Monday, December 30, 2013

OMG ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME


AVERT YOUR EYES IF CREEPY CRAWLIES FREAK YOU OUT!

OK, here is the latest drama at the farm that I thought I'd share on this lovely Monday morning.  So this weekend we're at the farm, and since we hadn't been out for a bit, I thought I should check the area around the water heater just to make sure it's alright and nothing is leaking.  I pulled back the curtain on the water heater closet and had my flashlight looking around at pipes and then I glanced down and saw this...

Snake skin!
My apologies for the blurry photo, I didn't want to think about hanging around too long to take the picture, because I'm assuming the snake that this skin belonged to could still be inside somewhere.  We were all over the house doing cleaning, looking in drawers and moving stuff in cabinets and closets and didn't see anything.

Now the bathroom doors stay closed shut when we're not there so if it is still there, it's probably back underneath the tub. 2nd Man said NO WAY he is going to use that bathroom at night until we take care of this.  In fact, he's not even comfortable spending the night out there at this point.  No one wants to get up in the dark of night and worry about stepping on a snake!

Of course, he wants ME to get under the house and look for any openings and seal them up.  OK, say I find an opening or two and close them up, do we end up trapping said snake inside the house? 

So my question, does anyone know of something that deters snakes?  Something they don't like that we can put in that area or toss into that water heater closet?  Heck, maybe they make a good snake repellent?

YIKES!!

The mice I can handle.  The thought of a snake slithering around the house at night?  Um, not only no but HELL NO...LOL!



52 comments:

Heila said...

Isn't it too cold now there by you guys for snakes to be active? It's probably hibernating somewhere.

dindin said...

snakes eat mice

Tombstone Livestock said...

That would freak me out too ..... Walmart sells a snake repellent powder in a gallon jug, Not sure it is worth the money let alone verify that it works, but I bought 4 of them and put around the foundation of the house when I found a rattlesnake under my window. Probably not stocking right now this time of year, look for it when they start stocking garden stuff and fertilzers. How long has it been since you looked by the water heater? Snakes should be hibernating now. Good luck, I wouldn't sleep there either, I don't like snakes or lizards or mice .............................

Tombstone Livestock said...

P.S. since you don't have a dog ... does second family have a dog you could bring in see if it can pick up a scent or trail?

The Tightwads said...

Mothballs!

Jane and Chris said...

It should be fast asleep by now. We've had a few snakes in the house..I got rid of one by putting the vacuum cleaner on ..it hated the noise.
Jane x

Joani said...

Yikes. I'd move! I don't like snakes period! In my opinion, the only good kind of snake is a dead one. I don't even like talking about them. The only thing I've ever heard anyone say about keeping them away is having cats. And, they should be hibernating this time of year but watch out when the heat comes on. Yikes is all I can say!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

feets don't fail me know!!! i would be so gone!

LindaP said...

I will take snakes over any rodent every time. Can't tell from the skin what kind it was but I'm figuring he's long gone. And dindin is right, they eat mice. So between Blue and the snake I think you guys got the mouse thing covered, LOL! Don't worry too much. The cold makes snakes slow so you will have plenty of time to get out of it's way if you come across it.

FionaG said...

I agree with getting the dog, it might be able to smell it's location if it's still in the house. I have heard that snakes like milk and if you dissolve an aspirin in it, it will kill the snake. Don't know if this really works or is an urban myth. Have neighbours that swear by it. We can buy a solar powered device you push into the ground that sends out vibrations, again have only heard they work, haven't experienced them myself. Good luck, the thought that it might be in the house, asleep or not, would do my head in.

DFW said...

Ewwww, I don't like snakes either but have come to accept them around both our City House (very woodsy) & the Country House (very fieldy - no trees). Have only seen evidence of them in the garden, driveway borders & near brush piles though. Black snakes & King snakes help keep the poisonous ones away.

Texan said...

