Tell Us: Snakes in the House?

July 20, 2010
Garter Snake
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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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.

Basement vs yard !!!!

A snake of any kind in the basement where it might decide to investigate your whole home some day is not EVEN close to having a garter snake in your yard.... If you cared about your aunt, you would take her milk snake home with you and give it tender loving care and she could relax...She can always set traps for the mice.....

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

Catherine Boeckmann's picture

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!

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