Outdoor PestsSnakes

How To Keep Rattlesnakes Away


Nobody wants to see a snake crawling and hissing in his yard. And it gets worse when it’s a rattlesnake, you see! Rattlesnakes are one of the most common snake species to dominate gardens and lawns in the United States.

These predators act like parasites; you won’t get anything in return after letting them reside around your property.


As summer approaches, the weather becomes warmer and drier. This becomes a better thriving environment for snakes around your garden. So when you locate a rattlesnake nearby, don’t panic.

This guide will explore the following topics:

  • What happens when a rattlesnake bites you?
  • Effective solutions to keep rattlesnakes away.
  • And how you can tell when it’s a rattlesnake and not other species of snake.

Having a snake in your backyard can become one of the worst views you can experience at home. That’s why it’s important to stay alert and prepared and not forget to breathe.

Rattlesnakes vs. Other Snakes

Garter Snake

Don’t get us wrong. Whatever the type of snake, it’s not great to see one having fun around your garden. But among the various snake species, seeing a corn or a garter snake is at least better than seeing a rattlesnake.

With how active rattlesnakes are, they can be difficult to avoid. And worse, you might even experience getting bitten.

Rattlesnakes, more technically termed Pacific rattlesnakes, are more common in warmer countries and Northern California. Their heads are typically triangular and can be as long as 5.5 feet.

Their bodies can range from black to dark gray colors, filled with hexagonal markings.

Rattlesnakes tend to coil their bodies while rattling their tails when they feel endangered or surprised. And as we mentioned, they are most active during the warm months of November to February — during spring and summer.

The hexagonal markings on the rattlesnakes’ bodies are not enough to identify one in your backyard successfully. The best way to tell whether it’s a rattlesnake you see is by checking its stubby tail.

You should see rings underneath its tail’s base. Moreover, their bodies are commonly wide and flat.

What Happens After a Rattlesnake Bite

Like most snakes, rattlesnakes are venomous vipers. When you get bitten, immediate medical attention must be given if you don’t want the infection to spread.

Recovering from a rattlesnake bite is pretty common. But if you don’t seek a medical consult immediately, you risk developing life-threatening health issues.

Moreover, not doing anything about the bite will eventually make it worse within minutes to a couple of hours. Yes, it’s that quick.

When a rattlesnake bites, it produces extreme swelling and pain in the involved area. This can progress to excessive bleeding, mouth and throat swelling, and nausea.

In more severe cases, the pain can lead to breathing difficulty, drooling saliva, lightheadedness, and even collapse and shock.

After getting bitten, the first thing to do is to stay calm. Don’t attempt to do the following:

  • Applying ice or using a constricting band or a tourniquet.
  • Sucking out the venom.
  • Cutting or slicing the bite site.

A constricting band can compress the blood vessels, which might lead to potential amputation.

Instead, the first thing to do after calming down is to wash the injury with water and mild soap. Remove pieces of jewelry and wristwatches that also might be too constrictive.

It would be best if you remained calm to prevent exertion, which can lead to difficulty in breathing.

The Best Ways To Keep Rattlesnakes Away

The next time you see a rattlesnake lounging in your garden, perform any of our tried and tested hacks below.

Rattlesnakes tend to act fast when they sense danger, so you must always be prepared with the right tools you need to get rid of them.

1. Keep Your Grass Short

Short Grasses

One of the most important preventive measures to keep rattlesnakes away is to keep your grass short. Most snakes and pests prefer tall grasses because they serve as their hiding spots from predators.

Tall grasses protect rattlesnakes from hawks or owls. This is why you should regularly mow your lawn to ensure no hiding spot can be found by these hissing creatures.

Moreover, shorter lawns allow rattlesnakes to spot other snakes and expose them to surrounding predators. This decreases the chance of the other snake species invading your garden.

Short grasses help you keep your lawn debris-free. Keeping your lawn grass as short as possible is even more helpful when you live in areas where it usually rains. When there’s frequent rain, grasses can grow faster, which allows more rattlesnakes to hide in plain sight.

