Will Wasp Spray Kill Snakes? What You Need To Know

Wasp spray that can be used for killing snakes

Many people want to know if wasp spray will kill ants, because it’s something that can be found in just about any home.

So does it?

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about trying to kill snakes with wasp spray. You’ll probably be surprised by what you learn!

Will Wasp Spray Kill Snakes?

If you live in an area prone to wasp infestations, wasp spray is a product you likely have on hand at all times. The insecticide is surprisingly effective, killing wasps and insects in mere minutes. These products contain a mix of potent neurotoxins that destroy a wasp’s nervous system, resulting in surefire death.

A single can is capable of taking out an entire nest! That’s how powerful this stuff is.

But will wasp spray kill snakes?

It seems like an odd question, but if it’s the only thing you have around when you see a snake then it makes sense to try and use it. However, is it actually effective?

Believe it or not, wasp spray will kill a snake! The chemicals in wasp spray are lethal to a number of creatures.

Formulas can vary from one brand to the next, but most popular products contain a mix of pyrethroids like tetramethrin or pyrethrin. These pyrethroids are the active ingredients and can wreak havoc on a snake’s system.

The chemicals do a few different things. In most cases, the neurotoxins attack the nervous system by attacking sodium channels. Simply put, it kills the nerves, prevents them from reestablishing, and blocks beneficial enzymes from coursing through the body. 

The result? Snakes that have been covered in wasp spray (such as Raid) will collapse and die.

The active ingredients are poisonous to a wide variety of animals. In addition to snakes and insects, they’re lethal to small rodents, mammals, and even aquatic animals!

Wasp spray is no joke, so it pays to have it in your arsenal should you ever encounter a dangerous snake. The toxins can take out brown tree snakes, copperheads, wolf snakes, and more.

How Much Do You Have To Spray A Snake For It To Kill Them?

Now that you know wasp spray will kill snakes, let’s talk about one potential downside of this method. You have to use a lot of it!

A slight spritz might be enough to kill a wasp. But when talking about a snake (which is significantly larger), you’ll need more than one burst of airborne chemicals! 

There’s no exact amount of wasp spray that will kill a snake. You can encounter snakes in a wide range of sizes and girths. The most important thing is to cover as much of the snake as possible.

That might mean emptying the entire can on the snake you’re trying to deal with. Of course, that’s not always possible, given the flighty nature of these creatures. Ideally, you should focus the wasp spray on the head of the snake and spray as much of the product as possible if you have the opportunity.

Thankfully, wasp spray is purposely designed for maximum dispersion. The chemicals go airborne, and most cans have a wide spray pattern. As a result, you don’t have to get super close to the snake to cover them in chemicals. You just have to remember to keep your finger firmly planted on that spray button!

Covering the snake in the spray is paramount if you want to kill it. Not only does it ensure the spray has a significant impact on the snake, but it also prevents the snake from developing resistance.

Resistance can occur if the snake has exposure to a small amount of the chemical on a relatively regular basis. You will likely run into this problem if you frequently use wasp spray. The chemicals get on the ground or stick to the grass.

The snake then slithers through the grass, coming into contact with the chemicals. It’s not enough to negatively affect the reptile’s health, but it will lead to resistance. When resistance occurs, the snake’s body becomes used to the chemicals.

As a result, the potency of the spray diminishes, and the snake won’t be too bothered by it.

If you aren’t able to cover the snake in the wasp spray, they could make it out alive and experience nothing more than minor discomfort. Now, imagine having multiple run-ins with the snake where you fail to saturate its scaly skin in the spray.

Eventually, the spray will lose its efficiency, and you’ll have to turn to other eradication methods.

How Long Does It Take To Kill A Snake With Wasp Spray?

Say that you spray right on the money and manage to cover the entire snake from head to tail in chemicals. What now?

Even though wasp spray will kill snakes, don’t expect an instant death. You may not even have the chance to confirm that the snake is dead. 

