We’re in the midst of snake hibernation season here in North Carolina, which is great. One less thing to worry about. While I hate finding bugs in the house, at least I have the confidence to take care of them myself. That’s not the case with snakes.
Last summer I was walking through a hallway in the house when I noticed one of my young kids spraying a garden hose into the house through a window. I shouted for him to stop and he told me that he was, “Just trying to spray the snake.”
I walked outside to see what was going on and my four-year-old explained the situation to me. They’d been playing in the driveway and he had to pee, so he walked over to pee on the side of our house (his story checked out so far). Before he started peeing, a snake poked its head out of the siding and my son decided to find somewhere else to go to the bathroom (my wife and I would prefer a toilet inside). The spot where they’d claimed to see the snake had a ball next to it that they said they kicked toward the snake.
“Are you sure you saw a snake,” I asked. “What color was it? How would it get up in the siding of the house? Was it maybe that black garden hose that’s in the corner?” I asked them several skeptical questions.
“There it is,” my seven-year-old pointed over my shoulder. When I turned around I saw about four feet of snake hanging out of the side of my house. As I stood there it slithered back up into the siding.
Okay, so they did see a snake.
I walked into the house and breathed a sigh of relief as I didn’t see it in my living room. I opened my computer and Googled something like “snake removal” and found a guy with a list of five-star reviews. He answered after a couple of rings, and we had a friendly chat. I asked about snakes, and he told me about mice. I suspected he’d been at a barbecue for most of the day that Sunday. And my suspicion was correct: he could come out Monday afternoon at the earliest.
Next, I called the friendly construction manager who helped build our home and has had to endure with his incredible patience all kinds of oddball questions, and he assured me that the snake “probably” wouldn’t get into the house even though it was in the siding.
The night passed with us in our beds, the snake in the siding and all of us hoping it would stay that way. My middle-of-the-night wake-up to get water would have been a lot less exciting if I hadn’t seen a black sock on the floor.
In the morning, the snake was still hanging out of the siding and the kids were back playing in the driveway. I called the snake removal guy back and he wasn’t sure what I was talking about at first, but once we sorted out that I didn’t have a bat problem, he agreed to come out before lunch.
So we waited in the driveway, the snake watching us and us watching the snake. About five minutes before the snake guy arrived, the snake climbed all the way up into the siding of the house so we couldn’t see it anymore.
When the snake guy arrived, we told him the snake had just gone back up in the siding. So he walked over, laid on the ground, and jammed his arm up into the siding. I got my phone out to take a video, but he couldn’t feel any snakes. So we walked through the house with him occasionally shining a flashlight around but not finding anything. When he looked in my tiny workshop in our basement he nodded his head and said, “Oh yeah, if you ever get a snake in the house, it’ll definitely be in this room.” Great.
Just then my kid shouted down the stairs that the snake was back, so we ran upstairs and the snake guy reached into the siding and pulled out about a six-foot-long black snake and barehanded it into a Lowes bucket. Then he showed my kids the other critters in the back of his truck: a baby hedgehog and a family of baby squirrels. He said he’d drop them all off down the road, and asked if we had any neighbors we didn’t like. Fortunately we’re good friends with all of our neighbors, so I requested that he wait until the far, far end of the road to let them all go.