If you are skeptical of using cedar mulch in or around your home because you feel it could attract snakes, make sure you read till the end of this article


But is it true? Do snakes like cedar mulch?

We both know how important mulching is for our garden. It is a non-negotiable farming practice and a key element for nursing a healthy garden.

But there have been anxieties about snakes snuggling under mulches.

Well, I’ve been using cedar mulch in and around my backyard for nearly a decade. And I DON’T recall having any encounter with a reptile.

This isn’t me being lucky whatsoever. But there have been claims that cedar mulch and snakes don’t go well.

But what are the odds? Let’s find out!

What Is Cedar Mulch?

Do snakes like cedar mulch
Credits: ShutterStock/OzCameraman

Before we dive into the discussion of whether snakes like cedar mulch, let’s first understand what exactly cedar mulch is.

Cedar mulch is a type of organic mulch made from shredded or chipped cedar wood. It is a majestic tree native to the Himalayas and the Mediterranean Basin.

And it is commonly used in landscaping and gardening to improve soil health, retain moisture, and suppress weed growth.

Cedar mulch also has a distinct aroma that some people find pleasant.

Do Snakes Like Cedar Mulch?

I understand why you’d worried about snakes potentially cozying in cedar mulch.

First off, mulches create warm, humid environments and coverage snakes would love for their hidden havens.

Moreover, there had been cases where snakes were found in mulches, particularly cypress, pine bark, and sugar cane mulch.

And considering, snakes are stealthy predators with venomous bites, you don’t want to give them any reason to come lurking around your household.

But if you hop online, almost every blog is saying snakes DO NOT like cedar mulch for two major reasons:

1.    Cedar Mulch Oozes A Distinctive Scent Snake Hate

One common belief is that cedar mulch repels snakes due to its strong aroma.

Yes, Cedar mulch indeed contains aromatic phenols —a compound responsible for its distinctive scent.

These phenols have been proven to be a natural repellent for various pests, including insects and rodents.

It is why some gardeners and homeowners believe that this same property extends to snakes. However, there needs to be concrete evidence and scientific validation of snakes, not frequenting areas where cedar mulch is present.

Snakes are attracted to areas with ample shelter, food sources, and suitable environmental conditions. The presence of cedar mulch alone is unlikely to be the sole deciding factor for snakes when choosing a habitat.

 2. Cedar Mulch Texture Is Unbearable For Reptiles

There is also a theory that snakes slither across the ground so they avoid sharp mulch that scratches their bellies.

And since cedar mulch usually comes in large chunks, snakes might not want to crawl on it.

Well, we have seen snakes travel across the coarse desert and other terrain that might seem to harsh for a reptile.

NOTE: the answer still hangs in the balance. Cedar’s repellent is not a guaranteed deterrent for reptiles.

If you want to keep snakes at bay, there are other effective ways to go about it than relying heavily on sprinkling cedar chips or sawdust around the perimeter of your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Cedar Mulch Repel?

Due to the cedar’s significant repelling properties, it naturally deters several insects.

This list includes adult clothing moths, clothing moth larvae, silverfish, termites, mosquitoes, certain ants, carpet beetles, and cockroaches, to name a few.

And the level of repellency of the cedar increases as exposure is heightened.

What Smell Keeps Snakes Away?

There are quite a few smells that snakes hate.  A mixture of snake-repellent lime and hot pepper or peppermint around the perimeter of your home or property is enough to chase them away.

Snakes don’t like the smell of the mixture, and the fumes are also itchy on their skin.

Ammonia is another deterrent, as is Naphthalene.

Naphthalene is commonly found in many commercial snake-repellent products. Other natural repellents include Clove, cinnamon oil, Garlic, onions, Vinegar, and Lime.

What Kills Snakes Faster?

Snake traps!

Lethal traps are the easiest way to get the job done. They lure in the snake, trap it by the head, and snap it instantly, leading to a fast and humane death for the reptile.

The Verdict

So the bottom line: cedar mulch alone is unlikely to significantly impact snakes’ behavior.

Even if it doesn’t like cedar mulch per se, it is NOT a guaranteed repellent.

Therefore, if you still have concerns about snakes in your garden or property, it is always best to consult with local wildlife experts for guidance on how to coexist peacefully with these fascinating reptiles.

Remember, if you have any further questions or interesting anecdotes about snakes and cedar mulch, feel free to share them in the comments section below!

Let’s continue the conversation and learn from each other’s experiences.

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