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Animal Science

The Animal Science Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about scientific and technological topics related to pets, livestock, and other animals. See how cutting-edge advances help - or hinder - species around the world. SavvyExacta is a lifelong animal enthusiast with more than 20 years of experience with horses. Freckles (an English setter) is a frequent topic on the blog. Other CR4 bloggers occasionally add great posts.

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28 comments

Snakes Inside

Posted October 15, 2012 12:00 AM by SavvyExacta

A friend's photo of a snake in her SUV made me wonder why snakes appear in unexpected places. While that was the first time I'd heard about a snake in a vehicle, my family has had snakes in their homes on more than a few occasions. Earlier this summer my grandmother found a snake in her kitchen. When my father moved into his new house we discovered dozens of baby snakes in the stairwell to the basement. Snakes slithered through an uncapped pipe into my aunt's finished basement.

Why Do Snakes Go Inside?

It comes down to two things that are important to many animals: food and shelter. The shrubbery and landscaping that surrounds most houses is an ideal snake habitat. Food is generally abundant near humans with bugs in the garden, rodents seeking out similar shelter, and egg-laying chickens.

Snakes seek safe dens, especially in the winter. They often den in groups. One alarming fact I discovered while conducting research for this blog entry was that a single rattlesnake den can contain over 70 snakes - and it could be in your home! You might not even notice it until the snakes disperse in the spring. Most snakes that venture indoors seek shelter in basements, attics, and wall cavities.

During times of drought snakes will go inside to seek water. I believe this is why the snake was in my grandmother's kitchen; the summer was very dry here and there are not water sources nearby their home. Snakes are commonly found near hoses or other pipes in the summer when water is scarce.

What to Do

If you find a snake in your home it's first important to determine whether or not it is poisonous. While a poisonous snake is obviously a danger, any snake poses a risk because they carry an odor and may carry disease. Snakes may signal an insect or rodent problem; they may come inside because of a food source.

While I was searching for information about the topic I came across the PTS Snake Finder Micro Mini Camera. It has a 1-meter flexible tube attached to a handheld viewing screen. (Personally, I wouldn't really want to be within 1 meter of a rattlesnake!) They recommend getting the snake hook and tongs, plus a bag to go with the device. No thank you! Any snakes found in my home will be evicted by experts.

There are some "snake repellants" on the market; home remedies like moth balls are also recommended for keeping snakes away. The verdict on whether or not these methods actually work was usually "…no, they don't."

As for why the snake was in the SUV, I didn't find any conclusive answers. Googling "why is there a snake in my car" turned up tens of thousands of results. Most of these were question-and-answer sites. There were even some videos!

Have you ever found a snake where you least expected it? What did you do?

Resources:

Allstate Animal Control - Snakes

Pennsylvania Wildlife - Why Do Snakes Come into Homes and Yards

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#1

Re: Snakes Inside

10/15/2012 6:42 AM

reptiles like warm places.

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#2

Re: Snakes Inside

10/15/2012 6:50 AM
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#10
In reply to #2

Re: Snakes Inside

10/16/2012 3:49 AM

Why is the PC box (or photo?) upside down??

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Snakes Inside

10/16/2012 5:04 AM

Probably because someone was carrying the computer when the snake popped its head out and they dropped the thing on the floor & it just happened to land that way.

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Snakes Inside

10/16/2012 6:58 AM

That's what I was thinking, too! Or maybe it was just being stored that way.

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Snakes Inside

10/16/2012 7:42 AM

Seemed odd way to store it...perhaps the owner doesn't have OCD....

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#16
In reply to #10

Re: Snakes Inside

10/16/2012 10:15 AM

How else would one get the snake out?

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#20
In reply to #16

Re: Snakes Inside

10/17/2012 3:48 AM

Turning it through 90° so the vents were on the bottom...

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#18
In reply to #10

Re: Snakes Inside

10/16/2012 12:16 PM

It's not. Lots of PC cases have the power supply in the top so the heat doesn't accumulate around the mother board.

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#21
In reply to #18

Re: Snakes Inside

10/17/2012 3:50 AM

Look at the label.

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: Snakes Inside

10/17/2012 3:55 AM

probably on my side of the globe, everything is upside down here

(truly? i think for dramatic purposes, it looks creepier, when the snake crawls out of the fan like this)

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#24
In reply to #22

Re: Snakes Inside

10/17/2012 8:06 AM

oh dear...I think only Slacky realised I was pulling its* leg...

Darn those throwaway remarks!

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#26
In reply to #24

Re: Snakes Inside

10/17/2012 8:46 PM

so next time use <throwaway remark> </throwaway remark> for better comprehension

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Snakes Inside

10/18/2012 11:34 AM

PMSL!

Duly noted!

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#3

Re: Snakes Inside

10/15/2012 10:35 AM

You need to attend Sweetwater Texas's annual rattle snake round up.

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#4

Re: Snakes Inside

10/15/2012 8:23 PM

What to Do

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#5

Re: Snakes Inside

10/15/2012 11:19 PM

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l7twhksgGs1qa0uujo1_500.gif

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#6

Re: Snakes Inside

10/15/2012 11:33 PM

Hey guys,

Last spring I found a snake in my bedroom.

