is essential oil diffusers safe for snakes

Are Essential Oil Diffusers Safe For Snakes?

There are some important points to consider if you want to keep your reptile’s around an essential oil diffuser. Snakes can be sensitive to certain essential oils and should be kept out of rooms with them. You can use a diffuser in a room without snakes, but other animals, such as cats, should be placed away from it. Citrus and tree oils are toxic for reptiles, so it’s important to use only a compatible source. The following blends are safe for reptiles: Protective, Digestive, and Respiratory Blend*

Which Essential Oils Are Harmful to Snakes?

Some essential oils are toxic to snakes, including cinnamon oil, clove oil, and eugenol, which are derived from clove. To repel a snake, spray it with essential oils, such as clove oil, cinnamon oil, or eugenol. Essential oils are tiny molecules that can permeate a snake’s skin and spread throughout its body. Stronger oils can cause the snake discomfort, likely making it flee.

Some essential oils can be toxic to snakes, like geraniol, so you’ll want to stay away from that for your pet snake. If you don’t have any snakes and are just looking to repel snakes from your house, some essential oils have been found to repel snakes, including cinnamon oil, geraniol, peppermint oil, and clove oil. However, avoid using these essential oils around snakes as they contain phenols, ketones, and acetone, which are toxic to reptiles.

While many people enjoy the smell of their favorite scented oils, essential oils can harm your pet. Essential oils should only be used with your veterinarian’s approval. If you’re not sure about the safety of any essential oil, be sure to stay away from the above-listed ingredients for a safe and happy pet. 

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Is Incense Safe for Snakes?

Essential oils & incense have long been considered dangerous for reptiles, and it’s no surprise that a snake might be afraid of them. They have special organs, or noses, that are highly sensitive to smells. That’s why some plants, such as lavender, are considered safe for snakes. Others, such as eugenol and copaiba, are safe for reptiles but highly toxic to humans.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Wildlife Services have studied essential oils and their effects on snakes. They’ve also used them to keep brown snakes from airport bases and planes, and to limit the exportation of the snakes to other countries. Other scents are safer for snakes, including lemon, clove, and cedarwood. Snakes can’t smell citrus or peppermint.

Some owners of reptiles believe that soy and wax candles are safe, but the fact is that candles can contain a few particles that are naturally present, such as soot, and impure carbon particles, which are produced when the fuel isn’t combusted fully. And wick candles tend to produce more soot than soy candles. This is an especially significant issue when introducing a snake into a home with pets.


While tree and citrus oils are considered toxic to reptiles, citronella has been shown to have minimal or no acute toxic effects. Reptiles use their sense of smell to identify their surroundings, and citrus and tree oils can be particularly dangerous. A snake’s olfactory system contains receptors called Jacobson’s organs that are highly sensitive to strong odors. The oils in essential oil diffusers are not harmful to snakes but should be kept well away from reptiles and other pets.

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