10 Smells That Snakes Actually Hate

Running into a snake in or around your home can be a nightmarish experience. Luckily, it is possible to repel snakes to keep them from inviting themselves into your life if you know things that snakes like to avoid.

Snakes hate how certain essential oils smell. Some common examples of aromatic oils that can repel snakes are cinnamon, clove, cedarwood, lemongrass, and mugwort. Kitchen staples such as vinegar, garlic, and onions are disliked by snakes, too. Other smells that can drive away snakes include smoke and sulfur.

Below you will come across a total of 10 things that have anti-snake smells.


Where there’s smoke, as everyone knows, there’s fire.

Well, snakes know this, too.

And because they know that fire can kill them, snakes quickly slither away as soon as they smell smoke.

It’s because of this reason exactly why you can use smoke to your advantage if you want to keep snakes out of your home and the rest of your property.

Unfortunately, keeping snakes at bay using smoke can put you, your loved ones, your belongings, and your home at risk. It’s for the simple fact that it usually involves fire.

The good news is that it’s possible to have smoke even without fire. All you have to do is get your hands on a bottle of fragrance oil that smells just like smoke.

Yes, it’s referred to as fragrance oil instead of essential oil — essential oil is extracted from plant sources. No oil can be extracted from fire or smoke.

So, if you don’t want to risk burning down your home in an attempt to fend off snakes, avoid lighting a fire. Instead, uncap a bottle of smoke-scented fragrance oil, such as:

Smoke Scented Oil by Good Essential

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Good Essential Smoke Premium Fragrance Oil

Believe it or not, some people who are into DIY candles, soaps, bath bombs, and lotions find the smell of smoke soothing and relaxing. This is why Good Essential Smoke Premium Fragrance Oil is available online.

Since the product is high quality, it’s great for various aromatherapy purposes. And because it smells just like smoke, it can be used as a snake repellent.

However, I find that the smell of Good Essential Smoke Premium Fragrance Oil isn’t that strong, so it’s recommended to use it liberally for best results.

P&J Trading Campfire Premium Fragrance Oil

Just like what the name suggests, P&J Trading Campfire Premium Fragrance Oil will remind you of an open-air fire in a campsite.

On the other hand, it will remind snakes of a fire, which is why they will stay as far away from it as possible. Needless to say, it’s a good idea to apply the product to areas of the home that snakes tend to frequent.

One way to utilize this fragrance oil that smells like smoke is by spraying it where necessary.

However, refrain from diluting it with water or carrier oil as it will weaken its smell. You may also use an essential oil diffuser.


In some instances, it’s not an online store that you need to visit to get hold of something that can help keep your home and the rest of your property off-limits to snakes.

There are times when all you have to do is step foot in your kitchen and grab a bottle of vinegar — snakes cannot stand the smell of vinegar.

Everyone who is into DIY pest control knows very well that vinegar is very good at killing dust mites, bed bugs, and many eggs and larvae that you don’t want in your carpet, bed, sofa, pantry, and elsewhere in the home.

Creepy crawlers that vinegar cannot kill can be repelled by this sour liquid, which is why it is both an all-natural pesticide and a repellent.

Vinegar cannot kill snakes alright, but it can definitely deter them.

If you don’t want to see snakes on your property, all you need to do is pour some vinegar on potential entry points.

Besides the kind of vinegar that you use for cooking and making dressings, there is another form of vinegar that can keep snakes at bay so much better — industrial strength vinegar!

Here are some products that you may give a try:

Natural Armor 30% Home and Garden Vinegar

The name makes it clear that this vinegar is not intended for making vinaigrette.

Natural Armor 30% Home and Garden Vinegar is specifically made for cleaning and deodorizing homes as well as ridding gardens of common garden pests.

According to the maker, this product is six times stronger than regular vinegar.

Because of this, it makes for a better snake repellent than your favorite type or brand of vinegar. Get your hands on this 128-gallon product, and you can have a snake-free home.

Calyptus 45% Natural Concentrated Vinegar

Calyptus 45% Natural Concentrated Vinegar

If you want something stronger than the vinegar I talked about above, consider going for Calyptus 45% Natural Concentrated Vinegar. This product is nine times stronger than store-bought vinegar.

Despite this, it’s still safe for use inside the home. It also won’t harm plants, which is why it is suitable for garden use, too.

Besides applying this vinegar to areas snakes usually visit, you may also soak rugs in it. Place the rugs in snake hotspots to make them realize that they are no longer welcome to drop by.


Vinegar may be effective as a snake repellent.

However, it can be challenging to apply because it can make quite a mess. This is especially true if you apply it to trouble spots straight from the bottle or plastic jug.

If you prefer a mess-free solution for snakes, here’s a wonderful suggestion: sulfur powder. Because it comes in the form of powder, you have better control when it comes to its application.

