No, there is no scientific evidence to prove that diesel keep snakes away. Diesel is not proven to kill snakes, even if one pours it on them, unless one drowns them in diesel.
Diesel and other fuel products kill snakes if you light them on fire. Snakes can also suffocate after ingestion because these chemicals are toxic to living things. However, using diesel as snake repellent is not only ineffective but also dangerous for humans.
Disclaimer: FaunaFacts does not encourage or condone the use of unregulated or home remedy animal repellents. Animal repellents must be used in accordance with the product labels and local regulations. Placing pesticides and chemicals around your property may be dangerous and can contravene local laws. Do not approach wild animals. Consult a pest control professional for advice on what’s best for your situation.
Does Diesel Repel Snakes?
No, it is not an effective repellent. Snakes will not drink diesel and will not die after inhaling the fumes. The exception to this rule is if they have ingested enough to reach a level of toxicity.
While snakes have a strong sense of smell, there is no known chemical that definitively repels them. Even if companies claim to have made the most effective snake repellents, all of these materials are subject to scientific debate, including diesel.
In one study, scientists tested the snake repellent Dr. Ts Snake-A-Way. It contains sulphur and naphthalene. The scientists conducted their experiment in a 10×20 feet room that is ten feet high. They followed the instruction on the label and sprinkled the repellent on the floor.
The scientists used 12 gopher snakes, and each received about an hour inside the test room. From these tests, here are their findings:
- Two snakes crossed the repellent area 4 times
- 1 crossed the area 5 times
The average for all snakes was 2.7 crossings across the repellant per hour. There were only two instances where the snake did not cross the repellent at all.
The conclusion of this study was that the supposed snake repellent is not effective. The scientist said that reliance on the product is unwise.
Does Gasoline Repel Snakes?
No, gasoline and diesel both come from crude oil. Crude oil comes from under the earth. The only reason they are different is that they are processed in different ways.
Gasoline may have other ingredients and chemical components than diesel, but at their core, they are the same. As such, one can surmise that both of them have no real tangible effects on snakes, not even as a smell repellent.
Like diesel, there is no scientific evidence that they repel snakes. While it is a fact that they can cause harm to animals, there is no recorded observation of whether snakes stay away from the smell of gasoline.
Why do People Think Diesel Keeps Snakes Away?
People think that diesel is a good repellent against snakes because it is a petroleum product. It is common knowledge that animals can die if they inhale or ingest petroleum. This is called petroleum poisoning.
Crude oil contains many types of aromatic hydrocarbons. Some of these are benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene. If ingested, these compounds will have acute effects. They have hemotoxic and neurotoxic effects that harm the brain.
Cats, dogs, and other observable animals do not like the smell of diesel or gasoline. Even if petroleum products are not the leading cause of poisoning in pet animals, they do cause a burning sensation.
This observation is what made people believe that if pets do not like diesel, then snakes must dislike them too.
However, there is no conclusive evidence as to whether snakes would run away from the smell of diesel.
Do Diesel and Gasoline Attract Snakes?
No, diesel and gasoline do not attract snakes. Snakes know the smell of prey, and only prey can attract them.
There are also many snakes, especially in the viper family, that have thermal sensitivity. They possess heat-sensing organs that allow them to spot prey. Gasoline and diesel only produce thermal heat when burning.
If Diesel Does not Repel Snakes, What Does?
There is no thing that is a 100% effective snake repellent. Even commercial snake repellants on the shelves are shown to not be fully (or even partially!) effective.
Snakes, generally, are afraid of humans and other animals. They will usually only get aggressive if they are cornered or threatened.
Snakes are attracted to prey and hiding spots. A garden that has lush vegetation can serve as a good hiding spot for snakes. Houses that have cracks will also invite snakes to get inside.
If anything, the primary idea of repelling snakes is merely based on human fear. Snakes usually live in your garden without causing harm to you, and in fact, they can even be good for keeping away rodents.
The best way to “repel” snakes is not to give them a reason to be on your property. Snakes are solitary creatures and are around merely to hunt for food.
To deter snakes from coming to your garden, you would be better off:
- Ensuring there is no excess food that might attracts rodents, which snakes like to eat.
- Not providing rock walls where snakes like to nest.
- Keeping grass shot, removing lush vegetation, and not leaving food lying around that can attract prey.
- Following the advice of your local pest control agent.
But, keep in mind that you may not have to repel snakes. Many people live in harmony with them in the same area.
The main reasons people may want to repel snakes is to keep them away from pets and children. By discouraging your pets and children from going near known snake hiding spots, you may be able to protect the snakes as well as your pets and children.
All Articles in our Snake Repellant Series:
Snakes are not afraid of diesel. There are many people who claim that diesel is an effective repellent for snakes, but there is no evidence to back it up.
Diesel and other products derived from crude oil are poisonous. Animals like dogs and cats will not touch them. Inhaling too much petroleum product can cause serious problems, including death, to animals and humans.
Pouring diesel to a snake may or may not kill it. If one pours enough on a snake to make it ingest the diesel, the snake is going to die. However, merely smelling diesel is not a guarantee to drive it away.