Does Lavender Repel Snakes?

Updated on July 14, 2023

Ever had a surprise visit from a snake in your own home? It's nothing short of hair-raising, right? If you're nodding along, thinking about that uninvited, slithery guest, then this is just the place for you. Did you know you could use plants as your personal snake bouncers? That's right! Nature has a storehouse of snake-repelling plants that can help guard your home against these unwelcome intruders. With a sprinkle of greenery and a dash of knowledge, you can shield your family from snake encounters - let's show you how!

Does lavender repel snakes?

Lavender has a wide range of applications, from its fragrant aroma to its ability to reduce stress, as well as its culinary uses. However, the most important one of all is its effectiveness as a snake repellent, something that you should be aware of.

This plant has the potential to become a nuisance due to its speed of growth and its tendency to spread in certain areas, being labeled as a weed. While lavender may have an off-putting scent to some snakes, it is not necessarily a practical option for snake repellent since it requires a lot of upkeep.

You might have heard that lavender is an effective snake repellent, but this is simply a myth. A scientific study has concluded that the responses snakes have to lavender oil are varied, and none of them are strong enough to consider lavender a true repellent. Snakes responded either aggressively or indifferently to the person sprinkling lavender oil, and there is no evidence to suggest that lavender contains any substances that could paralyze or repel snakes.

You might wonder what are the things that keep snakes away then? To know about it more, keep reading.

Understanding Snakes

It’s possible for you to have a fear of snakes due to prior experiences, but they are an essential part of our environment. Sadly, some species of snakes possess defensive capabilities which can be dangerous, and even result in death, to people.

If you inhabit a region that is prone to snakes, it’s wise to utilize plants that can act as a deterrent for both venomous and non-venomous species that could be lurking in your backyard, garden, front of your house, or other places like your kids' or pets' playground.

One way to protect yourself from snakes in a snake-dominated area is to use plants that act as a barrier and repel them. Even though there are some advantages to having a snake around, if you reside in a place where snakes are abundant, you should prepare for the worst-case scenario.

Children may inadvertently find themselves in a dangerous situation if they enter the habitat of a snake while playing outdoors. If you are a keen landscaper or gardener, there is also a significant risk. Snakes might make their way into your yard and possibly into your house unless you create an anti-snake atmosphere.

Types of Snakes and Snake Habits and Behaviors

When it comes to deterring slithery intruders from our backyards, the idea that certain plants, particularly lavender, repel snakes has been floating around for ages. But does lavender genuinely work as a snake repellent? Different types of snakes have unique behavioral traits and sensory cues that guide their actions, including their interaction with their surroundings. Some individuals claim that certain smells snakes hate, like that of lavender, can repel these reptiles. However, the scent of lavender doesn't necessarily repel snakes as one might hope.

Plants that Repel Snakes

Although the idea that lavender and other plants can keep snakes away sounds appealing, there is scant scientific evidence to back it up. While the aroma of lavender may be disliked by some snake species, it isn't an absolute deterrent. For snakes, the potential of prey often overpowers the repellent effect of certain smells.

Importance of Snakes in Local Ecosystem

It's also important to remember the essential role snakes play in our local ecosystem. As predators, they control the populations of pests like rodents. Therefore, rather than looking for plants that repel snakes or smells that snakes hate, we should focus on creating balanced ecosystems where every creature, including snakes, plays its part.

Understanding Snake Feeding Habits

Understanding snake habits and behaviors further demystifies this. The primary factors that attract snakes are food, shelter, and favorable conditions for survival. Lavender, despite its intense aroma, might not be enough to repel snakes if these attractions exist.

How to Create an Anti-Snake Atmosphere

Installing a snake barrier, incorporating multiple repellent plants, and limiting food sources are essential components of creating a snake-resistant garden. These animals feed on rodents, mice, and other smaller animals, so if your garden is not attractive to these creatures, it will also be less attractive to snakes. To construct a barrier around your yard, you can plant one or multiple repellent plants. Planting several of these plants in a row will be even more effective at keeping snakes away from your property.

Installing a Snake Barrier and Utilizing Repellent Plants:

The process of creating a snake-resistant atmosphere in your garden begins with installing a snake barrier, a step that involves the strategic placement of specific plants. The commonly held belief is that lavender repels snakes, thanks to the strong aroma it exudes. While some argue that snakes hate this smell, scientific backing for such claims is scant.
Besides lavender, a range of other plants is said to keep snakes away. Lemongrass, for instance, has been recommended as a possible snake-repellent plant. The citronella produced by lemongrass not only repels snakes but also works against mosquitoes, adding a bonus benefit. Another plant, the skunk cabbage, is also suggested to repel snakes. Its strong, unpleasant odor is said to deter various animals, including snakes. Using multiple types of these plants in tandem can potentially construct a more effective barrier around your property.

Limiting Food Sources for Snakes

Another key aspect of creating a snake-resistant garden is to limit the food sources for snakes. The primary diet of snakes comprises smaller animals such as rodents and mice. Making your garden less attractive to these creatures makes it less enticing to snakes, consequently working as an indirect method of repelling snakes.

