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!
I suggest you do a http://www.snakehandlingcourses.com.au "reptile handling course" so that you will know which ones are safe and which are not and how to remove them if need be.
All the best
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Once again I've found I have unwelcome guests in my house. My 5 year old found a rather long black snake in our upstairs bathroom yesterday. He was killed and taken outside, but I am wondering if anyone has any ideas for snake repellent.
I'm not sure how he got in; am thinking he crawled up the propane pipe and came out the furnace in the bathroom, but he could have crawled up the sink pipes too. We tried to stuff steel wool around these pipes, but I still don't feel really secure that no more snakes will come in. Any suggestions would be welcomed.
Donna in Kansas
I've read that buying powdered sulfur and sprinkling it around your house deters them. Also, if you think you know where they come in at, place a few moth balls around in that area. They don't like the smell of those. Good luck. (08/18/2004)
Donna, I have had tremendous luck with keeping all types of vermin out of my house by having two house cats. My grandfather always kept dozens of wild felines in his barns because snakes won't come around them. Of course, some people might consider cats to be vermin. (08/19/2004)
The snakes are after the mice, you will need to get rid of your mice (easier said than done). We sometimes have had snakes in our walls and I don't mind so much knowing they are mouse hunting. However, like you, I did object after finding a snake in my bathtub.
Also, plug up all the holes you can find, the steel wool works well at keeping mice out so probably will keep the snakes out, too. After we insulated some eave spaces our snake visitors declined in numbers. (08/25/2004)
Snakes are after food and shelter, so if you get rid of the food and plug up your holes you should be fine. I had a problem with copperheads in yard, but after spraying for insects and cleaning up all the leaves and junk around the house I have not had any problems. (10/02/2005)
One more thing is possible - Have you checked to make sure you don't have a hole in the dryer hose leading to the outdoors? They tend to get in that way, too. Sorry, don't have any additional repelling advice.
http://www.research.ku.edu/explore/v1n2/snakes.html This is a good article about finding snakes in your house. Killing, capturing and keeping a wild snake in Kansas is illegal as well as in a lot of other states. (06/29/2006)
By Jo in KS
I have found a nest of cobras under my house. They have crawled up through the pipes and swallowed my cats and dogs. This morning my wife was missing. I feel I may be next...any help appreciated.
Editor's Note: We are pretty sure this is a joke but decided to post it anyway. (07/12/2007)
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.
By ifly8251 from MD
I know it smells, but put mothballs out. Throw them around outside too. (05/18/2009)
I wouldn't recommend moth balls especially indoors. They are pretty nasty stuff, not safe around kids or pets (or adults) and haven't really been shown to work. purdue.edu
There is info in the article here: aaanimalcontrol.com
Or check out the "related info" links below your question to the right for other info. Don't know what type of snakes you have in your area but would err on the side of safety.
I would probably hire a professional or call the local animal control or county extension office perhaps. Glue boards were suggested in one article. Also find whatever holes or however it got into your house and fix that to prevent future "visits".
Good luck to you. Snakes aren't what freaks me out, but if I had one in the house I probably would be. (05/19/2009)
What a nightmare. If you call the dog officer in town, he could offer suggestions and may have the "Have a Heart" traps that you could try. Cats also seem to work. Good luck. (05/22/2009)
You can take an egg and puncture a small hole in both ends big enough to blow out the contents of the egg. When empty fill the egg with salt and put tape on the ends so it won't come out. Place it where you think the snake will find it and let it eat it. It will bust in the snakes belly and the salt will kill it. You can also buy snake repellent at stores. Tractor Supply has it and also our local hardware. You have to be sure that all snakes are out of your yard when you use it because if one is on the inside it can't get out. Hope this helps.
The snakes are in your house looking for rodents. Get a humane, no kill trap from your local animal shelter, catch it and they will remove it for you. Also put some mouse traps around to catch the rodents. They are probably in your house without you even knowing it. Then check your exterior very carefully for entrance points. They can get in through the smallest hole or crack. Plug up the holes and cracks with whatever your local exterminator recommends for your area, and you will have no more snake or rodent problems. (05/25/2009)
I have found information on keeping snakes away, but now I need to know how to remove them from your home.
I have found small oval eggs in the windows and have found what appears to be snake skins.