Category Archives: Snakes

Anything to do with snakes

Snake Infestation

I’ve lived in Park City, Utah for 3 years now, and I’ve never seen a snake infestation like this in my life. I live near some marsh lands and in the last few months I’ve seen a lot more rain than I’m used to. Because of that, snakes are being flooded from their nests in the ground right into my back yard. I’m no ninny, I can deal with your everyday garter snakes, but a four-foot copperhead is definitely out of my comfort zone. I knew when I moved here, especially so near a marsh as I am, that I would have to deal with the slithery serpents, but I never dreamed it would be to this extent.
It all started two months ago when I had a landscaper over to help me tidy-up the back lawn, he was the first to spot one of the brown, almost leopard spotted snakes making its way back home, right next to my front porch! I set out traps but I guess I was naïve to the size of the snakes I’m dealing with because several of the small one-way snake traps were left with no snakes inside. I took that to mean somehow the things were pulling a Sirius Black and escaping! I even laid a trap once and came back the next day to find it missing, a snake had dragged it off with him. It keeps getting more and more out of hand; in a crawlspace soon after, I found myself face-to-face with a HUGE, black (maybe brown) snake, now this thing could have easily been ten feet long. I’m not usually one to run away, but I crawled my butt out of there faster than you can say Bob’s your Uncle.
I’ve seen three in my garage, one right on my door step, another sprinting like Carl Lewis across my front lawn, one in my attic of all places, and no matter what I do they just keep coming! Not only am I seeing full grown (or at least I hope) snakes, but I saw babies back by a pine tree in my yard not three weeks ago. I stomped on as many as I could, trying to stop the spread of my already out of control snake problem, but I don’t know how much more I can take. Like I said before, I can handle garter snakes, probably one or two of the snakes I have now, but the amount I have living with me is unreal. It’s beyond a problem: it’s a snake infestation.

Snake in my Garage

I had never been as afraid in my life as I was the day I found the snake in my garage. You see things like that in Alfred Hitchcock movies, on Animal Planet even, but it’s not something you think you’ll ever encounter, but I did. Ever since I was a little kid I’ve been afraid of snakes, my friends used to tease me about it and even chase me around the playground with little garter snakes they caught on the baseball field. Big or small, I was terrified by them all. Snakes are nothing to be joked about in my opinion, they can inject you with venom or squeeze the air out of you, some could (theoretically) get big enough to swallow you whole, not necessarily digest you, but still; and yes, I know that you’re more likely to be struck by lightning than be killed by a snake, but my great-great-grandfather was struck by lightning, so I don’t take my chances.
The worst part of the experience was that the giant, legless, heart attack waiting, wasn’t in just any garage, but in MY garage. My man-cave, my only escape from my wife, the place where I can watch football and golf free from judgment. It was the place where I found out Carrie was pregnant with our first son, it was my sanctuary, and that little slippery beast ruined it for me! Now this wasn’t your run of the mill serpent, it was huge with beady, red eyes that could glimpse into your soul. He could smell my fear I’m telling you, but that’s not what this story’s about. It’s about how I encountered the blood-eyed demon.
This is what happened, I was enjoying a beautiful, crisp afternoon day, when my wife and I got into an argument about my lack of drive to get the dishes done. Of course she won so the dishes got finished and I went to sulk in the garage and enjoy my own company. Upon entering my beautiful solitary, I picked up on a wet smell and an odd sound I couldn’t name, but I could tell it was coming from above the door. I looked up to see if I had a leak in the roof only to find a GIANT 8-FOOT MONSTER LOOMING OVER ME. I hurled my cell phone at it and let out the loudest yell a man could muster, after that I booked it back into the house, and locked the door behind me, trapping it in what I used to call my temple. Now I can’t even go in there, yes we got it removed and the garage is supposed to be free from pests, but I can still smell it in there. All I can think to do about it is convince my wife that we should move far away from where I found the snake in my garage.

