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Does Mulch Attract Snakes or Repel? (Read This First!)

Mulch is beneficial to a garden or yard in our property, which is considered by a lot of garden enthusiasts. The usual benefits include an increase in moisture, nutrients, weed prevention, curb appeal, and moderation of soil temperature.

The maintenance of a garden can be ridiculous sometimes. Part of keeping it healthy is having to deal with critters that invade it from time to time. Mulch is a common place where these pests come and take refuge.

Mulch in our garden or yard can create a small ecosystem. They almost always play an important role regardless of their composition. To know more about the guests, they invite and the beneficial things they offer, let us keep reading below.

Does mulch attract snakes or repel?

Using large rocks and mulch too much in our landscape can attract snakes and their prey as well. This in turn will create a breeding ground. This breeding ground will even help them survive the winter. If we use smaller tight-fitting rocks, like gravels or even river rock will not attract snakes.

Get rid of mulch. The statement is as simple as it can be. There might be mulches out there that can provide you with a safe place because they will repel the snakes. However, moist mulches as we will see below can attract snakes and provide them safe places.

Rubber mulch:

Rubber mulch are bouncy and hard. Snakes on the other hand like soft and grassy environments. Thus, rubber mulch does not provide snakes with comfortable environments. As a result, rubber mulch will repel snakes.

Wood mulch:

Sadly, thick layers or piles of wood can provide great cover for snakes. This is because snakes like little crevices and go inside to stay cool and hide from unwanted attention. Therefore, wood mulch attracts snakes and should be avoided.

Pine bark mulch:

Pine bark when left alone can create thick layers of cover and snakes love these piles of unused mulch. This is because they can also provide good hiding spots.

Cedar mulch:

Cedar is an aromatic wood. We know that aromatic woods are toxic to reptiles. This is because cedar contains aromatic phenols that cause respiratory issues and act as a repellant for snakes.

Cypress mulch:

One of the most expensive mulches among other mulch is the Cypress mulch. 

Though they might be good for the soil around your garden they are not reported to be a repellant for snakes and thus snakes will get attracted.

Red mulch:

These are no different from the other mulches in the list, this mulch can also attract snakes and provide a good resting place for snakes.

Black mulch:

Similar to the cypress mulch in helping your soil to have more moisture and nutrients is the black mulch. However, these are reported to have attracted snakes and thus should be avoided.

Sugar cane mulch:

Snakes are fond of sugar cane fields and tend to live among them in most cases. So naturally, sugar cane mulch does not provide a haven for us but rather it creates a safe place for the snakes to hide and stay.

Four reasons why mulch attract snakes

Mulch’s a convenient way to provide a landscape for our gardens and decorate our yards. Some mulches can keep the soil around our plants filled with moisture and nutrients. Mulch creates a mini eco-system in our landscape. 

However, it comes with a cost and that’s, traditional mulches attract snakes. Here are some of the main reasons why snakes are attracted to mulches.


Mulch is a great place for the snakes to get into, burrow, and wait out the winter. These places help them stay out of the cold and site of any unwanted attention that might lead to their demise. 

Mulch is a convenient and comfortable overwintering place for snakes.

Easy prey:

Snakes like to stay in mulch as these places provide them moisture. There’s another reason for the snakes to do this too, frogs and worms also can be found in mulches. These animals provide easy meals for the snakes that are just patient.


All kinds of pests take cover in mulch as it provides them with comfortable shelter. Since snakes are always on track with their meals and hunting, they find themselves in the mulch as the pests reside in them.

Breeding Grounds:

Snakes are reported to lay their eggs in mulch. As the mulch provides shelter and a safe place for the snakes, they find these places to be perfect breeding grounds. It’s best to get rid of mulch as they almost always attract snakes.

What kind of mulch will keep snakes away?

If we do not want any kind of snakes coming into our garden, then we need to get rid of mulches. However, if we insist on using mulch in our garden, then some mulches might help in deterring the snakes.

Cedar mulches for example are some of the mulches that are very useful against snakes. These are aromatic wood shavings. The mulch from this particular wood will cause respiratory issues among other issues in reptiles.

Rubber mulch is another one that snakes do not find comfortable. These mulches are bouncy and hard thus making them avoid this mulch. Finally, we have the crushed stone mulch that also is not comfortable for the snake and provide no shelter.

How to keep snakes out of mulch?

Using mulches is not advised in gardens. However, if we insist on using them then we should follow the steps below to help us keep snakes away.

Minimize the hiding spots:

We need to minimize the hiding spots of the snakes. During the day, snakes avoid attention by hiding in tall grasses and bushes or grassy and wood mulch.

Compost for mulch:

Since snakes love grassy and soft comfortable mulches using only compost for mulch can deter them from the garden as well. There are many ways we can make compost ourselves. And using these as mulch will keep snakes out.


Since snakes like to hide in mulches, if we prune the bottom of our plants then they will not be encouraged to stay in them.

Lay traps and eliminate the pests:

Snakes are hunters. They will hunt their prey for miles on end once they decide on one. Most of the time mulches give cover for other pests and rodents as well.

If we were to lay traps and eliminate the pests it can stop snakes from coming in the first place. We could also lay traps for snakes as well.

Sprinkle sulfur:

If we sprinkle sulfur in the edges of our garden mulch then it’ll not instantly deter snakes but it’ll make them not come back once they do. 

This is because powdered sulfur will irritate their skin and give them an uncomfortable feeling once they come in contact.

What snakes does rubber mulch repel?

Rubber mulch is a mulch that is mostly used in landscaping and gardens. They are recycled or chopped up rubber. They can come in almost any color you can imagine. These are eco-friendly options that keep snakes away from our garden.

Snakes like the common garter snake, the gopher snake, and the king snake steer clear of the rubber mulch. If a rattlesnake is common in our region, the rubber mulch will also act as a good repellent for them too.

Almost all oviparous snakes are repelled by the rubber mulch, as a result, it is a great alternative to use in the garden instead of the other wood and grassy mulch.

Final Thoughts

Mulch can be in different forms and made from different materials. They can provide nutrients and moisture to the soil in our garden. However, mulch can also attract dangerous animals like snakes. Snakes are attracted to the moisture and crevices of traditional mulch for shelter and prey.