Sunday, January 15, 2012

Essential oils: Potent snake irritants

Rosemary is one of a number of essential oils shown to be "potent snake irritants.". "Brown tree snakes exposed to a 2-s burst of aerosol of these oils exhibited prolonged, violent undirected locomotory behavior." (p. 884, Handbook of essential oils : science, technology, and applications / K. Hüsnü Can Baser, Gerhard Buchbauer.). Yep, if you want to annoy or irritate a snake, add 10 grams of these essential oils - cedarwood, cinnamon, sage, juniper berry, lavender, and rosemary - to 1 litre of water and spray it at one. Try this on your next camping holiday in the desert and let us know how it works out.* (Hey, it's not science without confirmation!)

So why am I telling you this? One, because I've just realized that my shampoo and conditioner bars contain three out of the five snake annoying essential oils and I would write that on the label as a selling point if I were to sell my products. And two, I go camping with these bars all the time and I am now counting myself very fortunate that I have not been bitten by a snake!

*Please note: This is a joke. Do the opposite of what I've just said here, which is to not put these essential oils into water and not spray them at snakes. If you do choose to ignore my warning and spray a snake in the face with these essential oils and it demonstrates this "prolonged, violent undirected locomotory behavior", any damage caused to you by a snake is not my responsibility. 

If you liked this idea of annoying snakes, I really encourage you to watch this video on the honey badger (Raymond calls it "nature's griefer"), especially the bit about it eating the snake's dinner, then eating the snake, around 2:00 or so. I really need to make a stencil out of this animal. It seems to be the only animal who eats for revenge! 

And an aside about deserts because it's just that kind of day...If you live in Canada, our only desert is around Osoyoos, B.C., but you can find snakes to annoy all over the Okanagan area. It's a great place to camp! Haynes Point is an amazing place to stay as you're on a peninsula completely surrounded by water and get your own private beach with every site, but you have about 45 minutes in which to book your site every year, so you're very fortunate to get a spot!

As an aside, why is this area considered a desert when it's -6˚C there today? Because a desert is "a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation". So it's not about the heat, it's about the humidity!


Anonymous said...

Really funny but informative post, I will keep those oils in mind when I decide to irritate a snake:)

byff said...

Could be very useful information in my nascent career as snake wrangler and animal wrassler.