Pest Spotlight: What To Do if You Find a Snake in Your Home

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • October 18, 2019

How to Safely Remove the Snake in Your Home

We all know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone who found a snake in their home… Or worse, it was YOU who found a snake in your home! No matter who it happens to, it’s a scary experience. One that certainly gets you thinking about what you would do if you found a snake in your home.  

In all, there are 38 different types of snakes in North Carolina, of which only six are venomous (if it makes you feel better). And like it or not, each of these snake species benefits the environment in one way or another. With snakes being such a critical part of the ecosystem, it’s important that you consider what type of snake you’re dealing with and how best to go about removing it. 

How Snakes Get In Your Home And What They’re Looking For

From time to time, snakes make their way into our homes. Typically they’ll come in searching for prey and nesting sites, but sometimes they end up inside on accident. Often, during periods of extreme heat, snakes will seek out a cool, damp place to hide their cold-blooded bodies like around a pipe in the basement.

Since snakes cannot chew or dig, they find small holes and cracks at the ground level of your home to sneak through. Depending on their size, some snakes are even able to slither under gaps in your doors. Once inside, the pest will travel throughout your walls, pipes and around trusses to areas like your crawl space, basement, or attic. If your new pet (or should we say pest) is able to find a sustainable source of food, he’ll make a long term nest and get comfortable. 

See our tips for pest proofing your home to prevent pests from getting in in the first place.

Luckily, snakes don’t cause much damage to your home. Now your sanity, that’s a different story. Nonetheless, you’ll want to have the snake removed. In addition to the threat of painful, sometimes deadly bites, snakes can also transmit diseases. 

How To Remove A Snake From Your Home

1. Identify Whether Your Snake Is Venomous or Non-venomous

There is a lot of confusion around what makes a snake deadly or not. But experts will tell you, there is no magic trick to identify a venomous vs. non-venomous snake. 

Contrary to popular belief, these are NOT ways to identify whether a snake is venomous or not…

  • Head Shape

This isn’t an accurate method because most non-venomous snakes flatten their heads to have a triangle shape when they feel threatened. 

  • Pupil Shape 

A snake’s pupils will dilate in low light conditions – just like a human’s. Therefore, this isn’t an identifier. 

  • Rattling Tail

No pun intended, but a rattling tail isn’t a strong tell-tail sign of venom or non. Many non-venomous species rattle tails to trick predators into thinking they are venomous when they’re not. 

Rather, the best way to identify a venomous snake is to learn what venomous snakes are in your area and what they typically look like. 

  • Use herpsofnc.org to familiarize yourself with the species in your state or county. 
  • Use the “whole body approach” which takes into account the creature’s color, pattern, size, and range to identify the species. Again, there is no single “magic trick” to identify a venomous snake.

 

2. Identify Whether Your Snake is Threatened, Endangered, or of Concern

It’s important to know there are nine species of snakes in our state that are listed as threatened, endangered, or of special concern at the State or Federal level. Why is this important to know? Because as with any species in these categories, it is inhumane and illegal to harm, harass, or relocate it without an Endangered Species Permit obtained from the NCWRC RPTS. Serious stuff.

3. Remove the snake

Once you know what type of snake you’re dealing with, you can go about removing it. 

If it’s a non-venomous snake…

  1. Locate the snake.
  2. Block off any areas that it could possibly slither into or under with rolled up towels or sheets. Stoves, refrigerators, couches, cabinets, etc. will make your snake removal job a lot harder if you don’t block them off first.
  3. Close the room so the snake cannot escape
  4. Either shoo the snake into a bin with a broom (best option for those less inclined to handle the serpent), or plop a large towel or blanket over the snake and scoop it into a pillowcase.  
  5. If all else fails, cover the snake with a large bin, poke some holes through, and call a professional. 

If it’s threatened, endangered, of concern or venomous… 

Call a professional. Better safe than sorry! 

At Killingsworth Environmental, protecting your home and family from pests is something we take seriously. We use a humane and professional approach when it comes to removing not just snakes, but squirrels, bats, opossums, raccoons, birds, woodpeckers, stinging insects, foxes, rodents, carpenter bees, beavers, muskrats and more.  Learn more about our unique approach to wildlife control by clicking the button below!

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