I am with DFW, that was my thought too ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww! I can't even think or speak when I encounter one...whew... I don't know of a repellent for snakes but I am with you see if you can find one! OH but I do know how you can catch one.... now, now hear me out... it can't get back out of the trap... we saw it on pinterest There are some creepy pictures on this site so heads up on that... copperheads this guy caught in these traps made from Minnow baskets you can buy at Walmart etc. http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/515899/best-way-ive-found-yet-to-deal-with-snake-problems ... Honeyman bought some minnow baskets to make two of these for us. We have chicken snakes and copperheads here. You could put this trap inside your bathroom if the snake is in there the egg would be easy food I would think? Its all I can think of at the moment... oh you could put a white golf ball in with the egg in the basket. If the snake swallows the golf ball it will die so I have been told, as they cannot digest the golfball. Some people put them in their chicken boxes. Seems kinda mean I guess doesn't it... Probably not a fast death. I would put the basket trap where I could put something under it so if the snake gets in it and dies etc. and you are not there for several days... anything that decomposed would fall on say a piece of heavy plastic etc... Since you guys aren't there every day... Good Luck!

Ellen in Oregon said...

My cats once found a garden snake with all her babies behind the dryer. I thought they were crazy wanting to sniff & paw around the dyer for a couple of weeks, until one of them walked though the living room wacking a little snaky with their paw. Even the cats found the snakes icky & really didn't know what to do with them. Apparently, if there are in the house they seek warm places behind appliances. Yuck! Your snake has probably been gone for a long time, possibly years. Proceed without fear, exercise caution.

Sherry Miller said...

It might be long gone, it does eat mice, but if it's found a warm place to stay, why would it be sleeping? I seen on a show that if you lightly sprinkle powder around they will go through it and you would be able to follow it,? just a thought, either way good luck.

Sandy said...

1st Man,

My dear friend, that looks like the skin of a rattle snake. You need to be extremely careful when moving around in the house. If he/she shed their skin inside your home, it's made it's self comfortable inside. This snake is in some place warm in your home. My advice be careful until you find it or until winter is over. We had one in my folks garage, they like to come inside when it's cold or extremely hot outside.

texomamorganlady said...

The thing that will deter snakes is lack of food, ahem, lack of mice. The light dusting of powder or flour in the area can tell you if it's still active, though likely it is nowhere near at this point. Start learning about the reptiles in your area so you may easily identify them and know which ones to truly fear. Just part of living in the country. We have a ton of snakes in this area, they just want a meal and to stay out of the way, except for the rattlers we just let them be (except for the huge gopher snake near my chickens, we picked that one up and moved him to the hay barn-you will be put to work here, even if you are a snake!)

Casa Mariposa said...

Ick!! I'd call someone with experience in snake wrangling and leave it to them!

Tammy said...

Get rid of the mice and you'll get rid of the snakes. Looks like a rattler to me; you'll hear it if it's still there, which I doubt, but if you still have a mouse problem, it may well be. You have got a hole (s) somewhere that is allowing these critters in, and that does need to be fixed. I'd think about hiring an exterminator specializing in rodents to see if they can find the entry point(s)

Good luck! And even though they really are creepy, the snakes are probably far more afraid of you than you are of them!

1st Man said...

It is cold and I haven't looked in the water heater closet for about a month. A month ago it was very warm so who knows. I hope it's hibernating outside somewhere, ha.

1st Man said...

I reminded 2nd Man of that but it didn't help, LOL.

1st Man said...

Hmm, I might have to check that out. Heck, I don't mind putting it around the outside.

1st Man said...

Blue is the only one that might work, but of course he's a whirling dervish of destruction with his happy tail, ha. I'd have to take all the breakables off the furniture, haha.

1st Man said...

Really? Hmm, not sure how fond I am of the smell but I'd toss a few back there if it might work.

1st Man said...

Good reason to vacuum. Hmm, I think I'll let 2nd Man do that. LOL! Yeah I figured it might be hibernating by now.