It also won’t evaporate, which means that there is no need for you to apply sulfur powder over and over again just to keep your home or property free of snakes.

There are a couple of reasons why sulfur powder is effective against snakes. First, it irritates the skin of snakes. And once this happens, snakes will no longer attempt to slither across it ever again.

Second, it has a strong odor that snakes cannot stand. The smell of sulfur powder is similar to rotten eggs, which is why it can make any area that you apply it stinky.

But if you don’t mind having a whiff of sulfur powder, go ahead and use it to drive away snakes. Here are some brands available online that you may want to order:

Alpha Chemicals Sulfur Powder

Weighing 1.10 pounds, Alpha Chemicals Sulfur Powder is recommended for homeowners who are being bugged by a lot of snakes. It allows them to use sulfur powder liberally to prevent snakes from dropping by and scaring everyone.

The maker says that the product is 99.5% pure sulfur.

Because of this, it’s not the same sulfur powder that can be used as an all-natural remedy for a variety of skin problems, from acne to dermatitis.

When applying Alpha Chemicals Sulfur Powder, wear a mask and a pair of goggles and gloves to avoid nose, eye, and skin irritation.

Earthworks Health Organic Sulfur Powder

A couple of things exist why Earthworks Health Organic Sulfur Powder is a very good repellent for snakes.

First, according to its maker, the product is 99% pure sulfur. It means that it doesn’t contain a lot of other ingredients that can prevent the sulfur component from carrying out its job of fending off snakes.

Second, the product is organic.

Despite this, it can still irritate your nose, eyes, and skin. It also smells bad still. While it’s harsh on snakes, this brand of sulfur powder is gentle enough on plants — it’s good at regulating the pH levels of soil.


One of the most delicious and easily recognizable spices on the face of the planet is cinnamon.

A little of it can make all sorts of baked goodies a lot yummier. Cinnamon also has many health and beauty benefits. They range anywhere from lowered blood sugar levels to reduced acne and acne scars.

If many people love cinnamon, all snakes hate it. That’s because they cannot stand the way cinnamon smells. The spice is a common air freshener ingredient alright, but it can be used as an all-natural snake repellent, too.

What’s really nice about cinnamon is that it comes in a variety of forms.

Needless to say, you can customize the way you protect your home and the rest of your property from invasive snakes.

For instance, it is completely up to you if you want to place cinnamon sticks, cinnamon powder, or cinnamon essential oil on various snake entry points.

Personally, I prefer to use cinnamon powder and cinnamon essential oil since they tend to have a more concentrated smell. Here are a couple of products that you may give a try:

Zazzee USDA Certified Organic Ceylon Cinnamon

When shopping for cinnamon powder, you have two options: ceylon and cassia. Ceylon is great for cooking, which is why it is preferred by many.

To use this product as a snake repellent, you just have to sprinkle generous amounts of it where snakes are not allowed. Unfortunately, cinnamon powder and water don’t mix, which means that you cannot turn it into a spray.

Mary Tylor Naturals Cinnamon Essential Oil

If you prefer to use cinnamon in oil form rather than in powder form, opt for Mary Tylor Naturals Cinnamon Essential Oil. The product comes with a glass dropper, thus allowing for trouble-free application.

Certified organic and 100% pure, it will surely repulse snakes the moment that they take a whiff of it.

Because cinnamon essential oil tends to lose its smell when exposed to the air and light, reapply it on a regular basis for best results.

Besides repelling snakes, the product is also good for lifting your mood and deodorizing your home.


Traditional healers recommend clove essential oil for dealing with skin infections, muscle pain, toothaches, digestive upset, and cough.

On the other hand, those who are into all-natural common household pest extermination use it for killing bed bugs, fleas, and ants, as well as repelling flying insects such as flies and moths.

What makes clove essential oil effective as an insecticide is that it contains eugenol.

A colorless or pale-yellow liquid with a spicy scent, eugenol is used for making perfumes. However, many insects cannot tolerate this compound.

Snakes are some of the creatures that do not like eugenol in clove essential oil. In fact, spraying clove essential oil on them will cause them to retreat.

They will also avoid going to places where the aromatic oil is present. Getting your hands on a bottle of clove essential oil, needless to say, is great for keeping your property snake-free.

To see results, go for pure clove essential oil to make sure that it has high concentrations of eugenol that snakes and many common household pests absolutely hate.

Online, some of the top-sellers are:

Gya Labs Clove Bud Essential Oil

This product is primarily designed for consumers who would like to take advantage of the various health and beauty perks offered by clove essential oil.

But because it’s pure and therapeutic grade, Gya Labs Clove Bud Essential Oil makes for an excellent snake repellent, too. You can place drops of it on potential snake entry points.

