I thought it was interesting that one of our readers, Ansie, asked which plant to use to keep snakes away, “Wat kan ek plant in die tuin om die huis om slange wêg te hou?”. Ansie commented on ‘Snake Charms‘ and I suggested Wild Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea), apparently cultivated to keep snakes away from the home. Are there any other plants that would deter snakes from coming near the house?

4 replies on “Snakes…”

do they have a good sense of smell? is that why the garlic deters them, e.g. other smelly plants would work?

Snakes are complex creatures, and they have a highly developed sense of ‘smell’ which is more powerful than that of most animals. I hate to disillusion anybody, but there are not too many plants that will deter snakes. In the extreme, a spade ‘planted’ on the head will do the trick. Snakes are part of our ecology, and are mainly attracted to a food source. That needs to be understood. I’m happy to answer queries.

Why would you want to keep snakes away from your garden? They keep down pests like rats, and those that eat toads will help reduce the summer night time chorus! You just don’t want the poisonous ones in your house. Get to know which ones are dangerous, and enjoy seeing those that are not.

Snakes cannot hear or smell. Their sensory organ is in their tongue, which is why they flick it out all the time. They pick up scent particles in their tongue and it is analysed by the Jacobsons organ in their head. As far as I know, no plant will keep a snake away.

(The one in the photo above is a variegated bush snake, extemely common in Durban, and non-venemous, but extremely aggressive and will bite with no provocation. Might be replacing the Brown house snake as the most commonly sighted snake.)

Why indeed, we have 9 grandchildren of which 3 are toddlers living in Pretoria East on a small holding, why indeed would we like to keep Rinkals, Egyptian Cobra and Night Adders away from the house?
Now let me think ……………

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