Geographical Considerations for Snake Repellents

While considering snake-repellent measures, it's important to take geographical factors into account. The type of snakes common in your area and their specific behaviors will influence the effectiveness of your chosen repellent plants. For instance, in regions where garlic is grown widely, it is often utilized as a snake deterrent due to its strong smell that is believed to be disliked by many snake species.

Though the belief that lavender, and certain other plants, repel snakes is widely held, the effectiveness of these plants can vary depending on a multitude of factors. A comprehensive strategy that also involves reducing food sources and potential hiding spots, along with the incorporation of repellent plants, can be far more fruitful for keeping snakes at bay.

What are the things that keep snakes away?

Snakes have an excellent sense of smell that helps them in locating food sources and staying alive. They have an organ known as the Jacobson's organ which reacts strongly to the scents of cinnamon, clove oil, and eugenol. Taking advantage of this trait, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service suggests that you can use the smells of these to repel snakes.

Alternative Snake Repellents

While the effectiveness of lavender as a snake repellent remains a topic of debate, there are various other options one can consider for keeping these reptiles at bay. This section delves into the world of alternative snake repellents, exploring a variety of plants that snakes reportedly dislike, as well as concoctions one can prepare at home to deter these creatures. Let's venture beyond lavender and discover more about the various ways you can repel snakes from your property.

Other Plants That May Repel Snakes

Contrary to the common belief that lavender repels snakes, studies suggest that its effects are mixed at best. Therefore, if you are seeking to keep snakes away from your property, it may be beneficial to consider alternative plants known to repel snakes. For example, Lemongrass is frequently mentioned as a potential snake deterrent due to the citronella it produces, which is known to repel a variety of creatures, including snakes.

Skunk cabbage, named for its strong, unpleasant smell, is another plant touted as a snake repellent. Its odor, offensive to many animals, including snakes, can deter them from venturing too close. Moreover, garlic, widely cultivated in many regions, is often used as a natural snake deterrent. Its potent smell is believed to be one of the smells snakes hate, making it a suitable choice for those seeking to naturally repel snakes.

Homemade Snake Repellents

Beyond plants, there are other homemade snake-repellent options that leverage the fact that there are certain smells snakes hate. For instance, a mixture of clove and cinnamon oil can potentially function as a snake deterrent due to the strong smell it emits. Similarly, eugenol, found in essential oils such as clove oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, basil, and bay leaf, is also known to be disliked by snakes.

However, it is essential to note that while these remedies might help to some extent, they are not foolproof. The effectiveness of these repellents often depends on the specific species of snake you are dealing with, as well as other factors like the availability of food and shelter. Therefore, professional advice is recommended when dealing with a persistent snake problem.

To-dos to keep snakes out of your yards

If you live in an area with a lot of snakes or are worried about them entering your home, there are some steps you can take to reduce the chances of that happening. These strategies will not guarantee that snakes will stay away, but they can help.

  • If you have pets, make sure their food is stored safely away as it can attract snakes. Additionally, you should remove any bird feeders, birdbaths, and other sources of food and water.
  • Consider removing water sources like ponds and bromeliads, and trimming the bushes and trees in your yard regularly.
  • It may also be beneficial to replace your grass or mulch with gravel, as snakes have difficulty moving or hiding on hard surfaces.
  • Additionally, remove any covers from your yard, such as rubble heaps, building materials, or rock walls.
  • Planting trees that attract snake-eating birds can also help, as this will make it more challenging for snakes to invade your property.
  • Finally, installing snake-proof fencing can also help keep snakes away.

Comprehensive Prevention Tips

  • Using a combination of snake repellents can increase their overall effectiveness. This includes both commercial products and natural repellents like garlic, skunk cabbage, and lemongrass, which snakes are known to dislike.
  • Regularly inspecting your property for signs of snakes or their trails can aid in early detection and removal.

Pet Safety Measures Against Snakes

  • Educate yourself about the common snake species in your area and the risks they pose to your pets. Knowledge about their behaviors and habitats can help you in safeguarding your pets.
  • Consider snake aversion training for dogs. This specialized training can teach your pet to recognize and avoid snakes, thereby reducing the risk of snake bites.

Please note that although these strategies can be useful, the effectiveness of plants as snake repellents, including lavender, varies, and is not universally recognized. It's always best to consult with a local snake control professional for the most effective snake prevention methods.

Professional Control and Removal

If you are having a snake problem, the best thing to do is to contact a wildlife control expert. They are able to not only remove the snakes from your property but also give you advice on how to prevent them from invading your place again. This advice should be taken seriously, as not following it may result in future snake invasions.


It has been proven through scientific studies that snakes are not affected by the smell of lavender plants. In fact, experiments demonstrate that snakes react to lavender oil based on the presence of someone spraying the oil, not the scent. This means that the notion of lavender being an effective snake repellent is nothing more than a myth created by those who produce lavender-based products and those who hold incorrect beliefs.

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