Plants that Repel Snakes in Nigeria

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Snake lurking around the gerden

According to Nat Geo WILD, there are more than 3,000 species of snakes on the planet, which can be found almost everywhere, forming an essential part of the ecosystem.

Only a small percentage, fewer than 300 species are venomous, that is, biting snakes that use their fangs to inject toxins into their victims.

Our backyard garden is a fraction of the ecosystem that can be inhabitable to snakes.
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Why do We See Snakes in Our yard?

Necessities of life will make snakes move from one region to another in search of food, warmth and shelter.

You might probably say that the forest is a good choice but why my backyard garden?

Most times, our garden easily provides them with the comfort needed with little or no competition unlike in the forest where they had to compete for survival. That’s basically why we found snakes in our yard.

Now that we know, we garden owners must find ways to know what food and warmth we unintentional give to snakes and build on that to repel them.

This means that your garden houses farm rodents, snails, insects and other small animals. Also, they can hide under small rock beds, in vines, moist soil beds, and anywhere they can feed comfortably.

What Smell do Snakes Hate?

Snakes have excellent sense of smell to make up for their poor eyesight and limited hearing. They hate strong or foreign smells with passion.

However, the type of smell a snake might consider unpleasant is conditioned by the smell it is born into.

For instance, if you have lemongrass around your garden and a pregnant snake is inhabiting your yard, the baby snake will associate the smell of lemongrass with safety. This is not a good thing for the owner. However, other snakes will be repelled by this smell.

Bearing this in mind, design or re-design your garden and incorporates these key elements:

 

  • a snake barrier
  • a variety of snake repellant plants and,
  • a lacking food source

Plants that Repel Snakes

Marigold

Marigold flowers

Marigold is one of the most cheerful, easy to grow annual plants that thrive with minimal care.

They can bloom non-stop with flower shapes that look like daisies or carnations.
Marigold emits a strong odour that repels snakes, gophers, and moles even pests. The reason is in their study roots, which grow deeply and aggressive and emit a strong odour.

Keep in mind that the roots system can provide shelter and warmth for rodents and other snake prey.

Light and Position: full sunlight is ideal.

Temperature: ccan tolerate a broad range of room temperatures.


Watering:
once the root system is established, they will be more drought-tolerant, but water regularly and never allow the soil to dry out between waterings if you want them to bloom non-stop.


Feeding:
marigolds need little or no feeding. If the planting soil is poor you can feed occasionally every once a month during their active growth period.

Common Problems

Powdery mildew
Symptoms: rarely fatal, causes weakness and makes plant prone to other diseases and pests attack
Treatment: plant in full sun and provide room for airflow. This will lessen the problem

Snake plant

Snake plants. Sansevieria. Indoor plants growing on a rockery garden

Snake plant is one of the most interesting indoor plants that require less watering and thrives with minimal care.

They are often used as home décor, as they’re pleasing to the eyes, easy to care for and require less watering compared to other plants.

They are commonly called mother-in-law’s tongue, lucky plant, good luck plant, viper’s bowstring hemp, and sansevieria.

Snake plant doesn’t produce any smell or strong odour that repels snakes, but they get afraid just by sight because of the appearance of its sharp leaves. You can grow them as a hedge plant in your garden.

Apart from that, the snake plant improves the quality of air in your home, known for removing air pollutants of formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and toluene from air.

Light and Position: It can tolerate direct light.

Temperature: can tolerate a broad range of room temperatures between 65°F to 80°F. Be sure not to subject them to extreme cold temperature, below 55°F.


Watering:
snake plant does not like to be over-watered and should be allowed to dry out between waterings.


Feeding:
snake plant do not need heavy amount of fertilizers. During active growth, apply liquid fertilizer every once a month during their active growth period.

