Reptiles And Amphibians

How to get a Snake out of your House

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"How to get a Snake out of your House"
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De-House a Snake

I don't love nor do I hate snakes, however when a snake happens to surprise me I don't find it particularly amusing. What is amusing is the afternoon I arrived home to see my husband with the vacuum hose in hand and my son up three steps wielding a golf club; their attention focused on the corner post of our pole framed home in Oregon.

The creature had effectively taken the men away from the ball game and had them transfixed for the past thirty minutes or so. I'm not a professional animal rescue worker nor am I a reptile expert but I have owned snakes before and find them fascinating. I've also had the opportunity to use my skill as a snake friend' to remove a wild snake from a home, so based upon personal experience I can declare myself an expert in this field. No two situations will be exactly the same so; I will give ideas based on what I know about snakes and use my personal experience as an example.

Rule number one; keep your eyes on the snake. You don't want to loose it down a heater vent or loose site of it period, especially if a family member abhors them. Remember snakes have an unusual effect on some people. When my father was told about a garden snake we had lost and later found dehydrated in the hall closet as children over twenty years ago, he was mad; as if it had just occurred.

Most likely the snake I was about to remove was hunting my parrot; birds are prey for snakes. The snake was wrapped around the pole and had squeezed below the floor level into a crevice; it was the largest of any snake I'd seen except in photos or on display.

Rule number two; always assume the snake is poisonous until identified otherwise. We have a variety of snakes in this region, rattlesnakes being the most treacherous. I'm happy to say my encounters of the past four or five years hadn't included one of these. If it is a poisonous snake never take your eyes off your task; always remain calm and in control. You can effectively gather even a poisonous snake and deliver it safely out of your home.

Once we surmised the snake in our home wasn't a rattle snake, it seemed important to get the snake to relax. We turned off the vacuum and coaxed our son out of his frozen trance, had him put down the golf club and move out of the room.

Rule number three; it's most important that you have your intent clearly mapped in your mind. Your movements and attitude are crucial, the snake is effective at intimidation, you however are most likely bigger, and if not faster, you are more aware of your opponent. Remember, the snake is afraid and wants out of your den.

Moving a snake is best done by firmly grasping its tail allowing some portion of the snake to remain on the ground. Then guide the snake outside or into a container by moving the container into the path the snake travels once you get it moving, offering the snake a place to hide. Or use a stick to lift the front part of the snake off the ground while holding its tail and place it into the container. A container can be a garbage can, bucket, even an open pillowcase. Always promptly secure your container, snakes are great escape artists. If you use a card board box, seal it with tape, the snake will be fine for a short time.

To do this it's best if the snake is out in an open area. You can try teasing it out, however the snake in our home wasn't about to leave it's crevice, but can you blame it? I was able to get a good hold of the tail and lifted it slowly out of the crevice. Once half of the snake was out, it loosened its grip on the pole. Whether it planned to get the attacker of its nether regions or sensed my rescue tactic I don't know, but it happened a lot faster than I expected. The snake was extremely long, stretching out and away from my body like a stick. I had my husband open the door and I was able to place it out on the front lawn much to its relief and without injury, save maybe a suction mark from the vacuum hose.

In the event you aren't going to touch the snake; use a broom and guide it to freedom or into a garbage can, bucket or other container, providing the snake isn't to large. Use the broom from side to side, keeping it in motion and move the snake toward your container. Have a second person to help; snakes are quick and slick. If the snake is coiled, it can strike outward or upward but most snakes can only strike about one half their total body length in distance and not with as much force as people think. The pre-strike coil is mostly a defensive gesture.

In this case you may find yourself braver with the head covered, although this is only an illusion for your benefit. Throw a towel over the snake, and then with the head covered you must move quickly, sweeping the snake into a container.

If none of these are an option, you don't know a snake charmer or happen to have a mongoose for a pet, the only other option advisable in the event you are unable to talk yourself into removing it is to call 911. In summing up I'll leave you with a tip; snakes are particularly threatening. When leaving town, place a note on your door that says: "Be careful, the snake got out. We're at the motel."
Great deterrent to would be thieves; don't you agree? Happy hunting!

More about this author: J.L. Cowan

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