Unmasking Myths: Can Hot Water Kill a Snake?

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Are you struggling with a snake problem? Do you want to kill them but don’t know how? We are going to share some natural ways to get rid of them. You can use boiled or hot water to deter a snake. Now, you may wonder, can hot water kill a snake?

Yes, hot water kills snakes. As heat is highly potent, it affects the snake’s physiology. You can kill a snake by putting it in hot water, especially if the water is too hot or exposure is prolonged. Moreover, some hunters use boiled water as a hunting tool to kill a snake.

Are you interested in killing a snake with water? Read the below guidelines to learn everything about it.

Are Snakes Sensitive to Heat?

Yes, snakes are highly sensitive to heat. Since they have cold blood, snakes must move to an environment that helps them maintain a comfortable body temperature. They can’t endure the intense summer heat for more than 10 to 20 minutes, and you may hardly ever find them in open areas.

According to the University of Chicago Press Journals, a heat wave results in physiological stress and immune suppression in snakes. Therefore, snakes don’t like hot weather and used to scramble to locate shade to protect themselves from heat.

Additionally, some snakes have heat-sensitive organs to know about their surroundings and to hunt prey. These organs are known as pit organs and are situated on the snake’s legs.

Can Boiling Water Kill Snakes?

Yes, you can kill a snake using boiling water. If you put a snake in boiling water or directly pour it on the snake, it will die, but it is not a kind or painless manner to kill them. Moreover, boiling water can also cause blisters on the snake’s body.

However, using boiling water to kill a snake is not the fastest or safest method; you can still use it to deter snakes from your home or yard. To kill a snake using hot water, you must get quite close to it. Remember that if a snake is already injured and you apply hot water to it, it can bite you. Therefore, you should be careful while killing a snake with boiling water.

Can Boiling Water Destroy Snake Venom?

Yes, if you pour boiling water on a snake for a prolonged time, it’ll destroy its venom. If you put snake venom in a solution and heat it at 85 °C for 15 minutes, its Phlogogenic chemicals and albumin may destroy, but the toxicity remains unaffected.

Thus, if you want to destroy snake venom with boiled water, remember that hot water can only change its constitution, but don’t destroy its toxicity. Therefore, if a snake is inside your home, call a veterinarian to neutralize its venom.

How Do You Kill Snakes Using Hot Water?

Water has a boiling point of 100°C, and it has been demonstrated that snakes can die from exposure to hot water at this temperature. The hot water increases the pressure inside the snake’s body. Due to the increased pressure, the snake’s vital organs begin to malfunction, ultimately causing death.

If you have an infestation in your house or garden, using hot water might be an efficient approach to removing snakes permanently. However, it’s crucial to comprehend the temperature required to ensure the job is done correctly before you try it yourself. Moreover, it’s vital to take precautionary measures while doing so.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Killing a Snake With Hot Water

Killing snakes can be advantageous because it can end a snake infestation immediately. However, it is not advised to kill a snake with hot water for the following reasons.

  • First of all, it can be challenging to locate and shoot the snake.
  • Second, not every snake placed in hot water will perish right away; some may live instead of discomfort.
  • Furthermore, killing a snake with hot water is not a humane method.

Therefore, instead of using practices that can result in unnecessary suffering and death, it is far preferable to think about humane options like relocation or proactive actions like habitat management and barring techniques.

Precautionary Measures to Kill a Snake

Although killing a snake in hot water is a successful method, you must exercise caution because it may cause blisters to your skin. Some of the precautionary measures to kill a snake are mentioned below.

  • Firstly, you should wear gloves and long sleeves to prevent yourself from boiling water.
  • Before you spray the snake with hot water, make sure you are aware of its location.
  • Make sure to use a large container to prevent the snake from escaping the boiling water.
  • Check the region frequently to confirm your actions haven’t damaged any creatures.
  • Moreover, always pay attention to your surroundings and take all required safety precautions while using hot water for animal control.

Other Ways to Kill Snakes

The following techniques can be used to kill a snake if hot water alone doesn’t do the trick.

Use Lethal Traps

Use Lethal Traps

Lethal traps are among the most effective, safest, and cheapest ways to kill a snake. They draw the snake in, grab it by the head, and snap it dead—giving the reptile a quick, painless demise. You can easily buy affordable snake traps from your nearby hardware store. It is never challenging or time-consuming to set up a trap.

