Is Snake Repellent Harmful to Humans

Is Snake Repellent Harmful to HumansPeople use snake repellents for keeping snakes away because the combination of snakes and deterrents is a match made in hell. Unfortunately, we resort to these products without knowing the hell they can put us through. Is snake repellent harmful to humans? Sometimes, yes; other times, no.

Many of us believe resorting to potent repellents will magically disappear snakes from our houses forever. That might be true, but the cost is often high and unpleasant. Choosing a lethal product to get rid of another poison – a snake that might or might not be poisonous. How ironic!

Read further to find out the consequences of certain snake repellent substances. You will know what you’re getting yourself into and how to handle a situation if something goes wrong.

Is Snake Repellent Harmful to Humans

Yes. It is as clear as day that many chemical snake repellents have toxic and harsh elements in them that are harmful to humans, domestic animals and the environment. I want to share a couple of components commonly used in professional snake repellents and their harmful effects.

  • Mothballs and Naphthalene: Naphthalene and mothballs are common ingredients of many acclaimed commercial snake repellents. Whether they repel snakes or not becomes secondary compared to the risks they pose. They are highly toxic and can even be fatal for little ones and pets if swallowed.
  • Sulfur: Sulfur compounds are also used in chemical snake deterrents. Regardless of sulfur’s lox toxicity, it isn’t harmless. Ingesting it can cause diarrhoea. Powdered sulfur can cause mild skin or eye irritation if the particles land on skin, eyes or clothing. It also disrupts breathing if inhaled.

Furthermore, igniting sulfur is the most hazardous as it releases a highly toxic gas, sulphur dioxide. Inhaling the fumes can cause severe respiration issues to both humans and pets.

  • Lime: Pelletized lime is a famous homemade snake repellent technique. Did you know that wet lime poses a risk to humans as well as pets? Well, now you do. If inhaled, it can leave you gasping for air, i.e. cause respiration problems. Worst of all, certain lime products can cause severe burns if you don’t avoid contact with the skin. Excessive use of lime in the yard can even be deadly for your plants.
  • Ammonia: This is another famous home remedy for snakes. Ammonia compound is infamous for its foul smell, urine-like horrible stench, and toxicity. Exposure to diluted ammonia without protective attire can result in eye, throat or nose irritation. Even brief contact with the substance can cause severe skin irritation, so much so that you might end up scratching your skin red.

Medical experts and pest control agents prohibit the use of chemical repellents having a higher concentration of ammonia around children or pets. That’s because it can be DEADLY if swallowed or inhaled.


  • Unpleasant Smell: Snake repellents are notorious for emitting unpleasant odours. Some are so offensively malodorous that breathing in the treated atmosphere might make you puke.

What are the Precautionary Measures

Whenever you’re using a chemical snake repellent or a somewhat offensive ingredient, make sure you strictly follow the directions on the label. If the label says it could be hazardous to people and domestic animals, then make sure to keep it out of reach of your beloved babies, both children and pets. Furthermore, avoid applying them in gardens, crops’ fields and near water supplies, streams or ponds.

Here are other precautionary measures that can help you defuse a dangerous situation.

  • If swallowed or inhaled a toxic repellent product, immediately contact a nearby poison control centre or doctor instead of inducing vomit.
  • Give the unfortunate person a glass of water.
  • If the person is having difficulty breathing, move him to fresh air. Call an ambulance. Besides, give the person artificial respiration if possible.
  • If the product contacts your clothing or skin, rinse the skin with fresh water for around 20 minutes. Immediately take off the contaminated cloths.
  • In case of irritation in the eyes, gently rinse them with water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Make sure to visit a doctor for further treatment after the first aid.

A Tip:

You can drive snakes away without putting anyone in danger. The easiest and safest way is to opt for those snake repellents that are environment-friendly, non-lethal and EPA tested. For instance, go for products that carry essential oils extracts as active ingredients.


People resort to potent chemical repellents believing they affect only unwanted critters like snakes. They often learn the hard way that snake repellents can also be harmful to humans and pets. Commercial repellents use elements like naphthalene, sulfur and lime that are hazardous if swallowed or inhaled. Therefore, it is advised to either strictly follow the instructions or use environment-friendly snake deterrents.

We also listed some basic precautionary measures to help you treat the affected person. Using caution and restrictions will ensure the situation never gets out of hand.

About the author

Clinton Newman

Clinton Newman is a herpetologist and part-time blogger who loves to study snakes and their behavior. He is always called by neighbors to help them catch or get rid of snakes in their houses. . He's a passionate traveler and does a lot of Hiking and Hunting Adventures. His favorite places are Forests, Deserts, and Mountains. Now, he's guiding other Hikers to hike safely through this blog by reviewing the top best picks gears for safety and also guiding on Snakes and ways to deal with them.