Cleaning the yard, removing pests that snakes eat, securing outdoor pets such as rabbits and chickens, mulching with sharp materials and eliminating wet areas are natural methods that keep snakes out of the yard. Natural oils and snake repellents sprayed in the yard also effectively discourage snakes.
Clear any compost, rock, wood and scrap piles, overgrown grass and shrubs, fallen trees and leaves to reduce the amount of rats, mice and insects in the yard. By doing this, you reduce the amount of food available for a snake to eat. Secure small backyard animals such as chickens and rabbits to prevent attracting snakes attempting to eat them. Place egg shells, rose-bush clippings, holly leaves, rock chips, pine cones and other sharp materials in the yard so that the yard is uncomfortable to slither over. Trim shrubs so that they do not touch the ground, rake the remains of leaves, and fix drainage issues to reduce dampened areas that snakes prefer to live in.
Dilute natural oils such as cinnamon and clove oil with four to eight drops per gallon of water to create a spray, or place fabric or cotton balls saturated with the oil to repel snakes from the yard. Store-bought snake repellents are effective, but typically contain the chemical carcinogen naphthalene. Natural store-bought snake repellents repel snakes by using environmentally safe ingredients to confuse snake sensory organs.