One Common Kitchen Item Is The Secret To Keeping Snakes Out Of Your Garden

Having a garden can add the perfect finishing touch that makes your house feel like a home. But at the same time, gardens often attract unwanted pests like mice, rats, rabbits, and ground squirrels that, in turn, draw the predators that eat them — snakes. Even if the snakes in your garden aren't some of the 20 most dangerous and are actually harmless, that doesn't mean you necessarily want to catch the creepy reptiles slithering around your flowers or vegetables. Luckily, there's one common kitchen ingredient that can help keep snakes out of your garden: citrus.

According to snake expert Jennifer Mecham in an interview with Best Life, this is because citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits all contain a chemical called limonene which is a natural deterrent for many animals including snakes. This is why orange peels can also be used to keep cats out of the garden. And the best thing about it? Using citrus to keep snakes away helps you avoid harsh chemical-based repellents like store-bought sprays or toxic mothballs. Plus, adding orange peels to the garden has many benefits including improving the health of your soil. So, how do you do it?

How to use citrus to keep snakes away

Before you go to your kitchen and grab a bunch of lemons or oranges to spread around your garden, it's important to know that putting whole citrus fruit in your yard may end up making your snake problem worse. This is because rats and other rodents enjoy eating citrus seeds and may be drawn to your yard for a taste. No matter how bad your yard smells to a snake, they may still show up if there's plenty of delicious snake food.

So, instead, what you should do is take the peels of your chosen type of citrus and rub them on your garden fence or posts to deter the slithering reptiles. You can also scatter citrus rinds around your garden plants and soil, or create a citrus-scented liquid to spray on your plants or pour around the boundaries of your yard. All of these methods are a great way to make snakes reconsider entering your space. 

However, these solutions only last as long as the scent of citrus is still present. Therefore, the scent needs to be regularly reapplied to work well. Furthermore, you will likely have to also add the citrus scent to common places where snakes like to hide to make your yard uncomfortable enough to fully convince the reptiles to relocate.