Tell Us: Snakes in the House?

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Garter Snake
Photo Credit:
Marc Feldman

Have you ever had a snake in your house? Several people relate horrifying experiences in “Snakes in the House!,” a feature article in The 2011 Old Farmer’s Almanac.

What’s your experience? How did you handle snakes in your house? Tell us all, because you never know…

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Snakes in the house

My son had a 3.5 foot ball python. He escaped his cage. Was missing for about 3 weeks. Then one day, we start to cook on my glass top stove and there's a horrible stench! Well, needless to say, we found the snake. Don't ever offer me a bite of cooked rattlesnake (they say it tastes like chicken). If it tastes anything like a ball python smells....Yuuuuukkk!!

Garter snake infestation in rental home

I started renting my home in March in Black Creek, wi. Saw my first sign of snakes in March as well even with snow on the ground! Landlord didnt believe me that there was an infestation at home. He was already planning on changing siding prior to me renting. Well siding project took about 3 to 4 months to complete. Meanwhile i would see snakes randomly in basement and more outside home. Well its fall and with fall snakes tend to hibernate. I was killing a good 20 or more snakes a day on warm days outside my home within 5 feet of walls slithering around. Let landlord know once again that they were outside home and getting into foundation of home. Again he doesnt remedy the situation but tells me if i contact him again about snake issue he is calling cops for harrassment. Well his wife shows up and badically tells me i am crazy as well but while she was outside telling me how "sealed" my home was we saw a really small one about a foot long slithering around outside of walls. She went to kill it i told her "no" watch and see where it goes. Well it planted itself by my dryer vent and basement window. Still telling me i dont have an infestation but agrees to silicone around windows. While in basement i could hear something crawling on insulation in ceiling tiles. Yep it was confirmed i got them inside my home. Her remedy now is to get snake traps instead of hiring a snake expert to remove the source. Today is the day though that we get to see how many are in my home considering i would kill at least 20 outside my home!

infested rental

We are speechless, Frances. Best wishes for good riddance.

I faced such incident

I faced such incident

The first ti.e i spotted a

The first ti.e i spotted a snske in my room going up the ceiling i ran out n it gas been there ever since.I have a snake living in my ceiling. I live in farm house n try as much as I can to keep my surrounding tidy but I have this thick swampy area few meters from my house it house salamander monkeys all sort of animals bush rats even a bear was once spotted. My house is close to a river bank. What do I do.

Snake in the ceiling...

Our best recommendation is to contact an animal exterminator (that does not mean that they will kill it), especially if you do not know what type of snake it is. We have also heard of “catching” them in glue traps —sticky sheets, something like fly paper but larger (consult a general hardware or farm supply store). Even if they—or it—stick to the paper, you still have to remove it from your house. To release the snake from the sticky paper or glue trap, spray it with cooking oil. If that sounds like too much, go back to plan A and contact an expert.

Are there some ways to keep

Are there some ways to keep scorpions & snakes uncomfortable around homes in the country. Someone suggested spreading lime around the home. Does this work? If so what kind of lime?

Hi, Ruth: You could spread

Hi, Ruth: You could spread garden lime or any number of other substances around, but often this sounds better than it really works. A lot of this depends on the types of snakes and scorpions, but it's important to remember that the reason they sometimes can be around (and in) homes is that they are after the same things you are: warmth, food, and water. Since it would appear that warmth may not be a problem for you, focus on removing (or moving away) as many possible sources of insects and other small animals as possible (such as woodpiles, brush, mulch piles). Don't turn on insect-attracting lights at night. Seal up your home by inspecting every inch for entryways, however small -- and we do mean tiny, tiny. And eliminate (continually) sources of standing or running water. These measures should help -- but then again, the snakes and scorpions were here first and know what they're doing.

