Extraction of a Snake from an Attic

05.25.2005 - Snakes in the attic, snakes in the attic, all I keep hearing about is snakes in the attic. Some people are afraid of snakes, and when they hears noises, or even nothing at all, they sometimes worry that it's a snake, or a whole mess of 'em, slithering around doing their dirty snake business up in the attic, no doubt plotting a way down into the home to suck dry the innards of the sleeping innocent within.  Most of the time, these paranoid folk are wrong.  But not always.  Sometimes they are right.  Not about the sucking of innards, but about the snakes in the attic.  For you see, sometimes snakes DO live in attics.  I've seen it about five times now with me own eyes.  It's always been a rat snake, and four times, it was this very species, the Yellow Rat Snake, that I retrieved from the attic.  So first of all, please be aware that this snake is harmless, and it eats rats, which are often harmful.  Second, if you do in fact have a snake in the attic, it's almost certainly because you've got rats up there as well.  These snakes are excellent climbers.  If a rat can fit into a hole and get in your attic, this snake can smell that rat, and slither through the same hole, in an attempt to find and eat the rat.

In the case of the above photo, the homeowner actually told me that he heard what he thought was slithering up there.  I of course did not believe him, because who the hell can hear slithering, let alone in an attic?  Nevertheless, I went up to inspect the attic, as I always do, and I'll be a son-of-a-gun, there sat a large Yellow Rat Snake in the attic!  This snake is fairly docile and not all that fast, so I crept up upon it with a camera in my right hand (I like to take action shots, if you haven't noticed), and I grabbed it and photographed myself doing so.  I brought it out of the attic, down the pulldown ladder and into the garage, where the customer took the above photo of me.  I wear the gas mask to protect against inhaling insulation fibers, and the light on my head is so that I can have light, believe it or not.

How to remove a snake from an attic:  One method is to grab it and bag it, like I did above.  But that won't often work.  A much better option is to set a snake trap - but just be sure you check the trap every day!  You don't want to leave a trapped snake to suffer.  The best option, as always, is prevention.  Find all the holes leading into the house, and seal them shut.  This will not only keep out snakes, but rats, mice, squirrels, etc.  And as long as you're sealing the house, general rat control is also a good idea, since it was the rats that the snake sought in the first place.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Snakes page for tips and advice.
Get professional help: Visit my Nationwide Pro Directory of snake removal experts.

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