I ran downstairs and picked up a pair of thick gloves

and a pair of big longnose snippers and I ran back

upstairs to the bedroom and I killed it.

But the strange thing was; that a few weeks before this incident

I actually had a dream of seing a snake in my computer room.

Well; after I had killed that beast I told my wife and she knew about my dream, because I had told her when I woke up in the morning after I had had that dream.

And she said: Remember the dream you had and I said; Yes I do.

Then I also went and searched my computer-room and guess what I found. ?

I found the skin or scale (or whatever it's called) between the cables

on the floor around the base of the computer.

Why do we get dreams like that. And who gives them to us ????

God or satan ?????????

Why do we get what's called "Garbage-Dreams"

TTYL

Jens

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#25
In reply to #6

Re: Snakes Inside

10/17/2012 6:11 PM

Maybe you get those dreams because you're a god gifted idiot who lives in an area where snakes are not venomous and pose no danger.

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#28
In reply to #6

Re: Snakes Inside

10/18/2012 3:56 PM

Must apologize for the 'anonymous' god gifted idiot remark. Had misread your posting to mean you had actually killed the snake.......not dreamt it.

sorry

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#7

Re: Snakes Inside

10/15/2012 11:35 PM

Snakes are sensitive to heat signatures too. Houses will have a lot of heating or heated stuffs in them that attract snakes that are looking for a warm place to snuggle up...

I used to have snakes problems outside my house too (luckily there were not in the house, I would have freaked out big time!). One of the effective ways that I found was having a few dogs (I had 5). The dogs will not attack nor gobble up the snakes, but having dogs running around in the garden will somehow make my garden less attractive to snakes, as snakes will normally prefer quieter and less distrubed places. When there is a snake, the dogs will also bark (they freaked out big time too!) to warn you.

Has anybody considered getting an Indian mongoose (or a few) as a pet? They will keep you safe, and you keep them happy!

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#9
In reply to #7

Re: Snakes Inside

10/16/2012 2:59 AM

"The dogs will not attack nor gobble up the snakes..."

I've got a Border Collie that would disagree: he attacked and killed several this past summer. Ate at least one of them, maybe others. Most of those that I know about were under landscaping plastic in the vegetable garden, and he went nosing underneath and dug them out. Luckily for him, there are no poisonous ones around here (SE Wisconsin USA). I'd rather have them around to keep the mouse population down, actually - but he also hunts mice & squirrels, the occasional possum, and...

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#13
In reply to #9

Re: Snakes Inside

10/16/2012 7:21 AM

My uncle had a pair of Rough Collies on the farm that would attack every snake the came upon. Even Copper Heads. There are many dogs that will attack and kill snakes.

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#8

Re: Snakes Inside

10/16/2012 1:40 AM

Everybody listen! We have to put a barrier between us and the snakes!

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#15

Re: Snakes Inside

10/16/2012 8:21 AM

There are renowned red garter snake dens not far from where I live. We went last spring and this is similar to what we saw...

There's a female somewhere in there. All that hissing and writhing was unnerving. Kind of stinky too.

When I lived in southern Alberta, I came across a rattler while biking in the river valley. I was so startled that I careened off the path and proceeded to perform the most epic wipeout my friends had ever seen. I didn't get bitten but my bike was a writeoff and there are places on my arms and legs where I don't tan. Stoopid snake.

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#17

Re: Snakes Inside

10/16/2012 10:19 AM

Not really. There's only one poisonous snake in the UK and they are not that common.

On one occasion a Grass Snake caused a bit of commotion in the garden. About 0.4m long, all it did on discovery was lick its lips and scurry away into the undergrowth never to be seen again. Bit of a shame really, as its visual qualities far outweighed its ability to do any damage to either persons or property.

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#23
In reply to #17

Re: Snakes Inside

10/17/2012 3:58 AM

I was bitten (well "gummed" since they don't have teeth or fangs) by a grass snake when I was six. It was not the snake's fault - after a day in an infant school class, it had to be mightily pi$$ed off, even if I was just rescuing it from another kid and returning it to the bucket of grass. The teachers & my Mum were more feaked than I was! It was very similar to being bitten by a tortoise.

For the record, one of the teachers found it in her garden and brought it in for the school secretary to release in the fields near her home...it just spent the day with us.

They are very pretty animals - and remarkable strong for their size.

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#19

Re: Snakes Inside

10/16/2012 12:33 PM

by a weird coincidence, I was cycling home for lunch today (Tuesday) and there was a snake on the path (it's a shared path) I stopped to photograph it but it was long gone by the time my phone was out. A brown one, I just looked on an image search and it's a grass snake I think. Remember this is the UK, most people I know have only seen a snake on TV or at the zoo.

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Anonymous Poster (1); Duckinthepond (1); durtieduck (1); English Rose (7); Epke (3); HUX (1); Jens (1); JRiversW (1); ozzb (2); PWSlack (3); Ron (1); SavvyExacta (1); scotchdrnkr (1); Sid_Sidow (1); Steve of the North (1); thepackrat (1); thong (1)

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