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7 Ways to Snake-Proof Your Pantry, According to Experts

The last thing you want is to run into a snake when you're getting a snack!

Snakes are fun to look at in zoos, nature reserves, and even out in the wild, but when they show up at your house that's an entirely different and heart-stopping experience. While these slithering creatures normally live outside, they can, unfortunately, end up looking for their next meal in your home. Since they can flatten their bodies to fit into small places, snakes can end up moving through your pipes or vents, and can even come up through your toilet.

And now with temperatures dropping, snakes may be coming inside to look for warmth and food—in your kitchen pantry. Read on to see how experts say to snake-proof your pantry.

READ THIS NEXT: The No. 1 Sign There's a Snake in Your Kitchen

Keep garlic cloves on display.

Garlic cloves on counter.
Karel Pesorna / Shutterstock

Snakes are highly sensitive to strong odors and there's not many smells out there more intense than fresh garlic. Not only will this trick keep these creepy creatures away especially during the colder months, but your kitchen will smell like you've been cooking nonstop (even when you haven't).

"One of my biggest tips is to have some garlic cloves on display within the pantry, especially near any holes or gaps, along with a mixture of crushed garlic and onion," says Olivia Kepner, founder of Cool Wood Wildlife Park. "This is something that will naturally keep snakes away, as they have an aversion to the smell."

Keep your pantry clean and organized.

Organized pantry.
Kristen Prahl / Shutterstock

It's always a good idea to keep your pantry clean and organized, but a neat space will also help ward off snakes. Snakes often love confined, dark, and cluttered spaces because it allows them a great hiding spot away from predators.

"Snakes are attracted to cluttered and messy environments, so keeping your pantry clean and organized can help to deter them," says Lisa Shelby, CEO of "Regularly clean up any spills or crumbs, and store food in sealed containers to reduce the potential for attracting snakes." 

Seal any holes.

Person sealing a hole in a white wall.
Kwangmoozaa / Shutterstock

Because snakes are so skilled at slithering into tiny crevices and spaces, it's essential to close up any holes you may have in your home. This is also important to prevent rodents from coming into your house that a snake would be potentially want for their next meal.

"Snakes can enter your pantry through gaps or openings in the walls, floor, or ceiling," says Shelby. "To prevent this, you should inspect your pantry for any gaps or openings and seal them using caulk, expanding foam, or other appropriate materials."

Be sure to seal any gaps between the walls and the floor too, adds Kepner.

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Discard water.

Person grabbing a water bottle from their fridge.
TaraPatta / Shutterstock

Snakes need water just like us, and they are especially attracted to puddles and droplets of liquids. If you have open containers of water and other liquids in your pantry, it's best to move them to your fridge to make sure you won't be rudely surprised by a snake or two. If you don't have space anywhere else, it would be a smart idea to keep your water bottles and containers sealed shut.

"I recommend ensuring that there is no water inside the pantry, as this is something that could attract snakes, says Kepner. "If you need to store water, ensure that is in sealed bottles and containers."

Install door sweeps.

Person closing a white door.
Dmitry Bakulov / Shutterstock

Because snakes can fit into tight areas, the space under your pantry door is an easy way they can enter your snack-filled paradise. Remember, snakes can smell food from four to five meters away.

"If your pantry has a door, you can install door sweeps on the bottom of the door to prevent snakes from entering," says Shelby. "Door sweeps are strips of material that seal the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor, making it difficult for snakes to squeeze through."

Use rodent repellent.

Peppermint oil with leaves.
Tatevosian Yana / Shutterstock

Using rodent repellent is an easy way to deter snakes and of course rodents from entering your home. You can also use natural oils or spices like cinnamon that carry scents snakes are known to be disgusted by.

"Often snakes will follow rats and mice to come into your house. The pantry is an attractive place for rats and mice and snakes will hide there to prey on them," says A.H David from Pest Control Weekly. "Use natural rodent repellent such as peppermint oil, ginger, toothpaste inside or near where you store your food. This approach will help to eradicate snakes following rodents."

READ THIS NEXT: The No. 1 Sign There's a Snake Behind Your Refrigerator.

Get a dog or a cat.

Dog on the floor of living room.
Prostock-studio / Shutterstock

Pets aren't just great for snuggles and unconditional love, they also are helpful at chasing away any unwanted visitors from your home. Dogs and cats in particular are expert hunters and will gladly help you get rid of any insects or reptiles.

"You can use cats and dogs to alert you about any snakes that may be in your house," says David. "Dogs particularly have an excellent sense of smell to identify the presence of snakes in any room."

Lauren Jarvis-Gibson
Lauren Jarvis-Gibson is an Associate Editor at Best Life. Her work has been published in Teen Vogue, Allure, HuffPost, and more. Read more
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