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Do Fake Owls Keep Snakes Away?

No, there is no guarantee the fake owls and birds will deter snakes. There is no scientific evidence proving this claim, but many people still claim that it works.

do fake owls keep snakes away

These claims are mostly from those who sell fake owls. It is a business. While there are customers who say that snake presence in their property declined after placing fake owls in the garden, there is no scientific study to back this up.

Are Snakes Afraid of Owls in the Wild?

Snakes are not afraid of owls. There are videos online showing that snakes attack owls.  Snakes are afraid of humans, but they will not shy away from anything that they can eat.

It is all a matter of whether or not they are hungry or cornered.

Many snakes are aggressive and do not have a high level of intelligence. Snakes like pythons will attack birds of any kind. Cobras do the same thing. Snakes will not show any fear if under duress, even from an owl.

What snakes do is travel and hunt. If it sees an owl and the owl is a threat, the snake will not hesitate to fight back.

The end result of the battle depends on several factors, such as the size of the snake and its venom. Owls are not immune to a snake’s venom like mongooses are. If a snake has no venom, it is likely to lose.

Generally, snakes are not confrontational if it knows that the other animal is bigger than its mouth. It will slither away, but not because it knows that it is an owl, but because it knows that it is in danger.

Here’s some footage showing how bold snakes are when it comes to a fight with an owl:

Why do People say that Fake Owls Keep Snakes Away?

Predator and prey relationships exist in the wild. Some animals are smart enough to understand who the predator is. As such, they run away from these predators if they are on sight.

There are studies showing reduced activities by the prey if there is a presence of a predator. An example of this is bats not feeding in areas where there is a fake snake. There is also established effectiveness in object deterrence between scarecrows and birds.

Owls are predators of snakes. It does not matter whether the snake is venomous or not. The owl catches the snake from above and flies away. While the snake is in the owl’s talons and the air, it can barely strike.

It is likely that the snake will strike the owl’s feet, but its feet have thick scales that are protected from the bite.

Because of this prey-predator relationship, and because birds are scared of a fake human, a scarecrow, people naturally assume that snakes are afraid of owls, even if the owl is merely an object. Some people use fake hawks in their gardens.

However, there is no scientific evidence of this. Snakes are not really that intelligent. Many of them have strong senses of smell. Some have heat vision, and they are also capable of detecting airborne and ground vibrations.

All these skills and natural abilities do not make them intelligent enough to think that an owl is something to be afraid of. Some snakes will even hunt for mongoose nests, even if the mongoose is the most formidable predator of all snakes.

Related: Where do Snakes Hide in a House?

If Snakes are not Afraid of Fake Owls, Why Does it Work?

Nobody knows if it works. It only seems to work. Many people say that once they placed a fake owl in their gardens, they noticed that the snakes did not come back.

Of course, this can be purely coincidental. Snakes do not hunt in territories like lions. What it means is that they do not stay in one place. If there is a snake in an area, chances are it detected prey and was looking for it.

Another possibility is that it is merely looking for shelter or a nest. By the time the human being placed the fake owl in the garden, the snake may already be done with its business.

It is also possible the snake saw the human. Snakes are not confrontational against humans and would rather go away after spotting one.

Experts say that there is no way to deter snakes. The best way to get rid of snakes is to catch them and put them back in the wild. Snake prevention is the better method to keep them away than fake owls or hawks.

Will Fake Mongooses Deter Snakes?

No, fake mongoose will not work to deter snakes. No fake thing will work because snakes do not think like birds. There is no such thing as a “scarecrow” for a snake.

They will sense their surroundings and smell. They will also detect movement and us either heat sensors to determine if there is any living thing around.

Since fake deterrents and statues do not move, the snake will know this. And if it does not move, it will not sense a vibration, and the snake knows there is no threat. The snake will also not detect heat, so it knows that the statue has no life.

Because of these things, snakes will never think of any dead object as a threat. They will not associate a fake owl with anything at all. As such, they will continue thriving in an area, especially if there is prey to eat like mice.

Conclusion

Fake owls do not keep snakes away. The only basis of people for saying this is the principle behind some prey-predator relationships in the wild, or the fact that birds are afraid of scarecrow. There is no scientific evidence proving that snakes are afraid of fake or real owls.

Snakes go to gardens because they either need shelter, a nest, or they spotted a prey. If one puts a fake owl in the garden and the snake disappears, it is a matter of coincidence.

Snakes are not afraid of many things, but they are afraid of humans. If anything, one must concentrate on doing things that will prevent snakes from coming, rather than using repellents.