Common Problems

Symptoms: brown patches on the leaves
Treatment: reduce watering and keep the centre of the plant free from moisture

Symptoms: loss of colour
Treatment: improve lightening; move the plant nearer to the window

Vine weevils
Symptoms: eat away the edges of the leaves
Treatment: spray with lindane insecticide

Mealybugs
Symptoms: yellowing of leaves
Treatment: apply methylated spirit or spray with systemic insecticide or malathion

West Indian Lemongrass

Lemongrass

West Indian lemon grass or simply lemon grass is an amazing plant that is easy to maintain, drought-resistant and thrives with little or no care.

The leaf blade is bluish-green and linear in shape. The blades grow up to 18 to 36 inches long.

Lemon grass emits a strong citrus smell that repels mosquitoes and ticks, especially snakes. It is a good source of vitamin A, and commonly used for tea in addition to cooking other dishes.

Light and Position: It can tolerate direct light.

Temperature: can tolerate a broad range of room temperatures between 65°F to 80°F. Be sure not to subject them to extremely cold temperatures, below 55°F.


Watering:
lemongrass does not like to be over-watered. Keep soil moist but not waterlogged. If you’re also growing them in a container, water when the soil is dry to an inch below the soil surface.


Feeding:
lemongrass needs little or no feeding if the planting soil is rich. You can feed occasionally every once a month during their active growth period.

Common Problems

Pests rarely attack lemongrass because it contains a natural pest repelling compound called citronella. The only known disease is the lemongrass rust caused by fungi, and unrelenting Aphid pest

Lemongrass rust
Symptoms: brown, red and yellow streaks on the leaves
Treatment: prune affected areas and give room for continuous airflow

Aphids
Symptoms: brown or yellow spots on leaves
Treatment: mix 20mls of alcohol and 50mls water into a spray bottle; add about 3 drops of liquid soap. You can also treat with neem oil or insecticides

Tobacco plant

Tobacco plant

Tobacco is a herbaceous annual plant that is grown for its leaves. The leaves have sticky hair on all its parts, grown commercially in many countries to be processed into tobacco. It grows 1 to 3 meters long.

Tobacco is a beautiful ornamental plant that bears white, cream or pink flowers. This plant can add colour and fragrance to your garden.

Tobacco plant fragrance repels snakes when planted around the building. You can also spread the seeds at different places around the house.

Wear gloves and use caution when handling your tobacco plants, because all its parts are poisonous.

Light and Position: full to partial sunlight is ideal..

Temperature: tobacco plant enjoys warm temperatures of around 75°F to 85°F.


Watering:
water newly transplants thoroughly every morning or evening during the first week. Afterwards, you can reduce the watering to 2 or 3 times each week to supplement rainfall. Don’t allow the soil to dry out between waterings.


Feeding:
tobacco plants fairly require feeding if the soil is rich. You can feed every once a month during their active growth period with All-purpose garden fertilizer that is high in nitrogen and potash.

Common Problems

Flea beetles and hornworm
Symptoms: holes on the leaves
Treatment: treat with systemic insecticides

Tobacco mosaic virus
Symptoms: stunted growth and yellowing of leaves
Treatment: infected plants should be carefully harvested and put in air-tight nylon or burned to prevent the virus from spreading

Onion & Garlic

Onion and Garlic

Snakes are very sensitive when it comes to smell. A snake can become disoriented from a strong or foreign smell.

For instance, the smells of Onions and Garlic is known to be highly effective against snakes, because they contain sulfonic acid which serves as a multisensory barrier against snakes.

You can plant them around the perimeter of your yard to ward off snakes.
If you’re particular about the beauty of your garden landscape, it might not be beautiful to plant them in your garden.

However, you can still make a simple repellent solution using onion and garlic spray.

Homemade Onion and Garlic Spray


  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 2 onion bulbs
  • 4L of water
  • 2 tablespoon salt
Blend garlic and onion with a food processor or blender until the two ingredients are well mixed.

Remove the garlic/onion paste and place it in a container filled with 4 litres of water.

Allow the mixture for 24 hours to set.

Sieve the mixture into the garden sprayer and add 2 tablespoons salt.