We own a nuisance wildlife

We own a nuisance wildlife removal company and get snake calls all summer long and into the early fall and yes we pull many from the inside of homes. But in all the years I have been doing this never have we pulled a venomous snake from inside a home (one was pulled from an office complex front hallway and it was just a baby copperhead but still deadly). Could it happen well sure other snakes find a way in why not a venomous one, regardless unless you know beyond a shadow of a doubt what snake it is DO NOT TOUCH it instead call a company like ours and for a reasonable fee will come out and remove it for you. It is by far cheaper to have us come out then get bit by a venomous snake and spend $50,000 and up if you are lucky enough to survive. Any questions you can call 678-935-5900 or visit one of our websites like


I woke up this morning,

I woke up this morning, meandered into the bathroom and saw a dark squiggly line in the toilet near the lip. Upon closer inspection I realized that it was a small snake, less than a foot long and a half inch around. Without hesitation I flushed the little guy. He went back down the drain and I flushed several times. Then I put toilet bowl cleaner in the bowl and flushed a couple more times. Thankfully I'm not afraid of snakes but it would have freaked me out if I found one in the toilet while actually using the facilities.

I too have an extreme phobia

I too have an extreme phobia of snakes. My husband and I just bought a wonderful old farmhouse with an attached barn. Luckily we live in Maine so almost all snakes are non-poisonous but that doesn't make them any less frightening. They are ALL anacondas to me!! We have mice and unfortunately rats because the former owner kept animals. The Pest Control gentleman tells us anyone who has grain will get rats no matter how clean they keep the barn and surrounding areas. We have had mice and baby rats come into the house and even up to our bedroom on the second floor so I can only imagine where rodents can travel, snakes can follow. AARGH...We have removed all grain except the hanging chicken feeders. All grain for them is stored in large steel trashcans with tight lids. We have no wood piles near the house and I refuse to have any rock walls because snakes love them. I am petrified a snake will get into the house. Sealing up all holes in the crawlspace under the house is virtually impossible because of the old granite foundation. Do mothballs work as a repellent or are commercial snake repellents effective? I have dogs and cats so I don't want anything harmful to them. I'm sorry as helpful as everyone tries to convince me snakes are, I really am not concerned about their well being. My anxiety level is rising as spring nears.

I want to put in a garden but am afraid of snakes in the raised beds I have here. I thought I would keep weeds at bay and reduce the hiding places for snakes in weeds by putting a thick layer of straw mulch down between the boxes. A friend said mice love straw-therefore I would be inviting the snakes to my garden as they love mice. Makes me want to call a realtor if I ever see one in the house. Anyone have suggestions besides Valium? Thanks...Lisa

from time to time, we will

from time to time, we will get garter snakes & milk snakes in the house...

if the dog or the cat doesn't kill them & eat them, then I'll catch them, kill them & save till I have enough for a nice dinner.

Not trying to gross anyone out, it's just that I happen to like snake meat...even poisonous snakes can be found on my dinner table.
Poisonous snakes though, need to be cleaned differently...if you break the venom sack, the whole snake goes into the compost pile.

I have had three earth snakes

I have had three earth snakes in my house in the last month. The first one was "presented" to us by our cat -- just outside our first-floor bedroom door. The second one was also killed by our cat, and left in the first-floor living room. The third was found very much alive on the SECOND FLOOR in my daughter's bedroom! We are city folks who just moved to the country, and we are a little freaked out by snakes in our house! (Not to mention the scorpions, but that is a different subject...) HELP!

There are a few things you

There are a few things you can try:
1. Cover the openings of floor drains and any outside pipe outlets with a layer of wire mesh.
2. Plug steel wool or expanding foam into every opening you can find along your foundation or walls. (Baby snakes can fit through a 1/4-inch hole.)
3. Mow the grass around your house closely and avoid dense foundation plantings.
4. Don't let pet food sit in an outside bowl, and keep bird-feeding areas tidy to avoid attracting mice (which in turn, attract snakes).