2. Don’t Overwater Your Lawn

Overwater Your Lawn

Wet grasses and plants are more susceptible to tinier pests, including worms, frogs, or slugs. And because rattlesnakes prey on these animals, you can expect more reptiles to visit your lawn and look for potential food sources.

Overwatering can also make it easier for these species to hide from bigger predators.

3. Eliminate All Potential Food Sources

Food Sources

Aside from worms, slugs, and frogs, rattlesnakes are also attracted to rodents, roaches, squirrels, and lizards. This means you must be smart enough to think of creative ways to eliminate all these potential food sources.

Rodents can be effectively eradicated by using pesticides or food baits. Other bait stations can also be placed to eliminate roaches, lizards, ants, and other garden pests. These stations should be at least ten to fifteen feet apart.

It’s also important to regularly check the bait stations to inspect whether they already need replacing.

4. Maintain a Clean Yard

Maintain A Clean Yard

Rattlesnakes are typically similar to other pests. However, they prefer a pile of leaves and debris where it’s easier to hide and look for prey.

Moreover, the area becomes more attractive to small mammals like squirrels and rodents when there are several mulch, leaves, or wood.

Remember that they are rattlesnakes’ prey, which means it’s more likely for these reptiles to invade your garden to hunt for these pests.

Unused lawn equipment, storage containers, and planters also make great hiding spaces for snakes and their smaller prey. So it would be best to keep these things organized, especially when you’ll not be using them for a long time.

Don’t forget to consider areas that normally absorb moisture or where water usually runs. Watch out for these spots, and always ensure they are all dried up.

5. Make Sure There’s No Standing Water

Standing Water

Standing water attracts rattlesnakes, so make sure to get rid of them. They can include puddles, rain barrels, ponds, and birdbaths.

If there’s no standing water, these creatures won’t be able to find a good breeding ground where they can look for food or hide from their predators.

6. Use Smoke

Smoke From Fire

Snakes hate smoke, regardless of the type of species. So if you want to ensure rattlesnakes don’t visit your garden, you can start digging a fire pit and light it up for a few days.

This guarantees no snakelike creature will try to invade your yard. You can also cover the pit with leaves and moss for an ideal effect.

If you’re wondering why, rattlesnakes have a heightened sense of smell, so they despise anything with intense odor or fumes.

7. Use Homemade Natural Repellents


Like tiny pests, it’s also possible to create homemade natural repellents when dealing with rattlesnakes.

The variety of essential oils for deterring bugs and roaches will also work successfully with these reptiles, like lavender and peppermint. But if you want other options, cinnamon, garlic, or white vinegar can work too.

Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil in water, mix, and pour into a spray bottle. If you’re using garlic, it’s best if you boil it first to extract all the flavors and scent.

Protect Your Property From Rattlesnakes

Rattlesnakes should not dominate anyone’s property. They are venomous vipers that can become aggressive and bite anyone that makes them feel threatened.

Calm down when you are accidentally bitten, and seek medical attention immediately.

To help keep rattlesnakes away, ensure your yard has no standing water, and always keep your area clean. In addition, regularly cut the grass and mow your lawn to decrease potential hiding spots for these creatures.

Homemade natural repellents can also work, but you must be determined to reapply the mixture in your desired areas for continuous effectiveness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Rattlesnakes Sleep During Night Time?

One fascinating trivia about rattlesnakes is that they sleep with their eyes open.

It’s also why not even snake experts quickly determine when a rattlesnake is sleeping. And yes, rattlesnakes commonly sleep at night, but some can also forage to look for food when the weather is not too warm.

The most common places where rattlesnakes sleep include logs or cracks, crevices, and caves.

Can Mothballs Work in Repelling Rattlesnakes?

While mothballs are effective against tiny pests like roaches, ants, and bugs, they are not effective against rattlesnakes or any snake species.

Their scents are not strong enough to be picked up by these reptiles and cause them to feel disoriented.

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