I saw a snake go under my refrigerator, then under the stove; animal control could not find it. How can I get it out of the house? I'm scared!
By Tammy from Sacramento, CA
First, make sure it's not poisonous. Poisonous snakes will usually have a triangular head, shaped that way by the venom glands. If it's a rattlesnake, it's definitely poisonous. Chances are that it's just a garter snake, in which case you're safe. If the animal control people are too lazy or stupid to get the snake(s) out, call an exterminator. They'll be able to either find the snake, or help you trap it for easy removal.
Snakes are actually beneficial, again, as long as they're not of a species that can hurt humans. We have garter snakes on our property, and one even managed to get into our mud room. I caulked the place where it got in, and we haven't had a problem since. If a snake is getting in, you've got a big leak somewhere in your house, that needs to be filled up.
For now, definitely call an exterminator. :)
If it isn't a garter snake it is probably a small black rat snake. They are not poisonous. You could bait it by getting a live mouse and put it in a small clear container where the snake can see it. That might lure the snake out and you could catch it then. Just wear some heavy garden gloves and quickly grab it close behind the head. Generally snakes with oval heads are not poisonous. If your snake has a triangular head (looks like big jaws) you could call the local zoo and ask for suggestions from their reptile expert. You might also consider leaving the house for a few days if it is poisonous.
Snakes are attracted to milk, or at least I have caught one this way! I remember as a child in my third grade Reader there was a story called, "The Drover's Wife" who was left at home when her husband went droving in the Outback; she had to contend with a venomous snake and captured it using a saucer of milk. This happened to me quite a few years ago and my dad's friend said it was not an old wives tale. So I tried it and the snake did come out to drink the milk. I was able to capture it and ring the Fisheries & Wildlife man and he came and picked it up! I guess the snakes in America will do the same!
I recently put out mouse traps in my garage for the field mice that come in this time of year. I couldn't help but notice that the directions said they could be used to catch snakes, too. They are sticky and have bait on the glue part. They come flat, which I think would be good for catching a snake. But they can be folded into a box like shape to hold the mouse so you don't need to look at it. I may have purchased these traps at the grocery store, Walmart, or Dollar Tree. I'm sorry I cannot remember the brand name.
Also, I have had good luck with moth balls for repelling the garter snakes that like to have babies where my sidewalk meets the foundation of the house. It's very near the doorway and I've had baby snakes hanging all over the storm door sometimes. I put out the mothballs this year and I have seen them but they don't stay. They like to hibernate there, too, I think. A man from Australia once sold me an expensive product, but after he told me that snakes don't like odors, I came up with the moth ball idea. I also sometimes use ammonia poured in the crack, but that evaporates quickly.
Good luck. I've had snakes in my house before and I don't like it either! I don't care if they are garter snakes, they don't belong inside the house!
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If a snake gets in your basement, will it go back out or get into your house?
By Barbara from VA
The snake is looking for food. Depending on the size and species of snake this may be insects or mice. When the food is gone, the snake will leave. Mice will leave if they smell the snake. Either way you win. (08/24/2010)
I don't know how you will get them out. But when you do, throw lime in your basement. Snakes don't like to cross it as it burns their belly. When I was young, lime was used for this purpose. (09/09/2010)
I live in an apartment on the second floor. I have found small oval eggs in the windows, and upon packing to move, have found what appears to be snake skins (shed, dead, dried up). I have also heard what sounds like snakes moving around the boxes that were packed.
I, of course, have not seen any snakes. What type of snake might this be? We are in Miami, Florida and there are never any windows or doors left open.
By Vada from Miami, FL
The best way to get snakes out of your house is to leave the snake alone, then get away from the snake and call someone who knows how to identify, catch, and handle snakes. Usually they can be found by doing a search for state wildlife, reptiles or reptile farms, herpetologists or zoos. If you try to kill the snake and miss, a snake can move at 30 MPH and can outrun a human or a pet and all snakes can bite. How do you keep snakes away? Get rid of their food supply, usually mice/rats, frogs, lizards, and insects etc., so it is almost impossible to do and even doing it this way it can take several months to work.
Cats catch mice/rats/birds etc. but sometimes they like to bring their dinner home instead of eating it. Sticky traps only make it harder to remove a snake because the trap sticks to everything else too. Have-a-heart traps are great for mice/rats etc. but they won't work with snakes. In most states you have to have a license to keep a poisonous snake and have to build a special cage to keep a poisonous snake in first. If you find a snake skin in your house most likely you either have or had a snake in your house at some point in time. And if you don't know how to catch a snake, call or contact someone that does.
A lot of people keep and sometimes breed snakes as a hobby. But it could still be a wild snake that got in the house somehow. I found a snake skin under a bath tub and later I found the snake outside. (04/04/2010)
It's a black racer and harmless, don't worry. Just common in Florida, but you probably want to get your dad to look for it where you hear it, then let it go. It's the best way. WARNING: They still have teeth. (04/20/2010)
How large are the eggs? Have you considered that it may be a common green lizard? They lay eggs and really like to leave them in houseplants or windows that are sunny. Lizard eggs are usually about the size of a small jelly bean. Good Luck! (04/23/2010)
I have found information on keeping snakes away, but now I need to know how to remove them from your home. My son found a snake skin in my closet last night and now I am afraid to find the snake in the house.
By MotherT65 from Woodstock, VA
If you found the skin, the snake has probably shed and returned to the outside, especially this time of year. He will be looking for food (and snakes of the opposite sex). Unless you have a food source inside, ie. mice, frogs, lizards, etc., what you should be looking for is how he got into the house. Snakes can come inside through a small opening. A gap around the dryer vent, a garage door that doesn't close all the way, a missing screen on the crawlspace vents. Just make sure that any areas where the snake can gain entrance are sealed and he won't be able to return. (09/02/2009)
We had to call a plumber some time back and he told us when we called him to get mothballs and throw under the house two days before he came out. I thought by that he should know what he is talking about. I know that mothballs smell awful, but when it comes to snakes I could put up with the smell more than I could put up with a snake being in my house. (09/02/2009)
What product can I use to kill a snake in my house without harming my kids or pets? I know it's in here, because I found its skin.