Snakes in House

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!

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By Tammy from Sacramento, CA

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October 22, 20101 found this helpful
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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.

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For now, definitely call an exterminator. :)

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October 30, 20100 found this helpful
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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.

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October 31, 20100 found this helpful
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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.

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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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October 30, 20100 found this helpful

Hi Tammy,
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.

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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!

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