Would mace work on a snake?

Say someone were moving to an area that had scary poisonous snakes and such and say that person were going hiking or camping. Then say she…I mean, they came across a scary snake while walking in the woods. Would a spray of mace be effective in getting said snake to go away? Or would it not feel anything from the spray?

I would imagine that mace would hurt a snake’s eyes badly. I can’t imagine why anyone would need to do this though, as snakes generally retreat quickly when humans approach.

Until someone comes to correct me, I’d say snakes would be unaffected, at least by pepper spray. Pepper spray’s active ingredient is capsaisin same stuff as in hot pepper. From what I hear the pain is a mammal only thing.

Birds are not at all affected by it. A common way to prevent squirrels from eating bird seed is to put hot pepper in it, the birds can’t tell the diff. So, to sum up, birds are definitely not affected, and mammals definitely are. Snakes? not sure, but I’d lean towards the bird end of the equation.

Another active ingredient in pepper spray is isopropyl alcohol which would irritate any living thing’s eyes.
(…still wondering under what circumstances anyone would ever need to mace a snake…)

Well, what if the snake had a knife, huh? And it was COMING RIGHT AT YOU?!?

I’m thinkin about carrying snakes with me in my bag, to throw at people who try to mace me.

Even if mace doesn’t work on snakes, you can use the Pepper Gun to temporarily block the security beams!


Look, I’m not trying to be an ass here, I’m asking a simple question. It’s just something that crossed my mind, since people do carry things like mace/pepper spray for unexpected encounters with bears and such, and I was wondering if it would do anything to a snake. Trust me, I won’t be out seeking out snakes to mace.

I didn’t find anything about pepper spray, Zette, but Snake-A-Way claims

And I should have said Snake-A-Way is a powder.

Zette didn’t ask about “pepper spray.” She asked about mace. AS one who was maced once (ooooh, I’m dating myself!), I wonder about the difference here. As one who regularly uses hot pepper sauce on my food, I wonder if I’m less susceptible to it as a weapon (me and the other snakes)?

And on further searching, snakes have a tertiary spectacle which would protect their eyes from pepper spray.

When hiking, even in no-no-National Parks, I always carry a Big Damn Automatic Pistol.

I’ve learned two important things from this practice:

  1. Folks who say “don’t run from bears” have never been chased by one.

  2. Rattlesnakes are not bulletproof, but bears are.

I wouldn’t worry about pepper spray or mace, I’d carry a Big Damn Stick to help dispense with the snake menace. They’re cheap, they’re multi-purpose, and they’re child-safe.

This mace should do the job nicely. :wink:

Sorry, I should have been a bit broader. I meant “stuff you spray from a can like mace/pepper spray”

Thanks for the answers thus far! I appreciate it :slight_smile:

For what I know about snakes- if you see one, you’re really better off just quietly moving away from it. Really. And they don’t usually carry knives, because, you know, no arms. :smiley:

Mace or pepper spray probably wouldn’t affect their eyes because of the brille (snakes wear permanent contact lenses, sorta) like donkeyoatey said. But it might seriously mess up their respiratory tract. I would imagine so, anyway. The lining of a snake’s throat and nose is very sensitive and very prone to injury and infection.

If you do see a snake, no matter how afraid of them you might be, just try to keep in mind that most are completely non-aggressive, and very few in the US are dangerously venomous. Your best bet is to just quietly and slowly move away from the snake.

Also, trying to kill a snake you see is usually a really bad idea. They’re small and fast, and a lot of bites happen because somebody felt macho and grabbed for their pokin’ stick. Just stay away from them if you see them. I promise you that they don’t want to come near you anymore than you want to come near them.

Normal mace and pepper spray (the kind used for self-defense or by the police) does not work on bears. You need super-duper industrial-strength train-stopping pepper spray made especially for bear country. And even this does not always work. So probably you should just avoid altogether any place where there might conceivably be bears. (That’s what I do.)

Oh, and ** Roachman**, I don’t know if you were joking or not, but you do know that getting caught in a National Park with a firearm could lead to a lot more trouble than any sense of bear/snake protection is worth, right?

I know how the National Park rangers and the law feels about it, yes I do. But they can’t make be any deader than a brown bear can.

Is that anything like “being more feminine”? :wink:

That’s more of a morning star or flail.

However, a mace, which is a spiked metal ball with a handle, does work great against snakes.


I was told by the caretaker of a property I service that snakes don’t like gasoline.

I don’t know how accurate this man’s information was, I have to admit. While he is the caretaker, and the likelihood of snakes on the property exists, he’s also an A-hole who seems like the kind of person who will say whatever pops into his head if he thinks it will impress somebody.

You could carry a spray bottle of gasoline and use that, I suppose. But if it didn’t work and you got eaten by an anaconda, I’d feel bad. On the other hand, a whoop-ass stick would prolly work at least as well, too.