Outdoor PestsSnakes

What Are Snakes Afraid Of?

Netrix Or Colubrid Snake On Stone

People who have watched the film “Anaconda” might have developed an intense fear of snakes. Imagine having to deal with one of the largest snake breeds in the world!

But aside from the larger breeds, other species of snakes can also be found lurking in your garden, especially when you don’t properly maintain the plants or trim your landscape. Snakes can come slithering and hide in tall grasses where they can escape from their predators.


Like humans, snakes are also living things, which means they also know how to be afraid. And if you want to scare them off to keep them away from your backyard, this guide will indeed help you.

We’ll tackle the following:

  • What snakes are most afraid of.
  • What they do when they feel threatened or scared.

We know it can be frightful to see a snake crawling near your spot, but you must be prepared how to handle these kinds of situations. And don’t worry; you’ll give these animals a taste of their own medicine by scaring them away.

What Snakes Are Most Afraid Of?

Yes, snakes can get scared too. Below is a list of things or animals these reptiles fear most.

1. Other Snake Species

Fight Of Two Snakes To Seize Power

Just like how we tend to be afraid of people double our size, it’s the same for snakes. These reptiles are usually scared of their fellow snakes from a different group or species. It’s also why most snakes will try their best to steer clear of snakes from other species.

While you can also see some getting more aggressive when they face a different or a smaller snake.

One thing you must know about these animals is that they can be territorial. It’s not rare to see snakes fighting over a single territory, especially when it concerns their young.

But if you’re talking about the viper and the king cobra, these snakes are almost unafraid of anything. And they can even be more aggressive and engage in attacks with other snakes.

2. Human Beings

A Man Is Using Bare Hand To Catch The Snake

If you are afraid of snakes, they are more afraid of you. These reptiles are not fond of getting near people because they are scared to be attacked and get hurt. Moreover, we are more gigantic compared to their size! This means that snakes potentially see us as their predators.

A snake’s first instinct when they see humans is to slither away and escape. But they can also get aggressive and attack if they feel provoked or trapped.

The next time you encounter one, carefully look away and leave. Don’t do anything that might provoke the snake and cause it to do drastic methods.

Moreover, when a snake feels cornered, it becomes vulnerable, which increases the chances of starting an attack. It’s part of their defense mechanism to protect themselves and remain safe.

3. Attacked by Their Predators

Serpent Eagle Approaching Green Vine Snake

Like any animal, snakes are also preys who are afraid of their dangerous predators. One way these snakes stay hidden from their predators is to hide in caves during the day. It’s mostly during the night when snakes go out and hunt for food.

The most common predators of these animals include:

  • Birds of prey, including eagles and hawks.
  • Weasels.
  • Foxes.
  • Raccoons.
  • Wild pigs and hogs.

Often, as a form of their defense mechanism, snakes release an unpleasant liquid secreted from their glands whenever they feel threatened. These animals would also hiss and coil up their bodies when they want their opponents to feel intimidated.

If all else fails, these reptiles can strike fast with lightning speed.

4. Loud Noises and Bright Lights

Poisonous Snake With Bright Light

Snakes’ sense of hearing helps them escape predators and find food. If you want to disorient them or cause them to lose focus, a loud noise should help.

But you must be careful when doing this because aggressive snakes can strike and attack you back. If you intend to move the reptile, do so peacefully and quietly.

Aside from loud noises, snakes are also sensitive to bright lights because they are considered nocturnal animals. These animals try to avoid as bright areas as possible because their senses of sight are also designed to survive better in the dark. This means sunlight or any bright light can be very painful to their eyes.

Additionally, snakes need their sense of smell because they rely on it when looking for food in the dark. If you want to make them recognize your appearance at night, using a flashlight and shining it in their eyes is the best way to let them escape.

5. Smoke

The Rare And Endangered Twin-Spotted Rattlesnake

All reptiles have weak and susceptible respiratory systems, including snakes. When these animals see smoke, their first instinct is to run or escape, also because it’s not something snakes interact with on a day-to-day basis.

Starting a smoke will also make the snake think a forest fire is happening, so it will quickly slither away.

Smoke can also disrupt a snake’s smell receptors, especially in the lungs. This can make the animal feel very stressed, causing it to either attack or hide.

6. Being Touched

A Garden Hoe Touched Speckled Snake

Because snakes are reptiles, their outermost covering is composed of scales that protect them from harsh elements and harmful predators. One thing to know about scales is that they are very delicate and can get wounded even with the slightest touch.

When snakes are roughly or aggressively touched, it’s easy for their scales to be damaged, which increases the animal’s risk of developing infections.

Touching a snake can also make the animal shed skin, which is indeed stressful for the reptile. Moreover, when snakes are touched, they instantly feel threatened and can react aggressively and defensively.

7. Temperature Changes

Snake In Striking Position

Snakes are cold-blooded animals but are sensitive to changes in the atmosphere, weather, and temperature. Snakes find it challenging to adjust automatically when there is a rapid change in the coldness or heat.

This can cause a lot of stress and can even make snakes feel sick.

How Snakes Behave When Scared

The number one thing that happens when snakes feel scared is the rise of their adrenaline. This will cause the animal to tremble, which can tighten its body. During this time, a snake decides whether it will strike or escape.

It’s also normal for snakes to open their mouths and start hissing once they feel threatened. It’s part of their defense mechanism, where they want to make sure they look intimidating to their predators in the hopes of scaring them away.

But when a snake feels that its defense mechanisms are not working, the animal may strike and get aggressive.

Snakes Get Frightened Too

Grass Snake Head Raising Defensiveness

Snakes are like us; they get frightened by certain stimuli and act according to what they think is best for their own protection. It’s a part of their defense mechanism to hiss, and coils up or aggressively lunge at the enemy.

The next time you encounter a garden snake or any other specie in your garden, go back to this guide and use the snakes’ fears to your advantage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do Snakes Fear the Most?

Snakes may be afraid of their predators, but they do not compete with a raging fire. These reptiles are most scared of fire because of the heat it emits.

When they encounter a fire, their first instinct is to flee. But if there’s no escape route, snakes will decide to coil up and wait for the fire to disappear.

What Scents Are Snakes Scared Of?

Snakes hate anything citrus and the scents of famous spices like garlic, onion, and ginger. They also despise anything cinnamon or peppermint. You can use these scents to keep them away from your backyard or garden.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *