Do Solar Powered Snake Repellers Work?

Do Solar Powered Snake Repellers Work?

Snakes can be a frightening sight, especially when you have pets and kids running around the yard. Obviously, not all snakes are dangerous, but it can be hard to tell them apart. So, the best way to keep everyone safe is to prevent them from coming onto your property in the first place. According to some, a good way to prevent such scary surprises are Solar Powered Snake Repellers. But are they any good?

Do solar powered snake repellers work? No, many do not work as advertised.  Snakes don’t rely solely on vibration to sense danger.  Also, the repellents share common problems–inadequate battery power to last through the night, cloudy days preventing a full charge, and sensors accumulating dust, which affects efficiency.

If you live in an area where snakes are a common occurrence, you need a sure way to get rid of snakes because they can pose a threat for you and your family. We will give suggest some ways to keep snakes away from your property and explain in more detail why many of these products don’t work as well as There are many other ways in which you can keep snakes away from your property, which we will discuss below.  Armed with this info, we hope you’ll find something that will work for you.

How Do Solar Powered Snake Repellers Work?

In combination with hearing sounds, snakes use vibrations as a way to detect sound.  By feeling the gravity of the vibrations, they can tell whether there are any dangers lying ahead.  The larger the animal, the louder the vibration; the small the animal the lower the vibration.

The solar powered snake repellers use this philosophy to emit a strong vibration that tells the snake there is danger ahead and that they should stay clear.  Some repellers emit a steady single pulse for as long as the battery lasts while other repellers change their pulse patterns from a single pulse to pulses mimicking a herd of cows.

Additionally, some even emit a sound that can sometimes be annoying to you or your neighbor’s pets.  There are some devices that are quieter than others, but overall, the reviewers of these devices found them to be annoying.

There are plenty of brands on the market that sell these types of repellers that cost anywhere from as low as $5.99 to as high as $150 for a set of two.  While there are many who have claimed that these Solar Powered Snake Repellers have worked for them, there are a far greater number of those who claim these devices to be a waste of their time and money.

And the reviews have been quite similar across the board, regardless of whether the product was cheap or one of the more expensive brands.

Why Don’t the Solar Powered Snake Repellers Work?

There are many reasons why these solar powered snake repellers fail to do what they are meant to do. Some of these reasons are because of poor design choice, while others are just thanks to Mother Nature. Regardless, these are things that can customers find off-putting enough to leave negative comments on these devices. And, it also shows why these devices don’t work as well as they’re supposed to.

If you place the device in a shadowy area, it won’t charge properly, and so won’t last through the night. The problem is, not everyone has wide open spaces. Some people like trees in their gardens, so if you can’t find a place near the front and back of your house, then device will prove to be useless for you.

1. Sun

Of course, this is the most important element in the whole design. Without the sun, there is no solar powered anything. The problem happens when it’s cloudy, and the battery fails to charge.  Which then means that the device won’t work.

You could buy the battery-operated ones, and they might work better then the solar powered ones, but then that is for a different post. We are strictly talking about the solar powered devices in this post.

2. Shady Spots

When installing these devices, another thing that you have to careful about is that you pick a bright sunny spot that gets direct sunlight.

If you place the device in a shadowy area, it won’t charge properly, and so won’t last through the night.

The problem is, not everyone has wide open spaces. Some people like trees in their gardens, so if you can’t find a place near the front and back of your house, then device will prove to be useless for you.

3. Maintenance

Some of the review I read complained that some of the devices required maintenance in order to work properly.

You’d constantly have to clean the device top and the inside, where the sensors are because dust would accumulate, and they would not work properly.

It can be tedious and redundant if you have to keep doing this constantly.

4. On and Off Switch

Some devices don’t come with a switch where you can turn it on and off, which means the battery is constantly being used.

The switch would come handy when it is a cloudy day where you want to save the charge on the device for the night times.

Having this switch standard in all devices might be helpful and make the devices more appealing.