Wasp spray can knock an insect back, causing it to fall to the floor and die within minutes. But for a snake, it’ll take much longer.

How long depends on how much wasp spray you manage to get onto the reptile and where it is. If you do things right, the snake will take around 45 minutes to die. In some cases, it can take several hours!

Usually, snakes that get covered with wasp spray will slither off and die elsewhere. You may not see evidence of its death at all. That’s why it’s important to spray these animals properly the first time to increase the likelihood of death.

Safety Considerations When Using This Method

Before you start going crazy with wasp spray to kill snakes in your yard, there are some things you need to consider. 

The chemicals in these products aren’t just harmful to insects and reptiles. They can also cause issues in humans.

The human body is better equipped to handle toxins, and your liver will metabolize the chemicals and flush them from your system. But that doesn’t mean you should use these sprays without protection. Even a little bit of accidental major health issues if you get a lot in your system.

Accidental Ingestion

Ingesting wasp spray is easier than you think. As mentioned earlier, commercial insecticide products are purpose-built to make dealing with pests as easy as possible. That means they have wide dispersion caps that let the chemicals go airborne.

If you’re trying to kill snakes with wasp spray and you have your mouth open, you can easily ingest it. Always be mindful of keeping your mouth closed and pay close attention to where the wind is blowing!

If you ingest a small amount, you may have to deal with irritation in your mouth, tongue, or throat. Consuming large doses could lead to vomiting, dizziness, and even tingling sensations on your face.

Most adults are wise enough not to ingest wasp spray, but you have to be extra careful with kids and pets. Keep these products out of reach.

Furthermore, you must be mindful of how long the chemicals stick around. Earlier, we said that wasp sprays could offer some temporary protection. The chemicals can stick around for up to 48 hours, depending on environmental conditions where you spray them.

That’s usually how kids and pets ingest the chemicals. They eat the grass or put something in their mouths that had previous exposure.

The Effects On The Eyes

Another thing to worry about is eye exposure. It’s a good idea to don glasses or goggles before using wasp spray to kill snakes.

The airborne particles can quickly fly back in your direction, getting into your eyes to cause heaps of trouble. You don’t want these chemicals in your system, let alone your eyes! You’ll feel an instant burning sensation.

If you get enough of it in your eyes, you could even experience temporary blindness. Wear goggles to avoid that headache!


In addition to wearing goggles, consider wearing a mask. A simple face mask will prevent you from inhaling the chemicals.

Accidental inhalation is more common than ingestion. The chemicals can get into your airways, sticking to your throat and nose. As you can imagine, it’s not a comfortable feeling!

Not only does it burn, but you may experience pain in your chest and lungs.

After killing the snake with wasp spray, it’s important to vacate the area. The smell will disperse relatively quickly outdoors, but you may notice some lingering smells. The odor is just as foul as the chemicals, so keep all kids and pets out of the area.

Skin Irritation

Finally, don’t forget to wear some gloves. You may even consider wearing a long-sleeve shirt if you have the time to put one on.

While not as bad as getting it in your eyes, nose, or throat, wasp spray can still irritate upon physical contact. Depending on your sensitivity, it may cause itchiness and rashes.

Alternatives To Consider

Wasp spray will kill snakes, so it’s technically a viable solution if it’s all you have available. But is it the most effective? Most pest control experts would tell you it’s not.

There are many other ways to get rid of snakes. You can use essential oils and aromatic plants to drive them out, use snake-specific repellant, and clean up your property to eliminate their hiding spots.

Your best bet is trapping if you’re dealing with a potential infestation. Contact a pest control expert to set up traps, remove the reptiles from your yard, and relocate them to a better area without causing death.


Wasp spray does kill snakes, but you really need to hose them down if you want it to work. That’s why it’s not the ideal method to turn to unless it’s all you have available at the time.

But don’t be afraid to give it a try!

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