How to Repel and Keep Garden Snakes Away: Effective Methods for Snake-Free Gardens

What Keeps Garden Snakes Away

Garden snakes, also known as garter snakes, are common reptiles found in many gardens. While they can help control pests like slugs and insects, some gardeners prefer to keep them away due to fear or concerns about their presence. Fortunately, there are several effective methods to deter garden snakes while ensuring a safe and snake-free environment for your plants and family.

1. Remove Attractive Habitats

Avoid creating inviting conditions that may attract garden snakes to your yard. Keep your lawn well-maintained by regularly mowing the grass and removing any excess debris such as wood piles or leaf clutter where they could hide or nest.

2. Seal Entry Points

Preventing snake access to your property is crucial in keeping them away from the garden area. Inspect all entry points such as gaps under doors, utility openings, or cracks in walls and seal them properly using weatherstripping materials or caulk.

3. Install Fencing

Fencing can be an effective barrier against unwanted guests like garden snakes. Opt for solid fences with no gaps larger than a quarter of an inch (0.6 cm) since these sneaky reptiles can squeeze through surprisingly small openings.

a) Use Snake-Proof Materials

To enhance the effectiveness of fencing against garden snakes, consider using snake-proof materials such as galvanized hardware cloth with a mesh size of ¼ inch (0.6 cm). This will ensure maximum protection by preventing even the smallest of slithering intruders from entering your yard.

b) Bury Underground Barriers

If you’re dealing with persistent burrowing species like Eastern Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis), bury an underground barrier made of metal or strong mesh around the perimeter. This will discourage them from tunneling and accessing your garden.

4. Modify Landscaping

Making strategic changes to your landscaping can help deter garden snakes from taking up residence in your yard.

a) Remove Tall Vegetation

Snakes are more likely to seek shelter in tall grass, dense vegetation, or overgrown shrubs. Regularly trim and maintain these areas around your garden to eliminate potential hiding spots for snakes.

b) Use Mulch Alternatives

Garden snakes often hide under mulch as it provides ideal concealment. Consider using alternative ground covers such as gravel, rocks, or wood chips that are less attractive to these reptiles.

c) Plant Snake-Repelling Plants

Certain plants possess natural properties that repel snakes due to their strong scents or textures. Some examples include marigolds, lemongrass, garlic, and onions. Integrate these plants into your garden beds strategically to create a deterrent effect against garden snakes.

5. Make Noise Vibrations

Garden snakes have a heightened sensitivity towards vibrations since they rely on this sense for hunting and detecting danger. Utilize noise-generating methods near snake-prone areas:

a) Wind Chimes

Hanging wind chimes creates constant gentle noises when the wind blows through them, which can disrupt the tranquility favored by sneaky serpents and keep them at bay.

b) Ultrasonic Devices

Ultrasonic devices emit high-frequency sound waves that humans cannot hear but are unpleasant for many animals including snakes. Place these devices strategically around your garden to deter unwanted slithering visitors.

c) Vibrating Repellers

Vibrating repellers are battery-operated devices that produce vibrations in the ground, mimicking the movement and presence of potential predators. These subtle disturbances can discourage snakes from approaching your garden area.

6. Use Natural Snake Deterrents

Natural deterrents can help create an unwelcoming environment for garden snakes without posing harm to humans or other animals:

a) Essential Oils

Certain essential oils, such as clove oil or cinnamon oil, have strong scents that act as a repellent for snakes. Dilute these oils with water and spray them around your garden borders or areas prone to snake activity.

b) Vinegar Solution

A mixture of vinegar and water sprayed on surfaces frequently visited by snakes can be effective at keeping them away due to its strong odor. However, avoid spraying vinegar directly on plants as it may damage them.


By implementing a combination of these methods, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of encountering garden snakes in your yard while maintaining a thriving and snake-free gardening space. Remember to choose methods that suit your preferences and align with local regulations regarding wildlife management practices.