Snakes are one of the most unloved members of the animal kingdom. The legless creatures inspire fear in people like nothing else. They would do anything and everything to barricade these serpents from stepping foot near their residence. In their attempt to avoid these reptiles at all costs, they even resort to methods that are nothing more than myths and old tales.
One of them is using salt as a repellent. Come again? Yes, salt (sodium chloride) that we use in food. Whoever said that must be joking with you. There are natural repellents that have been somewhat proven effective at repelling snakes. But, I can assure you salt isn’t one of them.
It’s not a lost cause though. You can use other means to ward off these critters. Read on to know does salt really keep snakes away and how did the rumour originate.
Does Salt Keep Snakes Away?
Whoa! Where did you hear it? Salt doesn’t repel snakes even an inch from its place, let alone keep them away for good. No toxic compound can keep snakes away if they are hungry and food is in plain sight. Poor sodium chloride is not even a poison.
Simply put, it’s just an old wives tale that snakes are afraid of salt and will stay away from it.
Why Do People Believe that Salt Repels Snake?
The myth of salt-against-snake might have originated from the fact that it kills snails and slugs. Slugs tend to dissolve when coming in contact with sodium chloride. However, it doesn’t have the same effect on snakes regardless of their similar physiologies.
Salt is often used as a therapeutic substance for lower vertebrates; snakes are also members of this group. Animals are given salt baths to eliminate fungus and parasites from their skins. We have yet to find experimental evidence of this method being used on snakes. However, it is assumed that the method may be equally therapeutic for snakes if applied in adequate quantity. Over-exposing them to salt might dehydrate them and cause more harm than good.
What Other Natural Remedies are effective at Repelling Snakes?
As I said, it’s not a lost cause. Several natural remedies have been found to give positive outcomes when tried against snakes. These include garlic, neem, powdered sulfur, lime, tobacco.
Some plants and extracts have also been found effective at repelling snakes. For instance, essential oils —cinnamon, clove, cedarwood and peppermint oils— have strong and unique aromas that snakes find overwhelming and disorienting. Resultantly, they flee from areas where these oils are introduced.
As for the plants, Marigold, Lemongrass, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue and Onion & Garlic are a couple of plants famous for warding off snakes. You can introduce a combination of these in your garden and outdoors to keep the snakes away from your house.
However, none of these natural repellents will have the desired results unless you introduce some alterations to the premises alongside. Such as:
- Snakes are attracted to a place if it contains food and shelter for them. If you don’t want them visiting your property, eliminate their interests — food sources, sheltering spots and moisty areas that attract amphibians and insects that snake love to gobble down.
- Alter your landscape. Keep your grass short. Remove debris, falling leaves, firewood and rock piles from your residence.
- Avoid excessive watering of your garden. Repair leaky faucets.
- Keep the trashcans and pet food containers tightly sealed. Plus, eradicate cracks, crevices and holes from your property. Cover gaps under doorsteps and windows so that snakes cannot wiggle through there. In short, eliminate all the possible entry, exit and harborage sites.
- Introduce reliable snake-proof fencing around your yard.
What Other Items Repel Snakes
There are chemical and electronic repellents that may also help you keep these terrifying reptiles at bay. We do not usually recommend chemical repellents as most of them have ingredients that are harmful to humans, pets and even snakes. That’s why they aren’t the first choice for home use, especially where hyperactive kids and pets are present. However, if you do go for a chemical repellent, make sure to follow the directions to the T to avoid unpleasant incidences.
Alternatively, electronic repellents are a much safer option. These are either stuck in the ground or plugged in power sockets to activate them. They produce a high-pitched sound that is inaudible to human ears but extremely disconcerting to snakes. These repelling gadgets successfully chase away moles and other pesky pests as well.
There are dozens of popular home remedies to help you steer clear of snakes. Unfortunately, some of them are just myths and rumours; they don’t work at all. Salt is a famous case in point.
Lucky for you, there are ways and remedies, both natural and chemical, that prevent the reptiles from slithering across your property. However, the best and sure way to keep the premises 100% snake-free is to make it unappealing for snakes; eliminate food and refuge sources that tempt them.