Will Putting Sulphur Around a House Keep Snakes Away?

Sulphur has basically been debunked as an effective snake repellent. Although some products and websites promote sulphur, whether alone or mixed with other chemicals, as a snake repellent, other organizations, such as Colorado State University Extension and wildlife control companies, either doubt sulphur's effectiveness or completely dismiss it as a viable choice to keep snakes away. There are other ways to protect a home from snakes that may yield better results.

Sulfur may not work but other methods help keep snakes away.

Sulphur's Intended Effect

Spreading sulphur around a house is intended to repel snakes once they encounter it. Another popular remedy for snakes is moth balls, which often consist primarily of naphthalene and is sometimes put around houses to turn snakes away. A product that combines both sulphur and naphthalene is called Snake-A-Way. However, a website selling the product actually says that sulphur alone does not keep snakes away, according to university tests.

Further Arguments Against Sulphur

Tests cited by Colorado State University Extension noted that sulphur, when used alone, did not repel black rat snakes or plains garter snakes. When the sulphur was combined with naphthalene in Snake-A-Way, it proved to be an ineffective repellent against gopher snakes, western rattlesnakes, brown tree snakes and plains garter snakes. North Carolina Cooperative Extension also calls sulphur an ineffective deterrent to snakes. An Orlando, Florida wildlife control company, AAAnimal Control, calls sulphur a snake remedy that "really won't work."

Removing Snake's Food Supply

One major reason why snakes venture toward houses is in their pursuit of food, such as rodents. Remove the food source and you increase the odds of snakes staying away, as well. Ways to do this include keeping the lawn mowed and keeping bushes trimmed. Also, don't invite the rodents and other small animals in by leaving outside garbage cans uncovered. Rid the property of wood and brick piles, which provide cover for both the snakes and their food supply.

Other Effective Deterrents

There are also additional methods proven to effectively keep snakes away from a home. Patch up any holes or cracks in the house's foundation where snakes may enter and also block or cover up any possible snake routes into a crawl space. Also, place screens over windows and doors. A snake-proof fence can protect yard areas, while other barriers, such as latticework, can protect the areas underneath decks and porches.