Snake in the Wall

My life became Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets last year when we found out our snake was in the wall. Benny is a Boa Constrictor that my daughter was given by a friend who was moving to Alaska and just didn’t have room for the massive 6-foot snake. We didn’t either but since Sasha loved him so much, we did anyway, without exactly understanding the caretaking it would require. Although we had been given the giant aquarium for the snake, he wasn’t done growing and sprouted two more feet in the next month or two making him too large for the cage, but we just couldn’t afford his new home just yet, BIG MISTAKE. With his strength and length, it didn’t take him long to figure out how to push the top off and sneak out from his home. Luckily we caught him and were able to more adequately secure him inside, or at least we thought.
While my husband and I were at work, and Sasha and her sister were at school, Benny the Boa had plenty of time to plot his escape. I’m still not sure how he did it, but he definitely did and by the time we got home, we were trying to solve the mystery of the vanishing snake. We looked everywhere, high and low inside cupboards and behind dressers. We searched here and there and everywhere but we could not find him! The Amber Alert went on in our house for about a month, but it seemed like he had slithered himself into the woods and out of our lives. I’ll admit I was a little relieved but Sash was heartbroken by his disappearance so we kept our hopes up and our eyes peeled, I mean how hard could it be to spot an 8-foot giant?
As it turns out, it was pretty hard. Benny had to find us. About two nights ago while Kaitlyn (my other daughter) was sleeping, she woke up to find that the sneaky snake had intertwined his scaly, slippery body with her legs and the bed posts and was trying to climb behind the bed. Fortunately she was too sleepy to be startled and instead just untangled him, carried him upstairs, and plopped him onto Sasha’s bed with a disgruntled “I found your snake”. He had been crawling around in the walls and the air vents, probably just feeling out his new jungle since we had never let him. Everyone’s glad to have him back, and I’ll admit that even I’m a little pleased with the return of our snake from the wall.

Snake Removal From the Wall

Chris and I went to a customer’s house above the Capital Building in Salt Lake City, Utah that we have been going to for years to help reduce their snake and vole problems.

We had been setting out new, fresh snake traps at least 2 or 3 times a week and all we would ever catch were voles. It was cool at first for me, but then I started to get bored with the voles and wanted to see some real action, but with snakes.

Chris usually checks the kill boxes for the voles and I usually check the snake traps to help time go by a little faster. As I was going around, I picked up one of the snake traps towards me by the garage to check it and immediately it flew out of my hands back into the same spot it was first left at.

I was so confused. Then I looked into the trap from a distance and noticed a snake half trapped in the trap, and half coming out of the garage wall. I wondered how I was going to remove the snake from the wall. I tried pulling it a little but the snake wouldn’t come loose from the wall. I also had to be careful because I couldn’t tell whether the head was stuck in the trap or if it was inside of the wall.

I called Chris over to help me. He got some long tongs, put his foot on the snake and grabbed the part of the snake that was in the wall with the tongs, and slowly but strongly tried pulling it out. This snake was very strong. We still could not get the snake removed from the wall.

Finally after 4 minutes, I think the snake was tired of being stretched out, so the rest of his body came out from the wall. Luckily, it was just its tail, and not the head. The snake removal from the wall was complete!

Bats and Snakes and Construction

Bat (1)snakesAs municipalities ramp up for spring and prepare for upcoming construction projects, leaders are discussing how bats and snakes may affect construction projects, including roads and bridges.  White nose syndrome has taken a massive toll on the bat population in America, particularly in the northeast, prompting U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to explore placing northern long-eared bats on the threatened or endangered species list.  Lawmakers in Michigan and other states are petitioning for more time for public comment before USFWS makes their decision, because they say construction jobs are at risk if these bats are designated as threatened or endangered.  Implementing further protection laws may place “undue economic burden on regions impacted by white nose syndrome,” by putting construction projects on hold or eliminating the projects altogether.

