Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Moth Balls or Crystals to Get Rid of Snakes

If you have a lovely garden or lawn, chances are that the last thing you want to see is a snake slithering its way across the landscape. Snakes are a wonderful part of the ecosystem and help keep away rodents and other pests, but many can be a nuisance. There are commercial products you can buy to help get rid of snakes, but these products are often expensive. Many people turn to homemade remedies, such as moth balls or crystals to repel snakes.


Moth balls or crystals that are used to get rid of snakes are made from naphthalene, a substance that is derived from coal tar. Naphthalene emits a highly toxic gas that smells unpleasant to snakes, humans and many other animals.


If using moth crystals, mix the crystals with cat litter to spread it in areas you do not want snakes to venture into. Another method is to stuff nylon hose with moth crystals or moth balls and place the stuffed hose into the areas of the home or garden that you do not want the snakes to invade.


Though they have no nose, most snakes have a highly developed sense of smell that they detect through the flickering of their tongue. This is how the snake detects prey. Moth balls or moth crystals are believed to work as snake repellents because they emit a highly noticeable and unpleasant smell.


If you put moth balls out to repel snakes, make sure children and pets cannot reach them. If children or pets consume the moth balls, it can be fatal.


Inhaling the naphthalene fumes can cause severe health problems, including bowel difficulty, jaundice and the destruction of red blood cells. It is also believed that the vapors can cause cancer. For this reason, many people prefer to choose alternatives to moth balls or crystals. If you choose to work with moth balls or crystals, wear a nasal mask.

Garden Guides