Does an Electric Snake Fence Work?

Snakes pose a substantial risk to humans and animals. Snake venom is highly toxic and can cause death, loss of limbs, and other psychological complications to affected persons. They have also caused losses on power substations. It’s vital to protect yourself and your loved ones from snakes by taking the necessary precautions, but does an electric snake fence work?

Electric fence coupled with other snake repellants is an effective way to repel them from the yard. It works by giving electric shocks to keep the snake away, however, it’s good to combine it with different approaches to overcome its shortcomings. Snake fear cats and they hate urine

Do snake fences work?

Snake fences are an effective way of dealing with snakes. Snake fences help keep off snakes and other pests that may sneak inside your property (and may cause harm to you or your family).

Most snake fences have an electrical charge that readily deters the animals keeping them away from your space. The enclosures provide a safe, sustainable, and long-lasting solution to snake forays within your property.

It is vital to understand how electric snake fences work and how you can properly set up a protective enclosure around your property to keep snakes out.

How does an electric snake fence work?

An electric fence is a set of singular units that emit a charge that shocks and repels animals such as snakes, rabbits, moles, etc. Using an electric fence is an effective and humane way of deterring unwelcome animals from your premises.

If you live in a snake-prone area, having an electric snake fence can help keep venomous species from your animals, kids, pets, and other family members.

The key components of an electric fence include:

  • An energizer
  • Poles/stakes/posts
  • Electricity insulators
  • Conductor wires
  • Earthing stakes
  • Electric testers

Below is a more detailed explanation of each, as well as its role within the system.

Electric Energizers

An energizer gives your fence the current it needs to remain operational.  The device creates pulses at regular intervals (typically one second), each with a predetermined voltage. Most electric energizers receive power from batteries, solar panels, or AC (alternating current) plugs.

The energizer converts the electric power to a DC (direct current) charge that shocks and causes discomfort to the animal/pest. On average, most energizers release about 3000 volts to 10,000 volts. Variations depend on the size of the fencing and its intended level of output.

Electric Wire

Most electric fences have aluminum wire as the primary conducting mechanism. The material is an excellent transmitter because (unlike other types), the metal does not deteriorate when left to the elements.

The average price of aluminum electric wire is about $1.5/foot, making it an affordable choice for homeowners looking to add an extra layer of protection to their homes.

Insulation Caps

Insulation caps provide safety against electric shock. You need to install insulators to reduce current leakages and to ensure that you maintain maximum voltage along the length of your fence.

You can choose between different designs, but the more popular include the T-post, claw, and pin lock designs. Most insulators consist of plastics, polymer composites, and other non-conductors.

It’s essential to place insulators along with the posts. “Hot” wires can readily lose polarity when in contact with the ground. Having insulators also helps you locate and position your conducting wire correctly on corners, posts, and other sensitive sections of your fence.


The primary purpose of electric posts is to provide support for the conducting wires along the perimeter of your property. Most poles have wood as the predominant material, but you can also opt for fiberglass, metal, plastic, etc.

An electric fence’s post spacing largely depends on the topography, surface area, and personal preference. However, specialists suggest the optimal spacing ranges from 12 ft-20 ft. on small to medium-sized perimeters (and about 60 ft-90 ft. on broader flat terrain regions).

Earthing Stakes

Earthing stakes are an essential component of your electrical enclosure. Regardless of whether you are installing an electric fence indoors or outdoors, proper grounding is imperative.

Earthing serves as a protective measure from electric shock. It also helps complete the circuit that makes your fence operational. The moment an animal/snake touches the conducting wire, the current courses through its body to the ground and back through the grounding system, which completes the loop.

An incorrectly installed earthing system may cause your fence to malfunction. An appropriate depth should be about 3 feet/0.1 volts (Joule) of output. The no. of earthing stakes required for your project depends heavily on the voltage from your energizer. The higher the voltage, the more the earthing stakes you need.

You might also have to consider spacing requirements for individual grounding rods (earth stakes). It’s advisable to install each rod about 10 feet from each other. Soil type and condition may affect the quality of your earthing rods. Sandy and rocky terrain may require specialized installation techniques using alternating wires to complement earthing stakes in an earth return system. A general rule of thumb is, the deeper/ wetter the soil, the better the earthing performance.

It’s not a good idea to connect multiple energizers on the same earthing stakes. Metal such as aluminum, copper, and galvanized steel are ideal options for use as earthing stakes. However, be careful when using copper as the electric current can initiate electrolysis (which can negatively affect the performance of your fence).

Electric testers

Electric testers are ideal during maintenance and conducting inspections of your enclosure. You can use the tester to measure the electric current discharged by your energizer in real-time (and adjust the output accordingly).

Electric fences require regular maintenance. Having a tester gives you a safe way of evaluating the state of your fencing without the risk of electrical shock.  Some versions come with prepacked testers, but if you wish to purchase the item as a separate piece, the average cost ranges from $13-$30 on online marketplaces and stores.

Note: It’s vital to adhere to safety measures when using an electric fence for your home. Never try to test the electrical charge using bare hands or conductible material.

Will an electric fence kill snakes?

An electric fence can pose a significant risk to snakes and other animals that hang or climb over the barrier. The effect of the fencing on a snake largely depends on the voltage. High voltage fences can readily electrocute snakes and other small animals as they try to find a way through the enclosure.

Most people use electric fences to deter the animals instead of killing them. On average, a snake fence releases about 2000 volts, which does not harm the animal but instead causes an uncomfortable shock sensation that keeps the creature away.

Electric fences provide a safe protection measure for both snakes and humans living close to each other. They act as barriers that also keep off rodents, which might attract snakes to your compound.

How high should an electric snake fence be?

The average height for a snake fence ranges from 30 inches to 36 inches. Snakes are notoriously good climbers; if your fencing is not high enough, you might have a problem deterring larger-sized species.

It’s also a good idea to consider additional measures when dealing with snakes. Although electric fencing is practical, some snakes can occasionally sneak in search of food and water.

You can try regulating food and water opportunities available to snakes, keeping them to a minimum. That includes dealing with mice, squirrels, and other potential prey for the reptiles. It’s also advisable to keep a small can of water outside your fence during times of extreme heat as the creatures might wander inside in search of water.

Here are some other ways to deter snakes

Other ways to deter snakes

You can opt for several alternatives to deter snakes and other dangerous reptiles from your property. The popular snake deterrent options include:

  • Use snake deterrent aerosols.
  • Limit access to food.
  • Use sulfur powder.
  • Keep your premises tidy.
  • Keep cats and other snakes’ predators.

Note: Electric fencing may also cause fires especially if in contact with dead leaves or grass. Ensure you keep your lawn well-trimmed and maintained to avoid such problems.

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