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The efficacy of a naphthalene and sulfur formulation to repel

the venomous snake Vipera palaestinae in Israel

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image of Applied Herpetology

The repellence efficacy of pellets containing naphthalene and sulfur against the Palestine viper Vipera palaestinae (Viperidae) was studied. This species is the only venomous snake in the densely populated central and northern parts of Israel, and bites many humans every year. The experiments were performed in an outdoor earth-floor arena. Two cages, each containing a single rodent (Meriones tristrami, Gerbilidae) as bait, were located at opposite ends of the arena, one of them protected by a pellet strip of naphthalene and sulfur formulation, and the other unprotected. After an acclimatization period naïve vipers were introduced into the arena, each one separately. The experiments were conducted in two parts of seven trials, each part on the opposite end of the arena. Five snakes avoided the protected section of the arena, and eight reached the protected cages. The conclusion was that the formulation failed to repel the vipers.

Affiliations: 1: Plant Protection and Inspection Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, PO Box 78, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel;, Email:; 2: Plant Protection and Inspection Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, PO Box 78, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel; 3: Green Pest Control, Or Yehuda, Israel


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