Great Outdoors -- Snake Away




Great Outdoors -- Snake Away
By: Amy Jacquin

A fear of snakes is a very common fear. And many of us would like to find a safe and humane way to keep those leg-less creatures out of our yards!
Makers of Snake Away claim to have the answer.
This black and white spotted snake is a California King snake... part of the garter variety of snakes. A & S Tropical Fish, Birds and Reptiles is nice enough to volunteer him for our test.
Snake Away, is an $18 container of granules that you can smell before you take the lid off! Makers say to sprinkle a line of this around the area you want to repel snakes... and it's supposed to be 83% effective... especially with garter and rattle snakes.
"I know they smell with their toungues, and when they put it up in the roof of their mouth, this messes that up," Amy Jacquin explains how it claims to work. "So they try to find clean air, so they can smell again."
Amy sprinkles a 4 to 5 inch wide path in a partial circle, leaving an area for King to escape. We all comment about how it smells like mothballs.
"Ha ha! I said maybe if you couldn't repel snakes, you could put it in your closet!" laughs Dewey Adams of A & S.
Catherine Stovall, also of A & S, sets King inside the circle... and at first, it seems as if he avoids the line of Snake Away. He heads for the opening in the cirlce, but then turns back inside!
"He's going to crawl right through it!" Catherine exclaims.
Not only does King slither through the Snake Away, but intead of racing away to clean air, he doubles back and wallows in it!
"That didn't slow him down!" chuckles Dewey.
We put King in the circle a second time, and in less than 15 seconds he's cutting across the Snake Away line.
We try making a staight line with Snake Away, to make it easier to avoid. Catherine sets King down wind from the line, and at first he slithers away... but then he changes his mind and crawls right through the Snake Away barrier!
"I still think you like that stuff because you turned around and went right back through!" Catherine mumbles to the snake.
Obviously, based on OUR test, we'd flunk this $18 jug of Snake Away... but I won't, because King is a domestic snake and "wild snakes will react differently than domestic," Dewey quotes studies. 
But, honestly, we didn't look too hard for a wild snake to help us out! And the University of Florida put this product to the test and had much different results... So Snake Away ends-up with a D.
After this story aired, I heard from a handful of viewers... some say it works excellent on their "wild" snake problems... other say they're disappointed!  The university study mentioned it didn't cause all snakes to behave in the same way... so it sounds like this is a "hit or miss" product you're just going to have to try.