Snakes are one of the most feared reptiles by humans. Over the years, there have been talks about herbs that repel snakes. Many people, especially homeowners, gardeners, and landscapers, have been asking questions surrounding the effect of the mint plant on snakes. It’s time to examine the facts about the mint plant. Does mints attract snakes? Or do snakes hate the smell of mint plants?
What are mints?
For us to know the effect of mint on snakes, we have to find out more about the mint plant and its chemical composition. Mints are a family of plants known as the Lamiaceae family. There are around 15 to 20 plant species, including peppermint and spearmint. They are characterized by their fragrance, toothed leaves, and square stems. Mints do not attract or repel snakes. Mint plants contain a chemical compound called methanol, which gives them their characteristic scent.
Does Mints attract snakes?
No, Mints do not attract snakes. There is no proof to show that mints attracts snakes. Snakes across all species are generally attracted by two major factors.
1) A source of food
2) A safe place to hide
Snakes are predators. There are different types of snakes, and they all have different types of animals on their menu. Some snakes are insect eaters, some specialize in eating rodents, some eat frogs and toads, and some eat other snakes and reptiles. If an environment attracts these above-mentioned snake prey then chances are that snakes will find their way to that environment.
Furthermore, snakes can also be attracted to a good hiding place. Snakes seek shelter in places that provide them protection from the elements and predators. They love hiding in the dark. They can easily squeeze themselves under objects that give them cover. It could be under tree logs, blocks, tall bushes, root systems, gravel, etc. It’s a no-brainer that snakes would love an environment with many potential hideouts.
Is mint a good snake repellent?
No, mint is not a good snake repellent. However, mints are known to repel insects and rodents. You should remember that these animals and insects are the main menu for many kinds of snakes. Mints are not able to repel snakes, but they repel animals and insects that attract snakes. This doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t find a snake around a mint plant. A mint plant, just like other plants, could still provide shelter for snakes. However, you’re most likely to find snakes sheltering around plants that can also harbor some of their prey.
What smell attracts snakes?
Before we can tell what smell really attracts snakes, we have to understand the way snakes use their “sense of smell.” Snakes greatly rely on their sense of smell for their daily survival. Snakes do not have very good eyesight or hearing. Because of this, its sense of smell has become well-adapted and has become its most important sense organ.
Snakes Just like humans, have nostrils, but not for smelling. To smell, snakes use their tongue and a sensory organ. They stick out their forked tongue to pick up scent molecules in the air, and they then bring it back to make contact with the Jacobson’s organ in their mouth. The Jacobson’s Organ works with the snake’s brain to interpret what the scent molecules mean and what action is to be taken by the snake.
The scent molecules picked up can either be interpreted as a food source, a potential threat, or a familiar scent from the environment. A snake would always be alerted by the smell of food. If you were hungry, you would undoubtedly be alerted by the pleasant aroma or smell of food. A snake isn’t any different.
Once a snake’s Jacobson’s organ has interpreted the scent molecule picked up as a source of food, the snake automatically begins to move in that direction. Snakes typically stick their tongues out more than three times per second in order to maintain the trail of the fresh scent.
Humans, unlike snakes, may not be able to detect these food sources from afar. Snakes can and will do this; in fact, their survival depends on it.
Does the mint plant attract snakes? No. Mints do not attract or repel snakes. However, mint plants can be a form of “indirect snake repellent.” Mints repel insects, frogs, toads, rodents, etc. These are animals and insects that would normally attract snakes. If you’re looking for a snake-repelling herb to plant in your surroundings, then I suggest you plant mints in combination with other known snake-repelling plants like wormwood, allium, marigolds, etc.