African Snakebite Institute:
The issue of snake repellents comes up regularly and no matter how often it is addressed, there are still lots of people that believe in spraying Jeyes Fluid around their houses to keep snakes away. And they then resort to poor logic – “We had two snakes last year but since we sprayed Jeyes Fluid we no longer have snakes. Works wonderfully.” Well not quite as there are millions of houses where Jeyes Fluid is not used and they never see any snakes.
A reminder on the issue of Snake Repellents.
There are a number of popular snake repellents – Jeyes Fluid, old oil, petrol, diesel chlorine, Condy’s Crystals, burning tyres, moth balls, sharp-edged gravel and the commercially-available snake repellents to mention but a few.
A number of plants also supposedly keep snakes away, including Geraniums and various garlic plants.
Needless to say, the above snake repellents have been tested and do not work. At all! In fact, some of these substances may even attract snakes. Research done in the USA showed that when snakes hatch (or are born), they immediately associate with smells in the environment and may well link those smells with a safe environment, to the degree that such substances may attract snakes in future.
A variety of substances including Jeyes Fluid and snake repellent were tested recently at Wits University and nothing actually repelled snakes. These results will soon be published in a scientific journal.
Although snakes easily sense vibrations, especially when someone approaches a snake, they quickly get used to most vibrations and do not necessarily avoid drilling and construction sites. Some snakes live right next to busy highways where heavy vehicles cause lots of vibrations. Vibrating devices, as can be seen on the photograph, do not keep snakes away and are a waste of money.
So how do you keep snakes out of your garden? It’s quite simple – keep your garden clean, remove building rubble, piles of rocks and other suitable places where snakes can hide. Especially sheets of asbestos or corrugated tin. And bear in mind that snakes are attracted by rodents and frogs – a water feature will attract frogs and they, in turn, may well attract snakes.
There is one more solution in high-risk areas – put shade cloth onto your perimeter fence – about 1 m high and dug into the ground (at least 30 cm) and make sure that the entrance gate areas are also well sealed. Such a barrier will prevent well over 90% of snakes from entering your properties. We have erected such barriers at mines and around farm houses and with excellent results.
Peter Gillatt (on Snakes of SA FB page in response to the same myth)
Absolute nonsense. Will do nothing at all to snakes. I’m guessing honey is one of the farm’s products?
There is no such thing, chemical or natural that acts as a snake repellent.
Please do a search on the group for the word “repellent”. This is covered in many threads and alternative advice is provided.
Keeping the area clean & free of rubbish that attracts rats & mice that snakes eat and does not provide hiding places & shelter for snakes is probably the most important thing.