Snakes slithering through your blueberry bushes may seem like a scene from a horror movie, but could it happen in real life? As a blueberry bush owner, you probably wonder if these wriggly reptiles are attracted to the shrubs. Understanding which plants appeal to snakes can help you keep your berry harvest and yard safe.
Do Blueberry Bushes Attract Snakes?
Blueberry bushes are not a major attraction when it comes to snakes in the garden. These shrubs offer little incentive for snakes to hang around. Here’s why:
Shelter – Snakes seek places to hide and get out of the sun. While blueberry bushes are leafy, they need to provide the kind of dense coverage snakes look for. The open structure of blueberry shrubs makes them poor shelter.
Food – Rodents that feed on berries could attract predators like snakes. However, blueberry bushes need to produce more berries to create a substantial rodent habitat. Without a steady food source, snakes will look elsewhere.
Water – Reptiles need access to water, but blueberry shrubs alone don’t provide it. Since blueberries thrive in well-drained soil, damp areas don’t accumulate around the roots. Without puddles or moisture, the water snakes require is lacking.
Warmth – Snakes are cold-blooded and gravitate toward heat sources like sun-warmed rocks. The shade of blueberry bushes keeps the ground relatively cool, making them uninviting to snakes.
Habitat – Snakes prefer untamed brush and woodlands. A blueberry bush in an open, manicured yard doesn’t provide the natural habitat snakes seek.
So, while an occasional snake could pass through, blueberry bushes don’t typically attract large snake populations. Their needs for shelter, food, water and warmth go unmet by blueberries alone.
Plants That Attract Snakes
If you want to steer clear of snakes, avoid planting species known to summon them. Here are some slithering invitees:
Rodent Habitats – Tall grasses, brush piles, and unkempt areas provide cover for mice, voles and other rodents that snakes dine on. These unattended spaces draw hungry snakes searching for their next meal. Keeping your yard tidy limits the rodent real estate.
Water Sources – Snakes gravitate toward wet areas to hydrate and regulate their body temperature. Boggy patches, ponds, fountains and drainage ditches give snakes a place to soak. Eliminate standing water to discourage snake visitors.
Stone Structures – Rock walls, piles and gardens provide snakes with basking spots to absorb heat. Crevices also offer shelter for cold-blooded snakes overnight. Keep rock features to a minimum.
Woodpiles – Jumbled logs or stacked firewood tempt snakes with shelter. Rodents scoping out the wood for food also lure in snakes. Keep wood neat, elevated and away from the house.
Compost Heap – The warmth and moisture of decomposing organic matter appeal to snakes. The rodent buffet also entices them. Maintain your compost to limit food scraps and turn it frequently to deter snakes.
Vines – Snakes use vines like ivy to climb fences, trees and walls. Trimming back vines removes this access route into your yard. Plants like bougainvillaea have thorns that deter snakes as well.
Low Plants – Thick groundcovers, vines and shrubs near the ground let snakes move stealthily. Use taller ornamental grasses and flowers to discourage snakes from approaching.
Garden Debris – Leaves, grass clippings and fallen branches provide snakes with camouflage as they hunt and travel. Rake and dispose of garden debris regularly.
Plants That Keep Snakes Away
The good news is certain plants naturally help repel snakes without posing harm. Use these strategic plants around high-traffic areas:
Onions – The strong scent of onions masks prey odors snakes follow. Plant onion bulbs around the perimeter of vegetable gardens. Garlic and chives also deter snakes.
Marigolds – Vibrant marigolds emit an odour offensive to snakes. Work them as edging around landscapes and gardens. The root secretions are also thought to repel snakes underground.
Violets – Pretty violets and their numerous hybrids have leaves and flowers that emit protective chemicals. Tuck clumps of them along foundations and walkways.
Lantana – Lantana’s pungent smell and rough foliage make it an unappealing habitat. Use it as a low hedge or border plant; snakes won’t cross.
Lavender – The distinctive aroma of lavender confuses snakes hunting by scent. Grow it in pots or borders to establish a refreshing snake barrier.
Pennyroyal – In the mint family, pennyroyal’s potent oil thwarts snakes but attracts pollinators. Plant it between flagstones and use crushed leaves as natural pest control.
Cedar – Snakes avoid the oils and resins of cedar trees. Use chips or shavings as mulch to discourage snakes in gardens, walkways and play areas.
Cleome – Also called spider flower, cleome releases odours that overwhelm snakes’ sensitive senses when they get close. Scatter seeds in beds and borders.
Spearmint – Spearmint’s concentrated volatile oils confuse snakes and throw off their scent trail. Include pots on decks and patios to drive snakes away.
Geraniums – Both scented geraniums and zonal geraniums contain oil that’s offensive to snakes. Keep them along foundations and walkways as living snake repellents.
Grow these plants abundantly in your yard to make it unappealing to snakes. Their strategic use can steer snakes away from prime real estate and let you enjoy outdoor space.
In summary, blueberry bushes don’t attract much snake activity. But areas with shelter, food, warmth and water entice snakes. Reduce these resources to dissuade them. Use plants like onions, marigolds and lavender to send snakes slithering in the other direction. With strategic landscaping, you can reap a blueberry bounty without worrying about snakes, thanks to repellent plants.