5. Water Resistant

Just like the on and off switch, not all devices are water-proof. This means that if it rains or snows and you have your devices are out, then they will get ruined.

Not only that, but you’d have to be careful when watering your grass that you don’t accidentally water the device. This means that you have to place these devices in places where your sprinkler’s system, if you have one, will not spray water.

This might prove to be more difficult than it sounds, especially if you have plush yard.

You might want to then invest in the newer ones that are water resistant to be on the safe side. (If you are still interested in trying one out)

6. Snakes Senses

You may not know this, but a snake uses all of its senses to make sure it stays away from danger. This means that if it senses the vibration, but does not smell or hear the danger, then it will not be scared off that easy.

Similarly, if the vibrating patterns remains the same and the snake senses that but doesn’t see the predator, then it will get used to the vibration, and the device will be of no use.

7. Occasional Snake

Sometimes, an occasional snake sighting can be construed as having a snake infestation in your mind, especially if you’re not a snake person, have no idea what kind of snake it is, or even if it is passing by or there to stay.

In this case, you purchase the Solar Powered Snake Repellant device, install it, and days go by. You don’t see any more snakes, and you think that the device worked wonders.  Now I am not saying that it might not have worked, but what I am saying is that sometimes, we think something worked, but technically there was no problem to begin with, so no solution was needed.

All in all, a majority of those who have used these devices and have left reviews on various brands and models, claim that these were the reasons that they think that the Solar Powered Snake Repellers are a waste of money.  One reviewer even claimed that he found a snake coiled up on the device’s stake while the device was still functioning

“When I discovered snakes wrapped around them on two different occasions, I figured we wasted our money.”

Food for thought: The device might not work for larger snakes, but they could work for smaller snakes. The problem is that there isn’t enough size-based evidence to say this for sure.

What Are Some Other Ways to Keep Snakes Away?

There is no denying that snakes are on this planet for a reason. They are good for the environment they live in to balance the ecosystem. Having said that, you don’t want them to be part of your family, and it is important to keep them away.

More so if you have little ones and pets who like to play outside in the yard. You want to make sure that they do not get bit by snake and that they are safe.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure that snakes do not make your yard their home.

Keep a Clean Yard

Keeping a clean yard not only entails doing yard work but also making conscious gardening choices that will help you maintain the yard better and will not attract any littler critters or snakes.

A messy yard will attract mice and rats which in turn will attract snakes.
A messy yard will attract mice and rats which in turn will attract snakes.
Image by Michael Coghlan

Some of the things you can do to keep your yard clean are:

a. Declutter Your Yard – This means, making sure you are trimming your bushes, cutting your grass, and raking any fallen leaves and branches in your yard.

Once you have gathered everything, make sure you pick it up and dispose it off right away. Leaving piles of debris lying around can be a breeding ground not only for mice, bugs, and other little critters but also for snakes.

Snakes are sneaky creatures; they like to attack their prey from dark places, and when they least expect it. So, leaving piles of leaves and dead branches lying around is an invitation for snakes to visit and stay in your yard.

Pay special attention to any hollow spaces in your trees. Make sure you are cleaning those areas as well.

b. Avoid Bushes – If you live in an area where you know snakes are popular, it is better if you do not have bushes in your yard. These can be a good hiding spot for snakes.

Instead, get plants that grow at least a foot about ground. This way, you can clean underneath and trim it so that there aren’t any dark places for snakes to hide.

c. Potential Food Sources – If you have a dirty yard, you can breed critters such as crickets, grasshoppers, roaches, mice and etc.

Some snakes love to snack on these as their main source of food. So, if you keep your yard clean, you eliminate the breeding of these creatures, which can lessen the chances of snakes coming into your yard.

Another way to get rid of these creatures is to use DIY or chemical based repellants to keep them away from your yard.

Fences

This is an effective way to keep snakes at bay. It might be hard to fence up the whole yard this way since you still need your yard to look like a yard and not a jail.

What you can do is put up fencing in areas where your kids and pets play to keep snakes away from that area.

