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Does Kerosene Repel Snakes? (Read This First!)

Snakes are one of those animals with whom you will never feel comfortable sharing your backyard or home space.

However, many things in your backyard can make it look like an ideal place for snakes. Such as shades, large bushes, etc.

There are multiple things you can use to deter snakes. If you are wondering whether you can use kerosene to deter snakes or not, then you are at the right place.

Today we are going to have a detailed discussion on whether kerosene deters snakes or not. So, let’s get started.

Does kerosene repel snakes?

Kerosene will repel snakes. Ingesting kerosene can also be considered fatal for the snake. The kerosene will likely get under the scale and irritate the skin of the snake. This will ultimately force the snake to leave your property. However, you can deter snakes using kerosene but it’s not instant. 

Kerosene can be used to deter snakes as the scales on its body will absorb the kerosene and end up causing itchiness in the skin. 

Additionally, if you apply kerosene to the head of a snake it can also result in creating breathing problems. Remember that, directly throwing kerosene on a snake is never recommended. Because there is a huge risk of getting bitten by the snake.

There are multiple ways to deter snakes. Some of them are home remedies and some are commercial snake repellents found in the markets. Snakes do not like anything that smells too strong.

The smell of cinnamon, clove, naphthalene and white vinegar are some of the natural repellents that can be used to keep snakes away.

Additionally, the smell of kerosene, diesel, and gasoline doesn’t attract snakes. They are usually attracted only by the smell of their prey or food.

As they mostly rely on their sense of smell, they have a special organ known as the ‘Jacobson’s Organ’. This organ is known as its smell receptor, which makes them vulnerable to the smell of various essential oils and strong smells.

What is kerosene?

Kerosene is fuel oil, usually used in jet engines or domestic usage.

Kerosene is also commonly known as paraffin or paraffin oil. It can be a pale-yellow color or sometimes absolutely colorless and comes with an unpleasant smell.

However, it is usually collected from petroleum. Kerosene is usually used to burn lamps, domestic burners, heaters, or furnaces.

However, it is also used as a fuel component for jet engines. Kerosene was discovered by a Canadian Physician named Abraham Gesner in the mid-1800.

Do snakes dislike the smell of kerosene?

Snakes dislike the smell of kerosene. However, it neither attracts them. The kerosene has a light consistency but it will end up irritating the skin of the snake.

The best way to repel snakes is to keep your backyard clean. However, you can also use various repellents, such as essential oils.

Snakes are attracted to the smell of their prey. Other than that, the smell which they do not recognize or find strong, they do not enjoy it.

Is kerosene harmful to snakes?

Kerosene is harmful to snakes. Kerosene has a strong smell to them which does not make them comfortable. The consumption of kerosene or paraffin oil can be considered fatal to snakes.

If you directly throw kerosene at the snake, it may just irritate the snake. However, if the snake ingests a good amount of kerosene, it may not survive. But, for that, you will have to keep the snake drowned in kerosene for a while.

Additionally, that is not suggested. If the snake feels irritated, there is a high chance that it will end up biting you. Therefore, be careful.

How much kerosene do I need to repel snakes?

You will not need a large amount of kerosene to repel snake. Using a large amount of kerosene cannot be considered useful as the application will end up irritating the skin. However, you can use small bottles filled with kerosene to repel snakes. 

How to use kerosene to keep snakes away?

Keeping snakes away using kerosene can be proven effective if used right. However, the direct application can be risky for you and it will not end up being fatal for the snake.

Here is how to use kerosene to keep snakes away:

Filling small plastic bottles with Kerosene:

You can use kerosene to repel snakes. For that, you would need some empty plastic bottles. Make sure these bottles do not have any leakage and are the same size.

Simply fill the bottles with kerosene. Take necessary precautions while filling the bottles. Keep away from your children and pets.

Making small holes in the cap:

Once you are done filling the bottles, put the cap on the bottles and make sure they are sealed properly. Use a sharp pin to make small holes in the cap. Make sure kerosene is dripping in small amounts.

Hanging the bottles:

Hang the bottles on the trees or in the backyard. As the kerosene will drip out of the bottle, it will automatically create a boundary. The strong smell of the kerosene will automatically keep the snakes away.

And when they come in contact with the snake, they will be bound to leave the area due to skin irritation.

What else can deter snakes?

Apart from kerosene, there are many ways to deter snakes. Here are a few things you can do to deter snakes:


Naphthalene is one of the basic ingredients that is used to deter snakes. It is mostly used in manufacturing various chemical repellents that are available in the market.

However, if you do have any repellent with you currently, you can simply use pure naphthalene and that should do the trick. 


Apart from naphthalene and kerosene, you can also use sulfur in order to deter snakes. Pure sulfur powder causes skin irritation in snakes. Therefore, the presence of sulfur in your garden will be a very unpleasant place for them.

However, the smell of sulfur can be proven irritating to you too. So, remember to use protective clothing.     


Ammonia is a great option for repelling snakes. Ammonia has a very strong smell which helps you deter snakes. 

You can use ammonia-soaked rags in your garden, especially in the places where you notice snakes. And this should help you get rid of those reptiles. However, you may also need to change the rags regularly.

Garlic and Onion:

Ingredients like garlic and onions contain sulfonic acid. And sulfonic acid is proven effective to deter snakes.

You would want to chop off garlic and onion mixed with rock salt. When you are done mixing them thoroughly. Spread them in your yard or around your house.

This should help you deter snakes.  


Vinegar is another natural ingredient that helps you deter snakes. White vinegar can help you deter snakes from around your water bodies such as your swimming pool, pond etc.

You can straight up pour white vinegar at any place where you have noticed any snake activity. For example the edge of your pool.        


Lime mixed with pepper can be helpful for deterring snakes. Simply mix the ingredients and then pour the mixture all around your backyard.         

Final thoughts

Kerosene does repel snakes. However, it is not very effective. Kerosene does not attract snakes, as it has a strong smell to itself. Additionally, when the snake comes in contact with the kerosene, it creates irritation in the skin of the snake and forces it to leave the place.