Will Epsom Salt Really Keep Snakes Out Of The Yard?

Snakes are a common problem in many yards and can be a concern for homeowners, especially those with pets or young children. While there are many commercial snake repellents available, many of these products contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to the environment and other wildlife. Fortunately, there is a natural and effective way to deter snakes from your yard: Epsom salt.

Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, is a naturally occurring mineral compound that has been used for centuries for its medicinal uses. Epsom salt can also be used around the house in various ways. One of its lesser-known benefits is its ability to repel snakes. The pungent scent of Epsom salt combined with a snake's highly attuned sense of smell makes them steer clear of it.

Snakes have a highly developed olfactory system, which allows them to detect and interpret the chemical signals that are present in their surroundings. They are sensitive to strong odors and can detect them through Jacobson's organ, a specialized organ in the roof of their mouth. This organ is highly sensitive and can detect even slight changes in the chemical makeup of the air, allowing snakes to detect the presence of potential prey, predators, and mates. 

How to use Epsom salt to deter snakes

Using Epsom salt to keep snakes from slithering in your yard is a simple and easy process. The first thing you'll want to do is identify the areas where snakes are most likely to enter your yard, such as around doors, windows, and holes in the walls or foundation. Then sprinkle Epsom salt liberally around these areas. Also, make sure to seal up any cracks or holes in your home to protect against snakes entering. Next, sprinkle it around the entire perimeter of your yard, including around plants, bushes, and trees.

When you apply the Epsom salt try to sprinkle it in a uniform layer, making sure to cover all areas evenly. Repeat the process every few weeks to maintain the potency of the Epsom salt. You'll also need to reapply it after it rains since its strong odor will be washed away and it will become less potent or no longer effective, depending on how much rain saturates the areas.

Precautions when using Epsom salt to deter snakes

Although using Epsom salt to deter snakes from your yard is a natural and non-toxic solution, there are some additional tips and precautions to keep in mind. You'll want to make sure to wear protective clothing, including long sleeves and gloves. Certain people can acquire contact dermatitis from the salt or a rash,  per Medical News Today. Protecting your hands and arms is also a good idea because you'll be walking in areas where snakes may be present.

You should also be aware that Epsom salt can be harmful to pets if ingested, especially in large amounts, so make sure to keep it out of reach of your pets. It can cause symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea in small amounts but can also result in coma, seizures, and death if consumed in large amounts. Incidentally, squirrels, raccoons, mice, and rabbits won't enjoy the taste or smell of the Epsom salt area and will leave the area if they recognize it. As with pets, a lick or two won't harm them and they will usually scurry away from it.

It's important to note that while Epsom salt can be an effective deterrent, it may not completely eliminate all snakes from your yard. However, it can make your yard a less appealing habitat for them. If you have a severe snake infestation or are dealing with venomous snakes, though, it may be best to seek the help of a professional snake removal service.