My wonderful kitty had a

My wonderful kitty had a garter snake trapped under our Christmas tree this evening. I went around the house screaming snake, lol. My ten year old son said we are keeping it. I'm not sure how I feel with keeping a snake that found it's way into our house and now he wants to keep it. Reading that putting it outside this time of year could be a death sentence for it, I feel bad and will probably find a way to keep it without getting the hee-bee-jee-bees every second that I think that there is a snake slithering around in our house. It creeps me out. My kids are happy about it though and my kitty, I thought my short haired kitty had turned into a long haired one from the looks of her giant blown up tail! What a night!

We get spiders in our

We get spiders in our basement.
We live in a rural area. It is remote were i live.
We are starting to get miliipedes and spiders
I just put them outside but my dad does not like them.
Do millipedes spray a poisonous liquid? I am not sure.

Millipedes live in moist

Millipedes live in moist places or areas with high humidity—conditions that describe many cellars.
The fluid that they spray is not poisonous if you mean fatal; however, it can be irritating, so it is not something that you want to get on your skin or in your eyes. On the skin of some individuals, it can cause long-term discoloration and a burning sensation. If you get it into your eyes, you may experience irritation. So wear gloves and do not touch the gloves to your eyes or skin after handling millipedes. If possible reduce the moisture/humidity in the basement and, if you prefer not to touch the millipedes...some sources recommend vacuuming them up! If you chose to do that, take care in emptying the vacuum, too. We hope this helps.

A month ago I found a pygmy

A month ago I found a pygmy rattler on the floor beside my bed about 11:30 at night. I have found snakes in the basement, where my washer and dryer are, but not on the main floor of the house. Luckily, I had a garden hoe by the back door and killed it, posting a picture of it on FB. It wouldn't have scared me so bad if it hadn't been a venomous one. I have been sleeping on the couch since....

That's a shame! Believe me I

That's a shame! Believe me I have a phobia of snakes. I just found a rat snake in my living room today and I threw it outside. But while doing research I seen where the phgmy rattler is almost extinct. I will shoot a snake faster than anybody but you should have got someone to get it being that the world may not be lucky enough to still have them in a couple years.

One day I went out to the

One day I went out to the garden for some tomatoes for dinner. I have no idea why, but I was wearing thick slipper socks that day. When I came inside and took off my boots, a garter snake was stuck to the bottom of my foot! I freaked out, shaking my foot until the dead snake flew across the room into a corner. My husband was napping so had no desire to get up and get the snake. He said, "Just pick it up and throw it outside". There was no way that was going to happen or that he would continue napping. Thankfully I have never found a live snake in the house.

How about a BALL PYTHON! Not

How about a BALL PYTHON! Not indigenous to NH, this I know. On the morning of October 11th, 2011, my 10 year old daughter needed to use the bathroom but her brother was showering in the main bathroom so she came into our bedroom to use the master bathroom. She went to sit down on the toilet, only to see a 4 foot BALL PYTHON curled up on the seat with its head down in the toilet, drinking! She yelled "THERE'S A SNAKE IN THE BATHROOM!!" and ran out. I rolled my eyes, got out of my bed and walked over, looking in the corners and along the walls for what I THOUGHT would be a small snake or even a centipede. When my eyes reached the toilet and saw a PYTHON, I yelled to my husband "THERE IS A BIG SNAKE IN HERE!" He came in, and he swore... then my teens came in, and they swore. My husband does not do nature very well, of any kind. First thing I did was to get my camera. Then I thought "Hmmm... I could call Animal Cops: Houston or Miami, they would know what to do!" Who do you call when a python is in your toilet, in NH, in October??? I called the police, who said they do not have an animal control officer but they would see who they could contact. They were as freaked out as I was about the snake! An officer showed up shortly after calling (one that doesn't like snakes, mind you!) to "assess the situation". He considered throwing it out the window and killing it. I said "no! You can't kill it! It's not doing anything bad.... just hanging out in my bathroom!" Eventually he left saying that Fish & Game would be by in a a while. So, I sat in the bathroom with my coffee and the snake, who seemed content in just hanging out on my toilet.... for a while. Then, he decided to crawl up my wall and explore and I was NOT OK with that so I started to talk sense into the snake (I know, I know...) and then yelled to my husband to bring me a pillow case. I grabbed the snake and put it in the pillow case. When the Fish & Game officer got to my house, he was getting his big animal-catching stick and a covered container and I said "No need for all that stuff! I caught it and it's in the pillowcase." and he said "Oh, good. I don't really like snakes." wow. OK. SO he asked if I wanted the pillowcase back, I said "no, thanks." and then I asked what would become of the snake and he said they have a "snake guy" in Pelham that he will go to. This was a MUCH better answer than what the police officer gave me. So, off he went to Pelham. Later that day as I was trying to figure out how he got in, I realized that the dryer hose was disconnected from the vent. The vent is only about a foot off the ground. Nice and warm for a python and easy accessibility. I am sure he came in there and climbed into the ceiling and found his way to the hole in the wall of the master bath. Yes. We are working on patching the hole. :)