The .34-ounce bottle costs around $10. If you don’t want to run out of supply of clove essential oil anytime soon, you may dilute the product with water and use a spray bottle to apply it.

Ola Prima Premium Quality Essential Oil

If your property seems to be inviting a lot of snakes, it’s a much better idea to go for a larger bottle of clove essential oil. You may give the 4-ounce bottle of Ola Prima Premium Quality Essential Oil a try to keep snakes at bay.

Besides placing drops of the product in strategic spots, you may also administer it with the use of an essential oil diffuser or by soaking rags in it and then leaving them in corners or rooms that tend to attract snakes. Worry not if you are not completely satisfied with the purchase. That’s because the maker is willing to give you a full refund.


Also sometimes referred to as cedar, cedarwood is another all-natural snake repellent.

Scientists say that the smell of this essential oil can leave snakes weak and disoriented, causing them to run to safety.

Also, they believe that cedarwood essential oil’s scent makes snakes think that it is capable of melting their scales.

One of the nicest things about cedarwood essential oil is that it can repel many critters you don’t want in your home.

It can also kill small pests by forcing moisture out of their bodies, leaving them dehydrated and dead.

Bed bugs, dust mites, ticks, fleas, silverfish, mosquitoes, beetles, moths — these are just some of the common household pests that cedarwood essential oil can drive away.

Well, it can also fend off snakes effectively, which is why having a bottle of it is highly recommended, especially if you live where snakes are quite common.

Just before you place a bottle of cedarwood in your shopping cart, make sure that it’s 100% pure. The following are some of the brands that can be trusted for snake-repelling purposes:

Sun Essential Oils Cedarwood

If you want to make sure that you won’t run out of cedarwood essential oil to use against snakes, consider going for this gigantic 4-ounce bottle of Sun Essential Oils Cedarwood.

With this, you will be able to place multiple drops of cedarwood essential oil in different areas of your property that snakes frequently visit.

Because there’s plenty of it, you can also apply cedarwood essential oil on various wooden surfaces and shelves to repel all kinds of pests as well as make your bedroom, kitchen, and pantry smell phenomenal.

Vitruvi 100% Pure Cedarwood Essential Oil

This product is specifically made for people who would like to use cedarwood essential oil for therapeutic purposes, such as opening up the airways during a bout of asthma or the cold, as well as reducing stress or anxiety levels.

However, Vitruvi 100% Pure Cedarwood Essential Oil can also be used for many other purposes, such as driving snakes away. Because it comes with a dropper, you will find applying it trouble-free.

If you want to make its small 0.3-ounce bottle go a long way, you may dilute it with water and apply it using a spray bottle.


When it comes to repelling mosquitoes, lemongrass is one of the most popular solutions from nature. It’s so effective that planting some of it in your garden can help keep your home free of mosquitoes.

It’s not just mosquitoes that lemongrass can repel but many other flying and crawling pests, too.

Lemongrass can also shoo away snakes as those cold-blooded creatures cannot stand the citrusy smell of lemongrass.

Aside from placing potted lemongrass in various places inside and outside the home, you may also count on lemongrass essential oil.

Repelling snakes is easier with lemongrass essential oil because all you have to do is place a few drops of it where snakes are likely to crawl on.

Aside from applying lemongrass essential oil, you may also sprinkle ground lemongrass, which is commonly used as a cooking ingredient. However, its scent is not as full as its essential oil counterpart.

When shopping for lemongrass essential oil or ground lemongrass, see to it that the product does not contain unnecessary ingredients that can keep it from repelling snakes very well.

Here are two that you may go for:

UpNature Lemongrass Essential Oil

Because it’s 100% pure and natural, UpNature Lemongrass Essential Oil is great for relieving nausea, headaches, stress, and anxiety. However, it may also be used for keeping snakes outside your home.

The product comes with a dropper, which makes it trouble-free to apply it generously where snakes may enter without your knowledge.

You may also transfer it to a spray bottle for easier application. Remember to keep pure lemongrass from coming into contact with the area around your mouth, nose, and eyes as it can be very irritating.

The Spice Way Ground Lemongrass

Ground lemongrass is ideal for people who would like to cook with lemongrass or drink an uplifting herbal tea.

It’s also great for any homeowner who would prefer to keep their homes free of snakes using all-natural solutions. Sprinkle ground lemongrass liberally on entry points to keep snakes at bay.

You may also steep The Spice Way Ground Lemongrass in boiling water for several minutes.

Allow it to cool, strain, and transfer to a spray bottle — you just made yourself a homemade snake repellent spray!


Besides vampires, there are other fanged creatures that garlic can repel. They’re none other than snakes. It’s because of this why you may count on garlic cloves if you want to keep snakes out of your home.

You may consider planting garlic around your property — the leaves of garlic plants smell like garlic. Both garlic leaves and garlic themselves can be used as all-natural snake repellents.