Shake the mixture and spray around the perimeter of your yard, especially in holes and cracks. Repeat as necessary, say twice a month

Lavender

Lavender plant

Lavender is an amazing plant that is easy to maintain and requires minimal watering and pruning once established, drought-resistant and thrives with little or no care.

The leaf ranges from grey to green in colour. Lavender is commonly known for its fragrance, medicinal properties and beautiful bluish-purple flowers.

Lavender is full of essential oils that have powerful effects on the human body and are extremely effective at repelling snakes

Light and Position: full sunlight is ideal..

Temperature: can tolerate a broad range of room temperatures between 65°F to 80°F. Be sure not to subject them to extremely cold temperature, below 55°F.


Watering:
lavender does not need much watering once they’re established. They’re drought tolerant. However, if growing from seeds, water regularly; water when the soil is dry to an inch below the soil surface.


Feeding:
lavender needs little or no feeding if the planting soil is rich. You can feed occasionally every once a month during their active growth period.

Common Problems

Root rot
Symptoms: yellow leaves caused by excess watering
Treatment: reduce the rate at which you water

Woodworm

Woodworm or mugwort plant

Woodworm also known as Mugwort grows tall and has woody roots. They’re highly effective at keeping snakes away because they have a strong odour that snakes do not like.

You can plant them around the perimeter of your garden yard but, they grow very fast and can easily outgrow and overshadow an existing plant within the same premises.

Woodworms are used for liver problems, gall bladder obstructions or kidney disease, stomach ailments, and also to expel intestinal worms, hence the name “woodworm”

Light and Position: full sunlight is ideal..

Temperature: can tolerate a broad range of room temperatures between 65°F to 80°F. Be sure not to subject them to extremely cold temperatures, below 55°F.


Watering:
woodworms does not need much watering once they’re established. They’re drought tolerant. However, if growing from seeds, water regularly; water when the soil is dry to an inch below the soil surface.


Feeding:
lavender needs little or no feeding if the planting soil is rich. You can feed occasionally every once a month during their active growth period.

Common Problems

Pests rarely attack wormwood because it contains a natural pest repelling compound. The only known disease is the root rot caused by fungi.

Root rot
Symptoms: yellow leaves caused by excess watering
Treatment: reduce the rate at which you water

Other Ways to Repel Snakes from your Yard

Clean your Yard

Ensure you keep your yard free from piles of wood, rubbles and other junk objects. Also, you need to inspect your yard and look out for holes and cracks.

If you see any, cover the holes and seal off the cracks. Moist grounds, especially rockery areas are good hiding spots for snakes as well.

Get a Dog

Dogs are great at keeping snakes at bay. You can get a dog to help you keep snakes away from your yard.

Dogs naturally scare off reptiles and rodents because they’re predacious in nature. Most times, their bark scares away snakes.

Bear in mind that, not all breeds of dogs can effectively engage a snake in a real fight and live to tell the story.

However, there are certain breeds of dogs that are more reliable to chase and kill snakes. They are the Airedales, Australian terriers, Cairn terrier, Dachshund, German pinscher and more.

Call for Pest Control Services

While using snake repellent plants or homemade solutions to scare away snakes, but if you see that the snake trouble is beyond what you can handle, do not hesitate to contact the pest control service provider immediately.

As a rule of thumb, get a professional snake removal service if the snakes are already in your yard or garden.

They will remove the snake effectively and take it back to its original habitat before introducing some of the plants listed above

Conclusion

There’s no single plant that can efficiently do all the work but, by combining some of the snake deterrent plants, you can have a garden that is 100% free from snakes.

If you live in snake prone areas, you can adopt growing hedge plants around your garden.

For instance, a barrier hedge-row of marigold is fine; a barrier hedge-row of marigold and snake plant is better; and a barrier hedge-row of marigold, followed by snake plant, followed by West Indian lemongrass is great.

These plant combinations will make your garden not suitable to be inhabited by snakes

That’s it. Hope it’s helpful? Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.

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