Contrary to what many people think, cinnamon does not repel snakes. If anything, the belief that ‘natural’ snake repellents work is nothing but a myth.
There is no strong scientific evidence that supports that argument. Furthermore, there is not a ton of scientific information that suggests that snakes are repelled by anything.
It is believed by some people that the mixture of cinnamon and clove oil works wonders. However, there are more effective ways to keep snakes off your property such as clearing bushes, getting rid of prey, and sealing off your property.
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.
Why Do People Believe That Cinnamon Drives Snakes Away?
1. Their Sense of Smell
It is a known fact that snakes have a great sense of smell. Therefore, people think that substances that have strong smells will irritate the snake enough for it to want to leave.
That is why people will use substances that are too strong for human noses, such as cinnamon, hoping that the snake will have a more irritant reaction.
The hole in this train of thought is that snakes do not smell like humans. They possess a unique organ, the Organ of Jacobson, that they use along with their forked tongues to smell.
Essentially, snakes’ noses do not react like humans’ when exposed to a strong-scented substance like cinnamon.
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2. Word of Mouth
As common with all myths, they are passed from generation to generation.
The belief that snakes are repelled by cinnamon did not just come out of nowhere. Someone must have tried it at some point and observed that snakes left the premises.
The chances are that there were other factors that led to the serpents leaving, but the person rode on the belief that cinnamon did the trick. For this reason, many people are victims of a logical fallacy, also known as confirmation bias.
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2. Home Remedy Salespeople
There are companies that look to make a quick buck based on the fear that people have for snakes. Therefore, they will carry out marketing practices that convince people that particular substances repel snakes. Companies that make commercial repellents, especially, make handsome profits selling them to clueless clients.
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How Then, Can You Keep Snakes Away?
While most snakes are non-venomous and pretty much harmless, it is wise to be wary of them. This is because you can’t always tell the venomous from the non-venomous. The following are sure ways to keep snakes off your property:
1. Keep the Area Clean, Tidy and Neat
Snakes are attracted to places where they can hide and slither around unnoticed, such as overgrown lawns and unkempt gardens. Therefore, it is wise to trim the area around your house to reduce possible hiding places for snakes. In the same breath, get rid of shelters, building rubble, firewood, and piles of rock because snakes can easily hide in these spaces.
2. Get Rid of Possible Food Sources
Food is a primary factor that attracts snakes into your property. Therefore, it is wise to control the population of animals that snakes feed on, such as rodents, insects, and frogs. This would mean creating an environment where these animals would not thrive.
3. Remove Open Water Sources
Snakes like hanging around moist areas. Open water sources invite thirsty snakes to have a drink. Also, water features will attract frogs and toads, which will, in turn, attract snakes. Thus, get rid of unnecessary water sources, or at least maintain them in a way that serpents will not be tempted to come by.
4. Fence Your Premises Appropriately
Put a fence around your premises and ensure that it is well-sealed, especially at the bottom. Snakes can easily slither through a tiny space. Therefore, make sure that you leave no open spaces at the bottom of the fence and the entrance gates.
All Articles in our Snake Repellant Series:
What to do when you Find a Snake in Your Premises?
The best way to deal with snakes in your home compound is by involving wildlife control professionals.
It is a bad idea to deal with snakes directly, even if you have protective gear on. Confronting a snake may incite its defense mechanism, causing it to strike and bite.
A wildlife control professional has adequate experience in dealing with snakes and will know exactly how to handle them without harming the snake or anyone else. Usually, these professionals trap and relocate the snakes, making sure they never return.
Cinnamon does not repel snakes. There is no scientific proof that snakes are kept away by ‘natural’ repellents or commercial ones for that matter. This is because snakes do not smell things the same way humans do. While strong scents can be irritable to humans, that may not be the case with snakes. While reptiles have a very strong sense of smell, their noses do not burn when they inhale a strong scent.
The notion that cinnamon and other ‘natural’ repellents keep away snakes is simply a myth, which has rendered many people victims of logical fallacy. Furthermore, marketers that are looking to sell their products have sold masses the idea that repellents are effective in keeping snakes away from domestic premises.
Joe is a freelance writer for FaunaFacts. Joe has written extensively about snakes for the site, but also contributes content about a range of animals.