This week just north of Washington State, at Boundary Bay in Canada, construction workers repairing a dike unearthed over 500 garter snakes hibernating under the rocks.  Construction was halted as the harmless snakes were gathered up in bins and buckets and delivered to British Columbia shelter, and shelter employees treated those snakes who were unintentionally harmed during construction work.  These snakes are due to be returned to the site in the spring, after the construction is done, but it’s a stark reminder how construction work affects local populations of snakes and other wildlife.

Mining companies may have to abandon mines where bats hibernate.  Electrical providers, road construction crews and oil companies laying pipeline may have to conduct surveys and bat relocation efforts before cutting down trees in which the bats roost.  Construction of buildings and roads will be halted or put on hold when snakes are unearthed.  Road and bridge construction crews may need to carefully work around bat populations.

It is a difficult and delicate balance, between the needs of human populations and the needs of our local wildlife.  There is no question that jobs are at risk, and so is the habitat of these wild animals.  Taking it one step further, when construction projects unearth snakes or disturb delicate bat populations, these wild animals are forced to seek shelter elsewhere, and sometimes that is a home or warehouse or office building.  That is where Allstate Animal Control comes in.  The wildlife trappers and technicians who work with us are local to you.  That means they are most familiar with the wild animals in your neighborhood, the federal and local laws protecting those animals and dictating how they are to be handled, and they have the experience and skill to humanely remove bats, snakes and other wild animals out of walls, attics, chimneys, crawlspaces or wherever else the animals have gotten into.  It is up to our lawmakers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine how best to protect both construction needs and jobs as well as our wildlife.  It is up to Allstate Animal Control to remove wild animals out of your home or property and keep them in their natural habitat.  It’s better for your safety and health, and it’s better for the safety and health of these wild animals.

Snake Drops Through Light Fixture

snakeA Brisbane/Queensland homeowner walked into the bathroom, flipped on the light switch and saw a very large snake dangling from the light fixture on the ceiling.  This happened only weeks after another homeowner in Morayfield, North of Brisbane, discovered a large 12 foot-long snake resting on a bed in a spare room.  This doesn’t just happen in Australia!  Snakes in America are actually very good climbers, too, slithering up inside walls.  While having one drop out of a light fixture in the ceiling is rare, it does happen.  Finding a snake on an upstairs bathroom floor or bedroom is more common.  Snakes also tend to congregate in basements or inside walls during the cold winter months, alarming homeowners.  Whether you discover a snake hanging from a light fixture, a den of snakes in the basement, or a snake on the floor, garage or driveway, you are safest when you have Allstate Animal Control send a trusted local contractor to your home or business to get rid of the snakes.  Snake bites must always be taken extremely seriously, because most people aren’t aware if they have been bitten by a venomous snake or not.

Snake In School


Cherie hated the boredom and pettiness of junior high, she hated life at home as her parents prepared for a divorce, she hated the boys who made fun of her (it was junior high, after all), and she hated her brother for just being her brother.  She loved to do one thing, and one thing only, and that was to practice cello in the quiet little music rehearsal rooms at school.

Those music rooms were solace.  They were silent, no one else could hear her or judge her.  And, instead of worrying about how she looked or what she was doing, she could just lose herself in the deep soothing tones of the cello.

She was good, too.  She’d started learning how to play the cello when she was five, and worked hard at it.  By the time she was in fifth grade, she was entering competitions and doing well.  Cherie knew that some of the kids at school mocked her for being an orchestra geek, and one who played a huge stringed instrument that she lugged back and forth between home and school.  But, she couldn’t bear to even consider giving it up to avoid negative attention.  It was too wonderful, and some day, school would be behind her, the mean kids would have either gotten nicer with age or lived out their lives in pettiness, and she would always have the cello.

So, she played, and closed her eyes and enjoyed making such wonderful sounds.  As she finished the last piece of music, she opened her eyes.  In the middle of the music room, in front of her chair, a small snake lay stretched out.  There was a snake in the music room.

