Friday, 9 November 2012

Is Sulfur An Effective Snake Repellent?

I saw a thin green snake in my back garden last Saturday morning - lizard hunting and slithering up and down a tree branch. Its head is about the size of an adult human thumb and it is about 3 feet in length. Immediately after noticing this snake, I went out and sprinkled some sulfur within the vicinity of the back garden thinking that the smell of sulfur will cause the snake to go away. I was careful to leave some space sulfur free so that the snake could escape. Instead, it did nothing. The snake just continued lizard hunting. It seems to be unperturbed by the chickens and ducks walking around its vicinity nor was it threatening them. Likewise when I was standing about 6 feet away from it. It just stared at me and did nothing.

The snake was still there on the tree the following day. But that was the last that I saw of it. It may have left my back garden as probably there were no lizards left for it to gobble up.

From what I have read off the Internet, there seems to be some conflicting opinions on the effectiveness of sulfur as a snake repellent. So people say "Yes", while others say "No". From my story above, it appears to be "No", but through the years, sulfur has been effective in keeping snakes at bay within the compound of my house. In fact, the Malaysian Fire Department (the official snake catchers in Malaysia) says that snakes dislikes the smell of sulfur and they actually recommends using it. Perhaps its effects might not be immediate, but it will eventually drive snakes away.

I usually scatter sulfur at about a feet or less away around the perimeters of the house - usually under some shade so that the rain will not wash it away. Perhaps why some people say sulfur is ineffective could be because they have scattered it on the garden itself and sulfur may have reacted with the soil and causing it to be ineffective.

In the meantime, I will be tidying up the back garden a bit so that there will be less of a place for snakes to hide and also less of a place for lizards to breed. I have on purpose created a habitat for these lizards as I thought they were a good and natural way to control pest insects in my house and garden. Well, apparently not. Or maybe, some fine tuning is required.

Update: 15th November 2017

These 2 articles from the Malaysian newspaper The Star says that sulfur doesn't work. Here are the links. See what you think.


  1. well, i bet that sulfur not effective to snake according to some article..

  2. That is exactly what I have read. But I find it hard to believe based on my own experience.


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