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What Smells Do Snakes Hate?

Snakes, which can sometimes become unwanted visitors on properties in Colorado, have a sense of smell that is highly developed and can be targeted with certain scents to keep them at bay.

Below are some powerful smells that are often cited as being offensive to wild snakes in Colorado.

Natural Repellents


Soaking rags in ammonia and placing them in areas where snakes are a problem can help repel them, as the pungent smell irritates snakes.

Clove & Cinnamon Oil

A mix of clove oil and cinnamon oil can produce a strong scent that repels snakes when sprayed near potential entry points or around the perimeter of a property.

Essential Oils

Certain essential oils, such as peppermint, eucalyptus, and citronella, are also considered unappealing to snakes and can be used in a diluted form as a repellent.

rattlesnake smelling a bad smell with tongue

Garlic & Onions

The pungent odor of garlic and onions is believed to be another scent that snakes dislike. Sprinkling chopped garlic or creating garlic-based sprays can help deter snakes.


The citrus smell of lemongrass is pleasant to humans but can act as a repellent for snakes. Planting lemongrass around the garden or property border can be a natural barrier.


The smell of naphthalene, found in mothballs, is a traditional remedy that has been touted as a snake repellent. However, its effectiveness is debated, and it’s toxic to humans, pets, and the environment, so its use is generally not recommended.

White Vinegar

Spraying white vinegar around the perimeter of a water body can help keep snakes away. The strong scent of vinegar can deter snakes, especially from areas where they might come to hydrate.

Commercial Snake Control Products

Liquid Fence Snake Repellent

A commercially available snake repellent that uses a combination of sulfur and natural oils, which snakes dislike, to create an effective barrier against them.

Ortho Snake B Gon Granules

This product employs essential oils in a granular form and can be sprinkled around the property to deter snakes without harming them.

Solar-Powered Ultrasonic Snake Repeller

These devices emit vibration and sound waves that disturb snakes and other pests, though the effectiveness of these products can vary.


Another commercial product containing a blend of sulfur and napthalene, it’s designed to disorient the snake’s sense of smell and keep them away.


It’s important to remember that any repellent should be used with caution.
Before using chemicals or products, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

With natural remedies, consider the wildlife ecosystem and the potential effects on pets and children. It’s safest to have OMNIS Pest Control provide specific treatments depending on the snake.

Lastly, remember that while these smells may help to repel snakes, they are not guaranteed solutions. Preventative measures such as keeping grass mowed, removing clutter, sealing entrances to crawl spaces, and controlling rodent populations are more reliable for keeping snakes off your Colorado property.

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