1st Man said...

Ha, don't tell me that! We've come too far, haha. You know, we were joking about how we'd turn on the heaters and wake up in the night and the snakes would all be curled up around the heater. Shiver!!!!

1st Man said...

LOL! That literally made me laugh out loud. :-)

1st Man said...

Yikes, not a big snake fan but I think I'd be better with the mice. Or better yet, why can't the outside creatures just stay outside and let us live inside. I don't mind being outside and stumbling across something, I figure I'm in their space, why can't they just leave us in our space? Ha.

1st Man said...

I kind of thought 2nd Man was joking but he said today, no, I am not sleeping there until we know the snake is not there. Great, how am I going to find that out, ha.

1st Man said...

Yep, I'm like you...I understand outside, and if I run across one, though I might be startled, I'm ok with it. But yikes, inside, stay out! ;-)

1st Man said...

Creepy pics but great idea. Thanks for that. You know the golf ball does sound kind of cruel but if I did put an egg in there, and the snake ate it, I don't think it would die in a week? We are out there for sure once a week and of course if I knew I had a snake trap, I might make a special trip in the middle of the week to check on things. Thanks, might go this route. I'll let everyone know here! :-)

Thanks for the info!!!

1st Man said...

A snake AND all her babies? SHIVERS!!!!!!

But good kitty!!!

Definitely not years, I checked the the water heater maybe in September or so. But I do hope it's long gone.

Proceed with fear.......check!
Exercise caution.....check!

1st Man said...

Oooh, that's smart! Thanks!!

1st Man said...

Oh lovely Sandy, are you trying to give us nightmares? HA! Actually, 2nd Family's "R" said he thinks it's a rat snake. We have quite a few of them in the area. I googled it and the snakes do look similar. But they are similar enough that I will be very careful. funny thing, without heat out there, there aren't many warm places but the water heater probably is the best place. I will be careful. Thanks!!!

1st Man said...

You know that's a good idea. I need a snake chart of Texas. I love how you think though, put those snakes to work, ha. I remind myself it's part of having a place in the country. Thanks!! I'll keep you posted.

1st Man said...

I'll see what I can do but if necessary, I've actually got the number of a snake wrangler, ha.

1st Man said...

We did have a couple more mice in traps this weekend. Maybe the snake is ticked they are getting stopped by the traps, ha. Your are right, we must have a hole or two somewhere. I'm going to work on that. Thanks!!!

Sandy said...

P.S.

1st Man,

Hire a handy man to come out and crawl under the house to plug up any holes or access into the house. This way you don't have to crawl under the house.
My husband and I have not gone under this house were renting. I can only imagine what's under there. I'll leave it for the landlord. Knock on wood, we haven't had anything to worry about. Nothing has come in the house.

Galestorm said...

I agree with a few others, it looks like a rattlesnake skin to me!! I have used mothballs, sulfur, and a product called Snake Away which is expensive and the ingredients look pretty much like sulfur and crushed mothballs. Smells like it too. A garden center employee told me to put sulfur out real thick so I did last year and killed a lot of my centipede grass around the foundation. This past summer I put the Snake Away around the house, patio, and porch. I had a lot of repair work going on this past summer due to water leak damage so there was a lot of activity in, around and under the house and I didn't see as many this past summer. Chicken snakes like to hang around on my porch and black racers like to get in every flower pot on my patio. Fortunately, they are not poisonous, but they do give me the willies. I have seen two poisonous snakes, one rattlesnake and one water moccasin, since I have lived here. I am sure they are around, I just haven't seen them!

The snake is probably long gone, but you need to plug up all the holes around all your water lines and plumbing and any other opening under your house and around foundation. If a mouse can get in, a snake can get in too. The spray foam insulation works good. At least it's cold now and you shouldn't run into one unless it is a warm sunny day. I have found them in my yard in the middle of winter when we have a warm day. They are sluggish and don't move and pretty much look dead when they are sunning. In the summer months I am always tip toeing when I am in the yard and hire someone to cut the grass. I do all my yard work in the winter when there is frost on the ground!!
Good Luck!!!