To set a trap in your yard, you can get information about the setup process from the hardware store. Moreover, if your snake trap manages to capture the snake but fails to kill it, you must approach it and cut off its head without letting the snake escape the trap.

Remove Snake’s Prey

Remove Snake’s Prey

According to the Bangladesh Journal of Zoology, snakes eat arthropods, fish, amphibians, and insects. However, some of the snakes may eat rodents like rats or mice. Therefore, removing these animals from your home or surroundings causes snakes to change their way. And once the snakes couldn’t find anything to eat, they may starve to death.

You can ward off rodents and other insects from your home by removing all their allurements like food particles and water. Moreover, keeping your home clean, closing all the entry holes, and removing the trash regularly, keep these rodents away from your home or property.

Shoot a Snake

Snake Shooting

Another way to kill a snake is to shoot it directly. If you want to shoot a snake, try to acquire a clear shot from approximately 10 yards away using a shotgun loaded with a fine bird shot to scatter the pattern. It will work like magic to kill a snake.

This is a cruel method of eliminating snakes from your home or yard. Therefore, if you want to shoot a snake, you should have a shooting license and a provision to dispose of a carcass. This is to prevent cluttering the environment with snake carcasses, which can quickly cause contamination in your area.

Use Poison

Use Poison

Before killing a snake, it is essential to know whether it’s poisonous or non. After recognizing the type of snake, you can kill it by adding some poison to its food. A nicotine sulfate solution diluted with water makes an excellent poison in areas with limited water supplies. Additionally, while numerous gases occasionally function in fumigating dens, calcium cyanide is an excellent chemical for eliminating snakes hiding in burrows.

You can buy these snake poisons easily from your nearby store. However, poisoning snakes is not the best action for maintaining ecosystem sanitation. 

Use Natural Snake Repellents

Use Natural Snake Repellents

Natural repellents are the feasible and easiest way to kill a snake. Although they work slowly, they’ll surely do their work. For this purpose, you can grow snake-repelling pants like peppermint, eucalyptus, and cedar in your garden. If a snake accidentally makes its way into your garden, it’ll change its path after roaming around these plants.

Moreover, you can also use clove and cinnamon oil to deter snakes. To get excellent results, mix both oils and sprinkle them around your home or anywhere you have seen a snake. Besides that, ammonia, naphthalene, and sulfur also work like magic to keep snakes away.

Call a Professional Snake Remover

If all of the above methods fail to kill a snake, you can call a professional snake remover to kill it. These snake removers have special tools and tactics to deter or kill a snake. Moreover, they kill a snake after inspecting the whole situation, including the type of snake, your surroundings, and the place of your house where snakes are present.

Bottom Line

Snakes are one of the most fearful animals to experience in your home. Removing them with hot water is beneficial, but it may harm you. Therefore, you must know the pros and cons before employing this method.

If you decide that utilizing hot water is the best option to kill a snake, you must follow all necessary safety measures to protect yourself. However, if you can’t kill a snake with hot water, use alternatives like shooting, poisoning, and repelling a snake with natural methods.

As a final word of advice, dealing with a snake is not a piece of snake, so call a professional snake handler to kill a snake to keep yourself safe and protected.


Yes, heat can kill snakes. An overheated snake may develop an uncontrollable fever if the temperature rises above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, exposing a snake to a temperature greater than 95 degrees Fahrenheit can kill a snake immediately.

No, snakes can’t go in hot water because they are ectothermic. Due to this fact, they are sensitive to heat and can’t survive temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius. A snake will therefore perish in 10 to 15 minutes if you put it in hot water.

Yes, snakes fear the heat because they are cooled-blooded animals and don’t like heat. Snakes must actively seek shade on extremely hot days to avoid overheating and death. Therefore, in the summer, you can find them in shady places.

Snakes can’t survive extreme cold and hot water. So, if you pour cold water on it, it will die eventually. When a snake is in water, its body heat dissipates more quickly than in air at the same temperature. It damages the organs of the snake and leads to death.

If a snake gets too hot, it has no choice but to seek shelter because it can’t control its body temperature naturally. Thus, most snakes may enter underground burrows or openings beneath large boulders to protect themselves from hot weather.


Hossain, M. L. (2016). Food habits of checkered keelback, Xenochrophis piscator (Schneider, 1799), in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Journal of Zoology44(1), 153–161.