Tag Archives: snakes

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.

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.