It’s a good idea to crush them to release more of the unmistakable smell, which is believed to leave snakes feeling confused.

What’s really nice about garlic is that it can come in a variety of forms and still make snakes feel unwelcome.

For instance, you can easily buy garlic essential oil on the internet. You may also come across an insect repellent for garden use that contains garlic extract.

Other than garden pests, the product can also repel snakes.

Below are a couple of garlic-based products available online that you may give a try. By applying them to strategic places, you can have peace of mind that you won’t run into a snake anytime soon.

Artizen 100% Pure Garlic Essential Oil

When essential oils are mentioned, a lot of people immediately think about pleasing smells. Well, there’s one that can make you wince as soon as you take a whiff of it. And it’s none other than garlic essential oil.

Despite this, the volatile oil can leave you smiling because it is very good at driving away snakes. Artizen 100% Pure Garlic Essential Oil, just like what the name suggests, is therapeutic grade, which means that it has a potent smell.

Using it undiluted is recommended if you don’t want any snakes to nest in your home.

Pests can bug not only the residents of a home but also the plants around it. The good news is that there are many forms of repellents that can effectively drive away pests without harming plants.


Besides garlic, there is another herb that snakes cannot stand. It’s none other than an onion.

While chopping onions can make you cry, placing chopped onions around your property can make snakes go away.

This pungent herb works just like garlic — its smell can leave snakes disoriented.

There is no need to use a lot of onions just to keep your home snake-free. A small amount of chopped onions is enough to repel snakes because of their heightened sense of smell.

You may also consider planting onions around your home, especially in areas where snakes may hang out. That’s because the leaves of onion plants give off a faint onion-like odor.

Thanks to their hardiness, you will find it easy to grow onion plants even if you are very far from having a green thumb.

Other than onion bulbs and onion plants, you may also go for onion essential oil.

If you love cooking, you may also get your hands on onion powder. Here are some products that can double as snake repellents:

Healing Solutions 100% Pure Onion Essential Oil

This product is geared towards people who are into all-natural relief from the common cold, fatigue, and all sorts of skin issues.

Many dishes won’t smell and taste complete without onions.

If you don’t have the time to chop fresh onion bulbs or you hate the fact that chopping onions makes your eyes tear and your nose run, your kitchen should never be without a 1-pound container of McCormick Culinary Onion Powder.

It’s also a great idea to have this product within your easy reach if you don’t want any snakes in your home. However, it doesn’t smell as powerful as onion essential oil, which means that you will have to use it liberally.


Earlier, it was mentioned that planting garlic and onion plants around your home can help keep snakes away.

There are also many other plants that are proven effective for having a snake-free property. One of them is mugwort.

Also sometimes referred to as wormwood, mugwort is being used for centuries now by traditional healers to treat and prevent various health problems, such as indigestion, irregular periods, and epilepsy.

The medicinal plant can also prevent snakes from paying you a visit. That’s because snakes hate the way it smells.

So, in other words, having mugwort around your home is a great way to fend off snakes. One of the nicest things about mugwort is that it’s super easy to grow.

However, there is one problem: it tends to grow and multiply fast. For this reason, many people consider it as a weed, and don’t like seeing it in their gardens.

Luckily, you can benefit from the snake-repelling properties of mugwort without planting it. Here are some products available online that you may give a try:

Pure Gold Essential Oils Mugwort

In the world of aromatherapy, mugwort essential oil is revered for its ability to increase one’s energy level and improve blood circulation.

It’s also being used for optimizing liver health and relieving skin itchiness. Pure Gold Essential Oils Mugwort is therapeutic grade, which means that it’s perfect for aromatherapy use.

You can also use this aromatic oil for keeping snakes out of your property. When applied to areas snakes may use to get inside your home, those cold-blooded reptiles won’t dare crawl through them.

Biokoma Mugwort Dried Herb

Taking a whiff of mugwort essential oil can help energize you.

For faster results, you may count on mugwort in tea form. Drinking mugwort tea is also very good for alleviating vomiting, indigestion, and diarrhea.

Online, you can easily buy dried mugwort leaves, and one product that you may go for is Biokoma Mugwort Dried Herb.

Snakes do not love the way mugwort smells, which is why leaving some of this product where snakes tend to frequent can help considerably lower the risk of you encountering one.

Some snakes are venomous, and their presence can be dangerous to you, your family, and your pets. Still, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should kill them. What you need to do instead is keep them off your property.

Above, we talked about some of the smells that snakes hate. You can use any of them to drive away snakes and keep them from coming back.

But if it seems like snakes do not want to leave you alone, it’s a good idea to get in touch with your state’s department of fish and wildlife (or any related agency) or a private animal control company.

Related Article: 5 Snake Attracting and 22 Snake Repelling Plants

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