You can also put up the fence under your deck if you have an elevated deck or any other structure that you have in your yard that has a space underneath where snakes could potentially hide.

There a few different kinds of fencing you can use.  One is temporary construction fencing made from plastic cloth.  You can also use steel mesh fencing or catch net fencing. Although there are other kinds of fences, these three are the most popular.

When installing the fence, you have to make sure that you have the fence flush to the ground so that there isn’t any space for the snakes to squeeze through. You may want to dig up the ground, then lay the fence down and cover it up good to avoid unnecessary spacing.

Another thing that will help with that is to angle the fence outward about thirty degrees so that it is not climbable.  This is more of an involved process since there is digging involved, so if you can, get a neighbor, friend, or family member.  If that isn’t possible or doesn’t work out, some professional help might be necessary.

Snake Traps

This is by far the most effective way of getting rid of snakes. Place snake traps strategically around your home, keeping to the areas where you suspect there might be snakes or even areas where you have seen the snakes.

Always make sure that buy the correct traps that are in line with the type of snakes you are planning on capturing. Another thing you want make sure is that you have the number of animal control handy. This way, when you have made your catch, you can call them right away for proper disposal.

Please make sure that you don’t buy the glue traps. Not only can they kill the snakes inhumanly, but other animals can get trapped in the glue as well.

Fill Any Holes

This is important. Make sure you repair any holes you see around your yard, fences, or even your home.   Snakes can squeeze through holes or even hide in them. So keep up with the maintenance of your property.

Animals

There were suggestions I read in other forums that you can get a pet that can deal with the snakes for you. The only pet that can do that is a cat. They won’t eat the snake, but they can scare them away.

Cats like to chase after the snakes and play with them. This can sometimes lead to snake injuries or death.

Other animals that are known to scare or even kill snakes are pigs, chickens, turkeys, and guinea hens.

These farm animals can attack the snakes until they’re dead.

Over Power Their Sense of Smell

According to livescience.com, snakes use their tongue to aid their sense of smell. When they flick their tongue and lick the air, scent particles attached to their tongues. As they bring their tongues into their mouth, it fits into a cavity in the upper roof of their mouth called vomeronasal organ, aka Jacobson’s organ.

As the tongue touches the Jacobson’s organ, it transfers some of the particles to the opening in the organ that then send a signal to the snake’s brain and let them know what it is that they are smelling. The tongue acts as a scent enhancer.

So, when the snake tastes or smells the particles of these different essential oils, foods, or chemical, it finds them unpleasant enough to run away from them.

Keep in mind that if you are using some of the harsher essential oils or chemicals, you want to keep pets and children away from that area. Additionally, be ready to smell that scent as well, and it is as unpleasant, if not more, for us as it is for the snakes.

Some of these include:

a. Essential Oils: There are plenty of combinations and recipes out there for making the perfect snake repellant. Some of the essential oils you can use to fend snakes away are:

  • Cinnamon Oil (You can purchase it here)
  • Clove Oil (You can purchase it here)
  • Eucalyptus Oil (You can purchase it here)
  • Sandalwood Oil (You can purchase it here)
  • Cedarwood Oil (You can purchase it here)
  • Castor Oil (You can purchase it here)
  • Peppermint Oil (You can purchase it here)
  • Tea Tree Oil (You can purchase it here)
  • Lavender Oil (You can purchase it here)

According to this recipe on newidea.com.au, combining three of these essential oils makes a  potent liquid solution to help keep snakes away.

Mix 20ml of Eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, and sandalwood oils with 120ml clove oil, 400ml methylated spirits, and 420ml of water.

b. Plants: There are certain plants that you can plant in your garden that are said to snake repellants as well. I am not sure if this actually works, but you can give it a try. These plants either have a strong scent or have thorns that will keep snakes away.

  • Rose Bushes
  • Lemongrass plant
  • Wormwood Plant

c. Garlic: Another strong scent that snakes will not like is the smell of garlic. In order to create your own garlic essential oil, add chopped garlic to some oil ( you can use any kind of oil for this recipe, Olive, canola, vegetable, or even any of the essential oils above for an added bonus).

