What Will Deter Copperhead Snakes

Deterring Copperhead Snakes: An In-depth Analysis

Copperhead snakes (Agkistrodon contortrix) are venomous reptiles commonly found in North America. Their ability to inflict painful bites has led to concerns among individuals residing in areas where these snakes are prevalent. To address this issue, it is crucial to understand the various factors that can deter copperhead snakes from entering or staying in residential areas. In this article, we will explore several effective snake deterrent methods backed by scientific research.

Understanding Copperhead Snake Behavior

Before diving into deterrence methods, it is essential to comprehend the behavior and habits of copperhead snakes. Copperheads are generally terrestrial, preferring woodland habitats with abundant cover, such as fallen logs, leaf litter, and rock crevices. Their diet primarily consists of small mammals and amphibians, making rodent control an integral aspect of snake deterrence.

Eliminating Attractive Features

Creating an environment unsuitable for copperhead snakes is crucial in deterring them from residential areas. By removing or modifying specific features, homeowners can significantly reduce the snake’s presence. Some measures to consider include:

  • Clearing yard debris: Regularly removing leaf piles, fallen branches, and tall grass eliminates potential hiding spots.
  • Securing trash bins: Copperhead snakes are attracted to garbage as it can provide a potential food source. Ensuring tightly sealed bins will discourage their presence.
  • Trimming vegetation: Maintaining well-trimmed vegetation around the property reduces the availability of cover and restricts snake movement.
  • Sealing entry points: Closing gaps and holes in foundations, walls, and other potential entry points prevents snakes from accessing structures.

Repellents and Exclusion Methods

Several chemical repellents and exclusion methods have been identified as effective deterrents against copperhead snakes:

1. Naphthalene Mothballs

Research suggests that the scent of naphthalene mothballs repels copperhead snakes. Placing mothballs around the perimeter of the property and in potential entry points may discourage them from entering.

2. Predator Urine

The odor of predator urine, such as that of foxes or coyotes, can intimidate copperhead snakes and prompt them to avoid the area. Commercially available predator urine products can be sprayed around the property for increased effectiveness.

3. Physical Barriers

Installing physical barriers is one of the most efficient ways to prevent copperhead snakes from entering designated areas. Constructing snake-proof fences using fine-mesh wire or specialized snake-proof mesh can effectively restrict their access.

Natural Predator Interventions

Natural predators play a vital role in controlling snake populations. By attracting and encouraging the presence of snake predators, homeowners can indirectly deter copperhead snakes:

  • Encouraging bird habitats: Certain bird species, such as hawks and owls, actively prey on snakes. Attracting these birds by providing appropriate habitats, such as birdhouses and perches, can help control snake populations.
  • Creating snake-eating mammal habitats: Predatory mammals like foxes and raccoons are known to consume snakes. By offering suitable habitats, such as brush piles and log piles, homeowners can attract these mammals and reduce the snake population.

Professional Intervention

For severe or persistent snake infestations, contacting professional wildlife control services is recommended. Trained experts can assess the situation, implement appropriate measures, and provide valuable guidance in ensuring long-term snake deterrence.


Deterring copperhead snakes requires a comprehensive approach that involves modifying the environment, utilizing repellents and exclusion methods, promoting natural predator interventions, and seeking professional assistance when necessary. By implementing these strategies and maintaining consistent monitoring, homeowners can significantly reduce the presence of copperhead snakes, creating safer residential environments.

Christopher Flores

Christopher H. Flores is a passionate herpetologist and writer with an extensive knowledge of reptiles and amphibians. He is an experienced contributor to websites dedicated to educating others about the fascinating world of snakes. Christopher has written several articles about different species of snakes, their habits, and how to care for them. He also enjoys researching and writing about the history of snakes, their behavior, and the unique ways they interact with humans. Christopher is an advocate for snake conservation, and he works to ensure their safety and well-being.

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