Does Mint Repel Snakes? (And alternative Plant-based snake-repelling Solutions)

By Landon Easton •  Updated: 03/01/21 •  6 min read

Although fragrant plants and plant extracts are great snake and pest repellents, mint (or peppermint oil) doesn’t really repel snakes, at least not on its own. Mint, an umbrella term for the Mentha plant, including peppermint, spearmint, or applemint, and their derivative essential oils help in repelling snakes and other pests when they are used in combination with other fragrant essential oils like garlic clove, cinnamon, and lemongrass, among others.

Plants that repel snakes often have a bitter taste along with a strong smell, and they both repel snakes by causing discomfort to the snakes or even disorienting them, forcing the snakes to slither away almost instantly. What this means is that you would be able to hold a more successful deterrence against snakes in your garden if you plant not just mint but also marigolds, lemongrass, and garlic.

Why use plants to repel snakes?

Snake-deterring plants might be great at keeping away snakes, but it’s important to keep in mind that snakes do not destroy the garden. They, however, ravage the gardens for mice, beetles, slugs, and voles. The poisonous species of snakes are a threat to your green thumbs and also pets, and even the non-venomous snakes may bite or cause scares, which is why you may want to look for plants that could safely and harmlessly send snakes away.

In other cases, it would be wise to use keep your garden 100% natural and free of chemicals while also incorporating spiky and prickly plants that may or may not have odor-repellent characteristics.

Snake-deterring plants have characteristic strong smells that keep the snakes away. Citrusy and spicy smells keep snakes away by targeting the snake’s organ, Jacobson’s organ, which is sensitive to strong smells. Though snakes are ordinarily sensitive to scents and odors, exposure to strong scents masks the snake’s ability to pick out or distinguish prey smells, which makes it easy for you to repel snakes from your garden, albeit permanently.

How to keep snakes away

Products Does it keep snakes away?
Mint Barely
Cinnamon and Clove oil/ Eugenol Oil Yes
Garlic-onion spray Yes
Lemongrass Yes
Marigold/ Mother-in-Law’s Tongue/ Mugwort Yes

Use Essential Oils

Spraying the garden with essential oils is an effective strategy for getting rid of snakes. Cedarwood, cinnamon, and clove essential oils are powerful ingredients that deter snakes because of their strong fragrant nature. And as it is believed that the snakes think that essential oils would melt off their scales, the snakes will, therefore, stay away. While this may not be 100% true, it still works and keeps snakes at bay.

According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, essential oils are effective in keeping snakes away, which is why the establishment makes use of all-natural essential oil as a natural snake repellent. The institution has identified clove oil (eugenol) and cinnamon oils as effective snake repellents.

To enjoy the benefits of the essential oils, you’d have to apply the essential oil as a spray, diluting about 4-8 drops of the essential oil per one gallon of water. Alternatively, you could place cotton balls or even fabric strips soaked with the essential oils around the areas that seem to hide or attract snakes.

Garlic and Onion sprays

Onions and garlic are powerful snake repellents. They contain sulfonic acid, which is repulsive to snakes. Snakes not only hate the garlic smell, but the emitted garlic smell also confuses the snakes, which disorients and sends them slithering away. For maximum effectiveness, you may want to mix blended onions and garlic paste with rock salt, then sprinkle all that all around the yard for maximum effectiveness. You could also infuse it with any essential oil of your choice, for example, peppermint oil, then use it to fumigate spaces like the basement and the rafters, along with all other hard-to-reach places. You may also opt to apply this paste on its own. You only need to make sure that you reapply the solution at least once every 2 or 3 weeks and after it rains.


Lemongrass is an incredibly effective insect repellent that you can grow in your small garden, and it not only makes your garden smell incredible, it also deters snakes, as well as ticks and mosquitoes. And since lemongrass is easy to grow and looks great while also boasting great medicinal properties, it might be the best remedy. You may also like this herb because of its expansive and exquisite culinary uses.

The other plants you could have around to keep away snakes include mugwort, marigolds, snakeroot, and Mother-in-law’s tongue, among others.


Although there are numerous plants capable of deterring snakes on their own thanks to their powerful scents and their snake-repulsion effects, mint’s power as a snake repellent isn’t the highest, and you’d have to use mint along with other plants or ingredients mentioned above to effectively keep away snakes. Peppermint oil that can be extracted from the variants of mint would be significantly effective in keeping away snakes, but not on its own.

So, if you are looking for natural ways of repelling snakes, it might be a good idea to try alternative plant options like the use of clove and cinnamon essential oils or sprays made of blended garlic and onions. You shouldn’t rely on mint to keep away snakes.


Why are snakes repulsed by smells?

Snakes have this unique organ called the Jacobson’s organ. They also have the most sensitive smell receptors, which make them quite sensitive to strong odors. Smells from cinnamon and clove essential oils, which are transdermal and seep through the skin quickly, causing discomfort, are nothing like prey smell, and the strong scent will turn the snakes away.

Why use essential oils to repel snakes?

These oils contain tiny molecules that penetrate skin barriers fast and spread through the body. The smell from the essential oils is not only overpowering to the snakes but also creates overwhelmingly uncomfortable effects on the snakes, forcing them to flee.

Landon Easton

Landon is a veteran in the Pest Control industry, with over 15 years of experience and has helped thousands of homeowners. He started Your Pest Guide in 2020 as a way to help spread his knowledge to the general public, so they can get rid of all of their creepy-crawlies in their homes without spending an arm and a leg.