Once you add the garlic to the oil, let it sit for about two to three weeks. Then strain the oil to remove the garlic chunks. Add the oil to a spray bottle and spray the oil in areas where you suspect the snakes hide or might hide.

d. Naphthalene: This is a chemical most commonly and cheaply found in moth balls. Hence, you can essentially get moth balls and purposefully place them around your property. You can them under your deck, in any tree hollows, under any non-consumable plants and bushes.

Just know that these things are extremely pungent and will leave a strong scent for days. And, just like any other harmful chemical substances, keep them away from pets and children.

e. Sulfur: This comes in powder form, and you can buy it any home improvement store or on Amazon.

Just like the above, you can sprinkle the powder around the area that you think are the most common hiding spots for snakes. The Sulfur has a really bad smell that can keep snakes and other critters away. Just make sure you are ready for the smell as well.

All in all, there are many ready-made natural and chemical based snake repellants on the market for your purchase.

Some of these are a combination of essential oils mixed in with Sulfur and biodegradable granules, while others have a mixture of both Naphthalene, Sulfur, and essential oils (to try and mask the pungent scent) to produce a power snake repellent.

There are plenty of powder and granular snake repellents that use more chemicals or just plain essential oils combinations.

Regardless though, if you decide to go with any of the chemical repellents, please be mindful of the areas that you use them in.

You want to keep them as far away from your children and pets as possible.

In addition to that, you want to sprinkle these away from any consumable plants because you don’t want any cross contamination with the soil because it can not only make your plants sick but you as well.

Lastly, make sure you wear gloves when handling any of the chemical based snake repellents.

Hire a Professional

And if all else fails, then hire a professional.

These are trained people that know what to do, aren’t scared, and have dealt with snakes before.   They are not only trained in how to look for and remove the threats, but also recognize the different kinds of snakes.

They may even give you some pointers on how to keep your property snake free moving forward and also how to spot signs if you have a snake or snakes on your property.

How Do You Know If You Have A Snake Problem?

Apart from the usual visual of these slithering creatures, there are a few things that you can look out for to know if you have a real problem or if it is just a snake wandering through.

For the most part, snakes are just passing through and don’t like to stay and infest an area unless the conditions are irresistible.  That means plenty of food for them and lots of dark spots to safely hide.

So, if you see a snake and you know you have a yard that isn’t maintained, then you might want to look for these signs just in case.

  1. Snake Skin: Snakes have scaly skin that they shed on a regular basis. The skin is unmistakable, and if you spot it, then you know you have a problem.
  2. Odor: Some snakes leave an unmistakable odor, so if you happen to smell something weird, that you can’t put a (so to speak) face to, then you might want to be on the lookout for a snake.
  3. Feces: Another sign of a snake problem is if you spot feces that look like bird poop but have bones and hair stuck in it, then that could belong to a snake.  In case you’re interested in seeing what that looks like, here are some pictures.
  4. Winding Trails: Lastly, if you have dirt in your yard and you happen to see long winding trails, then you know to watch out for snakes.

To Sum It Up:

Solar Powered Snake Repellers don’t work as well as they are supposed to. That is not to say that some people haven’t had success, but the majority report they haven’t.  In any case, there are various other things that you can do to either get rid of snakes that are either already there or to prevent more from getting on your property.

Although no one method is foolproof, try one and see if work.  Trial and error might be needed in your your situation.  Perhaps solar powered snake repellents can be part of the mix. 

No matter what—if you don’t want them coming back, then keep your yard clean and tidy.  As an anonymous gardener once said:

“Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds, you can grow flowers–or weeds.”

Title Image by Anne Petersen

spgenie

Hi I'm Harris the spgenie! As an engineer, I found myself doing tons of research about solar power, the types of panels, how to store the energy and the best way to finance the project. I thought I'd start this blog to share my findings. I hope you find this useful.

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