What was worse was the boy who was next in line to use the music room was peering in teh tiny rectangular hole, with his eyes as wide as they could go.  Cherie could tell he was terrified there was a snake in the music room.  Slowly, his eyes moved and met hers solemnly, wondering what he was going to do.

Slowly, she slipped out from behind the cello, and crept toward the snake.  She could tell it was just a harmless garden snake, they’d seen plenty of those at her grandparent’s farm, and she bent down and scooped it up.  She glanced back up at the boy in the window and couldn’t help but smile at his soundless cries.  The room was, after all, sound proof.  He ran off as she packed up her stuff one-handed, the other hand tightly gripping the squirming snake.  By the time she left the music room, a whole group of junior high boys were standing at the end of the hall, watching how she handled this snake in the music room.  She calmly walked past them and headed to the office, aware they were trailing after her, whispering.  She walked into the office, startling the secretary at the desk, let her know she’d found a snake in the music room, and went outside, dropping the snake in the bushes.  She turned around, cheeks burning, ready for the boys to mock her.  They stared at her, and then one of them whooped, punching his fist in the air.  They all cheered and clapped and called her name.  She wasn’t at all like the other girls, and they were impressed.

Snakes in the Basement






The smell of snakes in the basement just about knocked me over when we first walked downstairs.  I was hit by an overpowering stench of musk, dead things and snake feces.  The den of garter snakes grew over the winter, as snakes tended to congregate in the warmth of this particular basement.  I bravely went down the steps into the basement and took a few pictures to post online, and wondered how on earth I was going to adequately describe the sites and smells that accosted me in that basement.

As a recent college grad with a degree in Communications, I was grateful to get a part-time job at our local radio station reporting the news.  It wasn’t great, but it was a start, and I was willing to do whatever it took to make it into a full-time position that actually paid the bills.  As it was, I worked part-time for the station, and held down two other part-time jobs as a waitress and at an office supply store.  Student loans take a lot of work to pay off, especially in this economy.  Even though the radio job paid the least, I was determined to stick it out in the hopes I would actually use my degree for something good.

As the radio station had a serious lack of funds, most of my stories were generated and fact-checked via the telephone or internet within my tiny cubicle at the station.  One of my friends is a realtor who stumbled into what he thought was a good story, so he called me up, and I convinced my editor to let me go out to the site and get some good pictures as well as the story.  If I could generate more traffic to the station’s web site with graphic pictures, we might generate more revenue, and I’d be a step closer to a full-time gig.

My friend was stuck with the unenviable task of selling this home that had snakes in the basement.  As winter set in, the owners noticed more and more snakes in the house, and were horrified when they discovered an entire snake den in the basement.  It was supposedly mostly garter snakes, but there was a possibility of one or two additional species down there.  Not to mention the fact that garter snakes are one of the smelliest species, since they emit a musky odor and tend to have more watery and stinky feces.

The horrific pictures I took, as well as the graphic descriptions of the smell and sounds of a large den of snakes in the basement made for a wonderful on-line story, and my editor actually used it in the radio news broadcasts.  That was three years ago, and people still look up that story!  That was the beginning of many interesting news articles I wrote for the station, and thanks to those snakes in the basement, I have a full-time news job and was able to quit the restaurant and office supply store.  I’m even up for the editor’s position once he leaves.  It was worth it, even though I still have nightmares of that smelly, slithering, raspy mess.  Hopefully I never have to experience that again.

Get Rid of Snake

how to get rid of snakes

Halloween is my favorite time of year, and decorations are a major reason why I love this season so much, but I never imagined I’d have to get rid of a snake before I’d feel comfortable around my fun and gory decorations again.

Around mid-September, my kids and I are planning the holiday look for our home.  Will we do a cemetery theme?  Spiders?  Monsters?  Slasher movie motif?  Then, we get online and look up all the great and fun ideas on how to make things on our own, and we pull our tried and true standbys out of storage.  By October 1, we’re ready to strategically place the fun stuff around our yard and home.  We usually hold off on the really spooky decorations until the night before Halloween, just for an added treat for the neighborhood kids.

