It is a popular belief that snakes hate sharp-smelling things. This is why there’s hype about lime being an effective homemade snake repellent. Such home remedies seem like quick solutions to snake problems. Many blindly follow them, while others like me want a definite answer to questions like: Does lime keep snakes away? Will it have any harmful effect on me and the people living with me? I encourage such suspicions because they keep you from relying solely on the wrong treatment methods for deterring snakes. I found it the hard way after numerous failed attempts. Here’s what lime does, or doesn’t, for snakes. Read to find out before you put all your faith in it and suffer.
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Does Lime Repel Snakes?
Lime, also called pelletized lime, is a powdered substance made from limestone. When you search for home remedies to keep snakes away, one of the techniques is using lime. People believe that the sharp scent of the substance around the territory keeps snakes away. Sorry to burst your bubble, lime versus snakes equals snake-free land is false. There’s no scientific proof that supports these tales.
Either stories related to lime effectively repelling snakes are just that, tales, or the serpents these days are super-smart. How did I end up with this conclusion? Simple, experiments.
I poured lime solution a couple of times around the premises. The result was a disappointment, disappointment and again disappointment. It neither worked on giant ass garter snakes nor on baby blacks. However, you might notice a slight discomfort in serpents when you mix lime with peppermint or hot pepper. But, there won’t be any such thing as snakes immediately leaving the building and staying away for good.
Why Do People Believe Lime Repels Snakes?
Cambodians often use kaffir-lime leaves, peels and fruits inside the house and in yards/gardens to deter snakes. The general belief is that these legless wildlife creatures have zero tolerance for kaffir-lime. Therefore, they keep their distance from territories having kaffir-lime trees. Again, the theory needs scientific evidence to become a fact. There’s no need to believe my word. You can consult the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources or researchers at Colorado State University Extension. They will tell you that neither homemade nor popular commercial repellents will keep serpents away.
However, pelletized lime does repel mosquitoes, flies and insects. Yay! At least something good does come out of it.
Speaking of trees, the Lemongrass plant, especially the West Indian Lemongrass, is supposedly most effective at deterring serpents. It has a citrus aroma that keeps snakes, mosquitoes and ticks at bay.
Harmful Effects of Lime
Lime can reduce soil acidity and naturally works as an insecticide. It suffocates them. Unfortunately, it kills insects without discrimination, which means the beneficial ones also die.
It can also increase the pH of the soil to an alarming level if used too much. As a result, your favourite plants will die.
If not handled properly, lime in wet form can also harm humans and their beloved pets. It can cause respiratory problems if inhaled. Moreover, some lime products are notorious for causing severe chemical burns to humans and animals if not used as directed.
What Effectively Keeps Snakes Away?
I personally believe that getting help from a professional pest control agent or wildlife control employee is the best approach. The experienced personnel will handle the snake situation without any bloodshed or death.
As for snake repellents, the best and most effective snake repellent is renovating your home in an anti-snake design. That includes,
- Garbage- and -debris-free yard, garden and lawn. Precisely speaking, mowed lawn coupled with its regular maintenance.
- Cover all the cracks, fissures and holes on the property that snakes can use as shelter or entrance.
- Don’t allow insects and small animals on your property that snakes devour.
I am not against home remedies for repelling snakes. What makes me suspicious of them is that they can backfire. Say, agitate a snake and make it attack you or harm your kids and domestic animals.
Despite our wishful thinking, lime doesn’t work on serpents. It does repel insects and pesky flies. Hence, it’s not a complete failure. But, you have to be careful with its use because excessive use can harm you, animals and even plants. In the end, the best remedy for snakes is a well-maintained and rodent-free house and yard. If you still spot a stubborn snake somewhere, then invite a wildlife expert or pest control agent.