How to Get a Snake Out Of Your Home Safely
Right out of the gate I will say that the safest way to get a snake out of your home is to call a professional. If you know nothing about snakes and you live in an area of the United States with venomous snakes, your odds of a bad experience goes up quickly. Bad snake bites usually happen when uninformed or misinformed people try to handle dangerous snakes. That said, there are some safe and effective ways of dealing with a snake in the house. Here are some tips:
Identify the snake
You don’t have to be a herpetologist to identify whether a snake is venomous or not. You do, however, need to do your homework. Know the snake species found in your area and look out for certain characteristics. Pit vipers are the most common venomous snakes in the U.S. and they are reasonably common. They include rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouth snakes. They are all different in size and features but they all share a few characteristics. Pit vipers all have a triangular shaped head. That is, the head is notably wider than the neck. They all have pits in between their snouts and their eyes. This allows the snake to hunt via heat sensors. Pit vipers also have vertical eyes (cat eyes) rather than rounded eyes. The truth is, many of these characteristics are pointless because you have to be too close to notice them for safety. Learn what the snakes in your area look like and you will be able to identify the snake.
Rule of thumb… never attempt to get a snake out of your home yourself unless you are 100 percent certain that it is nonvenomous.
Glove and boot up
Gloves and boots are very effective when dealing with any snake. Non-venomous snakes can still deliver a painful and nasty bite so you want to eliminate the obvious targets by putting on heavy gloves and boots. Also cover arms and legs whenever possible. Be sure to wash any bites you do get with soap and water to eliminate bacteria.
Of all the snake traps out there, glue boards are the most effective in my estimation. This is great for snakes that get out of your sight before removal. Place a board along the wall with several rodent glue traps attached to it. Make sure the board has an easy remove area that you can hook from a distance to pick it up safely. (A well placed hole works great) Put the board in a room where the snake was seen most recently. Eventually the snake will become trapped and you will be able to relocate the snake to a better place. Use vegetable oil to release the glue from the snake.
The broom method
Women everywhere have tried this one but it needs to be done calmly and logically. First, calm down. You are not going to get the snake out by being hysterical. Use the broom to “shoo” the snake out the door, window or whatever opening you might have. Close off all exits to the snake except the one you intend to get it out of. This method can take hours if you don’t know what you are doing but it will eventually work and it is relatively safe if you keep a broom’s distance away from the snake. Again, make sure the snake is identified before considering this at all.
Handling the snake
If you have a non-venomous snake and are certain of it, you can handle it carefully. Some snakes can be picked up and carried out and other larger, more aggressive species can be removed with a long stick or hook. Simply use the stick to distract the snake and pick up the snake’s tail. Leave the upper half of the snake on the ground and then use the stick to let the snake rest it’s upper body on it. This allows you to safely work the snake outside or into a pillowcase or snake bag. This should only be done if you are absolutely certain of the snake and know what you are doing.
Contact a pro!
By far this is the most logical and successful of the options. Simply pick up the phone and let them handle the problem.