1st Man said...

Good idea, cause the thought of me crawling underneath kind of freaks me out, ha. I'll see what I can come up with. And I will KNOCK ON WOOD with you! ha.

Practical Parsimony said...

Mothballs are toxic to humans. Don't do it.

Cr said...

Fortunately, the snake will likely solve your mouse problem for you. Once the mice are gone, the snake will be too. So unless it is, as others have suggested, actually a rattlesnake, I'd leave it to do its business. If it's a rattler, all bets are off and it would have to go!

Moonwaves said...

Creepie crawlies? Snakes are just so far past creepy crawlies I don't even know what to think. Have absolutely no advice to offer (but it looks like lots of people got here before me to do that) - there aren't any snakes in Ireland (they all got banished by St. Patrick dontcha know).

Valerie said...

Er, mongoose? Seriously, though, like most wild things, snakes don't want to be around humans anymore than you want to be around them. Beneficial predators, they'll keep the mice population down. But, yeah, the price of admission for living in the country . . .

Kelly said...

I'm with you!! Hate snakes with a passion. Rest assured, I'm not visiting until you get the snake situation taken care of. And yes, there could be a trip in the future. One of my besties from high school is living in Katy and we're talking about the rest of our crew (3 total) taking a road trip down to the Lone Star state.

Jeanette Schattenmann said...

Snakes like the warm places and that is probably why this snake is there. Mice are a snake's favorite food so if you have any inside the house, this probably pulls the snake in. Try and make this particular room cold. It will bring the snake out and might get away from the way it got in. I also think you should get the skin to an herpetologist so you know with what kind of snake you have to do. If it is poisonous get a snake deterrent guy or something like that. If it is not just do the cold room thingy and see if you will see any more skins. When you see a snake skin it means that the snake is growing so its better if you act fast. You can also ask the 2nd family on their opinion of what you should do. They MUST be specialized in snake situations.

1st Man said...

I will definitely take all this advice. I might look for snake away. I'm sure that the same holes mice are finding their way in means there could be snakes in the same. I did use some spray foam insulation on all the gaps I could find inside the house, but obviously I missed a few. I'll check again soon. Thank you for the great post!!!

1st Man said...

Hmm, good point. We did find 2 more mice (dead in traps of course) this last weekend. So either the snake is full, or he did move on. I sure hope it's not a rattler. I really don't think it is, the rat snake looks so much like one it could be that. I'm going to be very careful though. Thank you!!!

1st Man said...

LOL! I hear ya. Lucky Ireland! :-)

1st Man said...

LOL! Can you rent a mongoose? LOL! Yeah, I hear ya though...I know it's all part of the price we pay for the country experience. But can't they just stay outside? Ha.

1st Man said...

Ha, I will keep you posted. I guess they don't have many snakes that far North do they? ha.

1st Man said...

Oooh, good idea about the snake skin. I have these grabber things that are made for when you don't want to bend over to pick up something and hurt your back (it was my Mom's) and so I could use that so my hand doesn't have to reach down there, ha. I could leave a window open (it has a screen) to make it cold.

Funny you mentioned 2nd Family, I asked them, showed them the picture and they've never had a snake inside the house! Lived there for years. Sigh. Of course, they do have an inside cat. This may just be something we fight until such time that we have our own indoor predators, ha.

Thanks for the info!!!!

laura@imnotatrophywife.com said...

This is my worst nightmare! I would have to move back to the city in this scenario. I have two large dogs (An Australian Shepherd and a Bernese Mountain Dog rescue). I have convinced myself that their vibrations from running around the yard keep the snakes away! Ha! Seriously, I would have to move! Maybe a big dog? I love your blog and am now following you via bloglovin! p.S. thanks for the "spoiler alert" with the post. I couldn't even look at the pic! You are not alone! laura