Snakes use numerous senses in the world around them. As they hunt their prey, they can also get themselves into all sorts of places, like bathrooms, kitchens, outhouses, and the garden. One of the key senses that a snake uses is its smell, which is why smell can be an effective tool to keep snakes out of the house, naturally. So what smell do snakes hate? And how can you use it to keep them away from your home?
How do Snakes Smell?
Snakes smell in a unique way. Unlike mammals that breathe in the odours from the air, snakes use their tongue to ‘taste’ the air, collecting molecules from the air that they then put into a special organ in the roof of their nose. So technically, snakes don’t smell, they taste the odours in the air.
The two ends on the forked tongue are ways that the snake can determine what direction the odour is coming from. So if they sense something on the right fork, they can turn in that direction.
The speed at which a tongue flicks can determine the interest of a snake in something in the environment. Most snakes, when they get excited, will flick their tongue more frequently.
What smells do Snakes hate the most?
There are lots of natural home remedies that can help you to repel snakes, and not resort to more drastic options. However, scents don’t last as long as we would like. Which is why products that deter snakes via vibrations are an excellent backup to have in the ground at all times. Snakes are super sensitive to vibrations, as they spend their life slithering on the ground. Battery or solar powered repellers can emit vibrations at least once within 90 seconds, to keep snakes at bay when the scents are wearing off.
So what are the smell snakes hate the most, and what other smells do snakes hate?
Cinnamon and Clove Oil
These common household items are two that omit a smell that snakes hate. If you’re cooking with them often, you will find that snakes will not live near the home. It is a highly accessible option that has been shown in studies to repel the Brown Tree Snake (Boiga irregularis).
One of the reasons why these might repel snakes is because they are known to be toxic to other animals. Pets like dogs and cats can have very bad reactions to the essential oils, a couple of licks can cause burns to the tongue and if it gets on their skin, it can have a similar effect.
Therefore, if you want to use this, then you need to ensure that the oils aren’t accessible to other animals or pets.
Vinegar is not just something that can be added to food to make it tastier or to preserve some food items. It is also a fantastic natural cleaner and it can also be used as a snake deterrent. One of the reasons for this is that snakes are very sensitive to acidic substances, and they will tend to avoid locations that have the very slightest acidic aspect.
You can use vinegar in several ways, one of which is to pour it over high-traffic areas that will push snakes to leave an area or travel across an area.
Mothballs have a chemical in them, Naphthalene, which has demonstrated some tendencies to repel snakes. Mothballs are often used to keep moths and other flying pets away from cupboards and clothes, so they can often be found in home supply stores.
However, mothballs are also highly toxic to pets and children. Camphor is also included in mothballs and these can result in significant health concerns for dogs. A dog digesting just a small amount can become agitated and develop seizures.
So they shouldn’t be used without caution.
Citrus is a lovely smell to humans, a slice of lemon is popular in drinks! As citrus is acidic, it is a smell that snakes hate a lot. You can use citrus as an air freshener around your home, placing a few slices of lemon or limes around.
Some people have found that using a lemon or lime cleaner on their door and window frames can help to deter snakes from the home.
Garlic is another common ingredient found in the kitchen. It is the smell snakes hate the most. Though it is not known why. It could be because garlic is also known to keep insects away from a home. Insects are often around food items that rodents, a snake’s prey, will often eat.
However, it might be that garlic can also hide the smell of potential prey items. Therefore, snakes don’t want to hunt in those areas.
Smoke is one of the few smells that animals universally hate. One of the reasons for this is that smoke is something that often comes from fire, which is highly dangerous to all animals. Smoke is also a deterrent to other pests across the house, including insects.
Essential oils can be an easy way to get a house smelling nice. There are some health benefits for us to having essential oils in the home, but there is another benefit to them, keeping snakes away from the home.
Essential oils affect the snake’s ability to smell, so they tend to stay away from the area. But essential oils can also be dangerous to other animals. So make sure that any cats or dogs that you have can’t gain access to it.
Using marigolds in the garden can prevent snakes from accessing the gardens. Marigolds aren’t the only plants you can use in the garden to deter snakes, but they are relatively easy to buy, grow and keep. Therefore, they are a great item to include in your garden, especially near locations that snakes might like to hide in, like rock gardens and other handy hiding locations.
Final Word: What Smell do Snakes Hate the Most?
Snakes have a very acute sense of smell and if there is something they don’t like, they will often leave the area. Often this is because, without the ability to smell, they can’t track down prey items.
However, it is important to note that smells are not foolproof, and many require a regular application, like every day or week. So, the best option is to use a mixture of odours along with vibrating snake repellers.