My Aunt lives in a pretty

My Aunt lives in a pretty rural town in Massachusetts called Dover, only 30 miles west of Boston. In the hot humid summer months she often have a 2 and half foot long Eastern Milk snake living in her basement. She is not a fan of this serpent living in her basement, but I keep telling her that they keep the mice away. I love snakes. I also have a Garter snake in my yard, but I live in a different town and it never comes in my house.

In this old house, I hear

In this old house, I hear "tink", and there they are, a little snake that has fallen down and probally has no clue what has happened. Any solutions? This is an enormous fireplace- Originally an old boy scout lodge, and you can walk into it- there is a large wood buring stove in the center. No one- for years has taken care of this place, and I've been tryong to seal where I can. There is a cap on top, but around the pipe is open. One day ( like in a cartoon) bees started to zoom out of either side. We're in the woodds, but I grew up in the woods, and this is unreal. Five and at times more a day? Because this is a deceased family member's house, much offese is taken at the mere mention of "sealing". Well, I've been living with it- along with all of the other amazing critters. But, it is starting to drive me a little nuts. The last 6 in long millipede I ncaught on my kitchen floor became a pet for a little while- but RE: ticks, spiders, and everything else- I need some concrete information. Everything I suggest ( after research) is met with derision. I'm trying to make this all a bit more sanitary and healthy. We've had numerous issues with lymes disease, and too many bites from other insects for me to be able to let this slide. I'm just very sick of the ridicule- I'm not shreiking, or abnormally afraid of bugs- I just don't want them crawling on me (or anyone else) while I'm sleeping. Enough is enough when you can't walk outside without being attacked- so you come inside and wonder... Is this any better?

Years ago I was renovating an

Years ago I was renovating an old farm house in North Carolina. The back of the house had been built first and later, the front. This had left a 6" gap between the two parts of the house. As I was finishing some demolition one day and sweeping up, I went to another room to get the dust pan, turned and started back to the demo site. Laying directly in my path, taking up the entire 3 foot wide hallway, was a big black snake. I knew enough not to try to kill it, since the black snakes eat the poisonous snakes.
I threw the dust pan at it. Nothing.
Then I realized I had another weapon. My broom. Flipping the handle around, I grasped the brush end and began to whack the wooden handle on the floor in front of the snake's face. That got his attention. Ever so slowly, he slithered backwards into the 6" gap and back into the dark sandy dirt under the floorboards. For good measure, I threw the broom at the gap. I tacked up some scrap drywall to seal the gap overnight and knew exactly where I'd start the next day. No more gap.

During late spring 3 years

During late spring 3 years ago I was in the foyer of our home and heard a sort of a thud in the kitchen. It sounded like something fell. Well our fireplace is in the kitchen considering we live in a 1850's log house. In early spring I leave the cover off the chimney and leave the damper open. The thud I heard was a rat snake falling into the fireplace. He had climbed up the outside, down the inside and dropped into the house. I threw a towel over him and put him back outside. I try to keep rat snakes under the house to keep mice away, but inside they're not allowed.

