stomping your feet aren’t enough to scare away snakes, let alone prevent them all in all.
These snake deterrent devices work silently, so you won’t even know the devices are there. They provide great coverage and acts without harming the snakes, you or the environment. Additionally, electronic snake deterrents do not make use of any harmful chemicals at all so there are no side effects or collateral damages of these devices. Once again, because Australian law forbids you to harm or kill snakes, preventing their infestation is your best choice against them. As such, installing ultrasonic snake deterrents provide you with long term protection against snake infestations, and keeps you, your pets and your family safe.
How to deter snakes and make your property snake-proof?
With urbanisation, we humans are gradually expanding our habitat, jeopardising wildlife. Our lives are bleeding into the regular whereabouts of wild animals and vice versa. Snakes in Australia are an important member of the natural fauna, just like other animals. Snakes are quiet creatures who do not attack unless threatened, but to ensure our safety, we cannot create a dire situation by instigating a snake to attack us. On top of that, we have to be very careful about adapting different methods to deter snakes since we do not want to harm them, or the environment or other harmless animals. In order to deter snakes from your property, here are a couple of tips on how to snake proof your yard in Australia -
Clean your yard and surrounding areas often
Do not keep your rubbish in the open or keep piles of unused objects inside your property as these places are suitable nesting areas for snakes. Regular purging of rubbish, piles of rubble, wood and other unusable scraps and wastes will make your property less habitable for snakes. It will also prevent pesky pests like rats and mice which are food sources for snakes. Once snakes have fewer options for shelter and food on your property they will look for alternative places to nest and keep away from your home.
Trim bushes, hedges and keep grass short
If you have a garden with bushy plants, regularly trim the hedges to allow fewer hiding spots for snakes. Frequently mow your lawn to keep the grass short, so that snakes cannot hide within.
Get rid of standing water
Remove puddles, pools of water around your house, shed or in your yard. Standing water sources may be good points for hydration for snakes and also play host to animals that snakes prey on.
Fill holes and burrow
Scan your yard and garden for burrows made by other animals and fill them before it becomes a snake nest.
Put fences around your property
Check your yard and property for entry points of snakes and close them as tightly as possible. You can install fences with mesh hardware clothes to prevent snakes from slithering inside your yard.
Snakes are a part of nature, just like us. But, because snakes are not domesticated animals, humans and snakes are not accustomed to living side by side. Installing snake deterrents that keep off snakes with vibrations is the most effective way to deter snakes and snake-proof your yard in Australia. But what if you have a snake infestation before getting a deterrent installed? In this case, do not handle the snake yourself if you have zero experience; call animal control as soon as possible and stay alert.
No they are not. In fact, snakes are sensitive to vibrations, as they feel threatened by them. This is why mechanical snake deterrent devices use vibrations as their underlying mechanism to deter snakes.
No scientific evidence has been found on salt’s action as a snake deterrent. Salt often works on slugs, but not snakes.
Snakes have been found to despise the smells of ammonia, cinnamon oil, clove oil, garlic, onions, lemongrass, naphthalene, smoke, marigold, and white vinegar.
Only passively. Cats can keep the rodent population in your property under control, and by extension, keep snakes away from your property. However, cats are not equipped to directly deter snakes as they are under the risk of getting bitten by snakes.
Geraniums, like other snake deterrent plants do have some role in preventing snakes, but with very little success. Using plants may be a quick solution, but not an effective long term prevention method.
Marigolds are bright and give off a very strong odor which snakes do not prefer. Marigolds also release alpha-terthienyl - a phototoxin into the soil using their root system that also play a role as a snake deterrent.
Contrary to traditional beliefs, moth balls in fact have zero potential to deter snakes.
The use of garlic, just like geraniums, marigolds and other plants and oils with a strong odor can keep away snakes only for a limited time. These remedies do not stand the test of time and eventually wear off.