Southwestern Field Herpetology

Southwestern Field Herpetology
Jan
13th
2010

Does Lime Keep Snakes Away?

No. Lime does not keep snakes away. Although your uncle may swear it does, it doesn’t. I realize a guy at work saw it with his own eyes, but he’s lying to you. There is not a powder or liquid you can pour around your property that will repel snakes.

Snakes come to your property for one of 3 reasons:

  1. They’re just passing through.
  2. They’re looking for food.
  3. They’re looking for shelter.

The first one may be a little tough to prevent, but the latter two are easy. I don’t know how many rattlesnakes I’ve pulled out of drip system flowerpots or from messy piles of yard debris. If you have things in your yard that attract rodents, you will attract snakes. If you have lots of good places to hide, you will attract snakes. Just keep your property free of these and you should not have nearly as much of a problem.

As for whether or not lime keeps snakes away; that’s just silly. It’s a myth, end of story. If you’re truly concerned, contact your local Fish and Game office.


 

Tags: , , , , ,

  • Kat Parks

    Like I’ve said to a few homeowners – either change your landscaping, reduce available food for rodents, reduce available hiding areas for rodents & snakes, or get a new yard 5-10 miles closer to downtown. If you want desert vistas out your back door, then you get desert dwellers whose homes you disrupted with your yard. They didn’t get the news that humans don’t share space well.

    The expectation too many people have is that the desert is beautiful but sterile, or that animals recognize intangible human boundries. Of course, the builders of these sprawling new neighborhoods should be educating every prospective homeowner that wildlife, including rattlesnakes, will come into the yard until such time as the sprawl has surpassed their property by several miles. Wouldn’t that be required in full disclosure?

  • http://www.fieldherper.com Bryan

    I can understand people not wanting rattlesnakes in their yard … I wouldn’t. We found a dead mojave in front of our driveway last summer, and I have to admit that it freaked me out a bit that the tables are turned. I think a lot of people that live in the desert do know how and do respect wildlife, but the information out there is just bad. Myths like lime or rope borders to keep snakes away don’t work and end up creating more fear than the initial issue, as many bits of misinformation do.

  • R H Cooper

    I have a garden that Iwould like to keep snakes out of, but I realize that is a problem because we live on the edge of a lake. I read about an electronic snake repeller, which seems to be a humane way to keep snakes away. It is rahter expensive and I would like to know if there is a possibility that it might work before I spend $120 on what looks like a solar yard light.
    Thanks for any help you can give me. Please don’t put me on your list to send updates to – someone put a snake down my back as a kid and I just haven’t felt the same about either snakes or the person since!
    R H Cooper

  • http://www.fieldherper.com Bryan

    Well, the electric snake fence won’t work. Depending on where you live, you may not need to worry about snakes at all, as the majority of “water” snakes are completely harmless. If it’s just that you don’t ever want to see a snake … well, don’t move next to a lake.

    Keep your yard free of debris, hiding places, bird feeders that rodents can reach, rock piles, ponds, and any reason a snake might want to come visit.

  • Wilson

    Fight club was LYE, not Lime. LYE is a strong base used to make soap. Lime is… well. Lime.

  • http://www.fieldherper.com Bryan

    Yup! You’re right, not sure what I was thinking. I’ll remove that line. Thanks.