In the basement of our farm

In the basement of our farm house in Central Virginia we had a large
"playroom" in the basement with a ping pong table in the center. The room had a recessed window complete with curtain rods and curtains. A family of black snakes lived in our basement and helped keep the mice population down to a dull roar. The male, a big 4.5 footer seemed to enjoy watching us play ping pong and would wrap himself around the curtain rod and his head would go from side to side watching the ping pong ball do its back and forth trips through the air. Each of our families were well acquainted and lived together harmoniously for years. One day my mother, found "Pong" upstairs stretched out on the living room sofa. She was never afraid of snakes, but thought this a bit "forward" and removed Pong with fireplace tongs delivering him to the woods several hundred feet from our house. Pong must have taken offense, because his family and he never showed up in the house again. We missed him.

My deep fear of snakes

My deep fear of snakes probably came from my mother's experience of finding a huge black snake in her bedroom - on the 2nd floor ! The snake had evidently crawled up the stone side of the house, through an open window, and into a bedside stand which was covered with a curtain. Imagine her fright when she opened the curtain ! I recall her extreme reaction, and my father's amusement when he commented "it's just a harmless black snake"......

Several years back I removed

Several years back I removed a very large eastern Milksnake from my home. The snake had somehow managed to push itself up through a disconnected heater duct pipe in the bathroom which is located over a crawlspace. When I entered the bathroom the shock of seeing a large snake half across the bathroom floor and half inside the heat duct gave me good reason to step back and shut the door to come up with a plan.
To grab the snake and attempt to pull it free from the duct could go wrong and the snake could escape back into the crawlspace.
Not an experienced snake handler, I knew that frightening the snake would make a bad situation worse. On my porch was a fine meshed smelt dipping net with a long handle. Opening the bathroom door very slowly, I gently slipped the fine net over the head of the snake. Inch by inch I slipped the net farther and farther over the snakes length until the net reached the part of the floor which still contained the remaining half of the reptile. Then I waited. The snake sensing that the net was not a threat slowly inched the rest of its large body up from the duct pipe and into the net. Once in, I lifted the net, flipped it over very swiftly one full turn ( this sealed the snake in ) and tied off the net with a piece of binder twine. Later that day I deported the snake several miles away to a deserted homestead. Inspection of the crawlspace after the incident revealed a open piece of PVC pipe in the foundation used for drainage by previous occupants. If a mouse can enter your home, so can a snake. I have personally witnessed Garter Snakes climbing up open Vinyl siding corner pieces at a unbelievable speed and extricating itself outside the opposite side of the home. A snake can climb up and under vinyl siding unless every tiny crack and defect is secure. Most often that is not the case.

Several years ago I jumped

Several years ago I jumped out of bed and I noticed my slippers were pushed back under so I knelt down to get them. There curled up was a baby rattlesnake. I grabbed the dog and put him in the other room then sat down and wondered how I was going to get it out without it slithering off or biting me. I got my toilet plunger and put it over the snake and scooted it out from under the bed. Then I had to figure a way to pick it up while it was still under the plunger. I couldn't let go of the plunger or the snake would get away. As luck would have it there was a binder on my nightstand so I opened the binder and slid a flap under the plunger. I carried the binder, plunger and snake into the laundryroom where I dropped the snake into a plastic storage box put the lid on quickly. I drove the snake a few miles away and relocated it in a nice woodsy area.

When the weather is nice we

When the weather is nice we keep the doors open for the cats to come and go. On several occasions we've had rat snakes come calling. We use a long pvc pipe threaded with a string that makes a loop. We lasso the fellow and take him out to the outer fence.

Yes, we had a garter snake in

Yes, we had a garter snake in the bathroom last year. My husband has a serious snake phobia, thanks to a childhood in rural Ohio with snakes hanging from the trees and in the grass. I moved the snake out of the house with a long stick and it went back to taking care of the garden--and I keep the screen door shut!