This year, the theme was “creepy crawlies.”  We have rubber rats, spiders and bats galore.  We strung spider webs all over the outside of the house, hung plastic bats from the trees, and strategically arranged all manner of insects and rats all over the house and yard.

As is our tradition, we had pumpkins by week 2 of October, and spent the weekend designing and carving our collection of jack o’ lanterns. Come Monday morning, we had eleven successful jack o’ lanterns grinning all over our front steps, and we were fully in the Halloween mood.

After the kids headed off to school, I ran to the store to grab votive candles for the latest additions to the yard.  I get a lot, because we like to light up our pumpkins each night leading up to the big event.  I came home, and set about placing the candles appropriately.

I gasped as I lifted the lid off of one of the jack o’ lanterns and automatically pulled my hand back.  Then, I laughed.  Someone had played a good joke on me, placing a snake inside the decoration.  Nice addition to our creepy crawly theme, I thought.

Then, that little decoration moved.  It was a real snake!  And, it wasn’t so little.  It uncoiled and I didn’t recognize it, so I had no idea if it was venomous or not.  But, I wasn’t sticking around to find out.  We had to get rid of the snake.  It was still tucked inside the jack o’ lantern, and I could see it moving around to get more comfortable through the jagged teeth of the pumpkin’s mouth.  My hand itched.  What if I’d just reached inside to place the candle without looking?

No, if I was ever going to feel comfortable around my own Halloween decorations again, we had to get rid of the snake.  I called Allstate Animal Control.  Their expert would know just how to get rid of the snake, and whether it was venomous or not.  And, I might just be able to go back enjoying the holiday.

Next year, however, someone else can put the votives in the pumpkins.  And, maybe we won’t have a “creepy crawly” theme ever again.

Snake in the House

how to get rid of snakes

Charlotte knew to expect new adventures when she married her husband, and moved out of the city, across a couple of states, and into the old farm house he had talked about for months, but a snake in the house wasn’t foremost in her expectations.  The decision to change her lifestyle hadn’t been as hard as she might have thought.  She was deeply in love with Michael, and he loved her just as deeply, and she viewed his more rural lifestyle as an exciting adventure.  She’d always loved getting out of the city, preferring hiking and camping trips to sitting on a chair in a beach resort somewhere.  So, this wasn’t a scary change for her.


Until the morning she saw the snake in the house, that is.


Although they lived on farm land, they weren’t farmers.  Michael had a law degree and had joined a small, local firm.  Charlotte had already decided to spend her days fixing up the house, starting a smallish garden from which she could sell a few vegetables at the farmers market, and working on a book that had been rattling around inside her head for a few years.  She didn’t miss her high-stress job in a big-city office one teeny, tiny bit.


Her husband had left for the office early that morning, and Charlotte padded into the kitchen to get a small breakfast before repainting the dining room.  The paint and supplies were already sitting in the empty room, waiting for her.  But, as she walked into the kitchen, she squinted at the odd shape sitting on the stove.  From her point of view, it looked as if her husband had left a scarf or something lying across a couple of the burners.  That was odd, since it was nice weather outside.  Then, the scarf moved.


Charlotte moved closer, still unsure as to what that was moving ever so slowly over the top of the range.  Finally, she realized, she had a snake in the house.  And, this sucker was big.  She couldn’t tell how long it was, exactly, but it was longer than her arm.


Charlotte could keep her cool under pressure, so she just left the room and called her husband, who assured her he didn’t think there were any poisonous snakes in the area, but she’d better call the police, just to make sure.  After nearly two hours, a lone policewoman knocked on the door, and said she understood there was a possible animal problem in the home.  She paled when Charlotte said they had a snake in the house, and outright walked out of the room once she laid eyes on the thing.


After getting no help from the police, Charlotte got the number for Allstate Animal Control.  The animal control expert got the snake out of the house and Charlotte got back to her day.  But, she admits that, to this day, the stove is the first thing she inspects whenever she walks into the kitchen.