They always say look before you leap, but what about before you go to the bathroom? Homeowners, you might want to put snake inspections at the top of your yearly maintenance checklist.
You thought “Snakes on a Plane” was bad? (It was.) Wait until you encounter snakes in the drain or, worse, the commode. Last week, a family in Jones County in West Texas spotted a deadly rattlesnake emerging from one of their home’s toilets, according to the Dallas News. The father, Jason McFadden, called Big Country Snake Removal located in nearby Buffalo Gap, TX.
The Washington Post reported that by the time the inspector, Nathan Hawkins, arrived on the scene, the toilet snake had already been terminated with extreme prejudice (via a garden hoe, shovel, and branch cutters) by Mrs. McFadden, clearly a take-no-prisoner Texan. After giving the home a once-over, Hawkins determined the snake had made its way into the toilet by slithering through an opening in a pressure relief pipe and wriggling up toward the light. He documented the unwelcome reptile on the Big Country Snake Removal Facebook page.
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This rattler was the first snake the family encountered on their property, but Hawkins’ inspection revealed that it wasn’t a freak occurrence. What they had on their hands was a snake problem. A terrifying snake problem.
“When I arrived, I immediately noticed a few problematic areas,” Hawkins says on Facebook. “Intuition took me directly to a storm cellar where I safely removed 13 adult rattlesnakes. After a thorough perimeter check, I crawled underneath the house where I removed another 10 … 24 snakes total and the family had no idea.”
It seems that snake infestations are difficult to detect and can be a much bigger issue than homeowners would anticipate.
“Rattlesnakes are secretive and can be very cryptic,” says Hawkins.
Thankfully, no one in the McFadden family was bitten. But snakebites are a growing concern in part of the U.S. A recent study found that an average of 1,300 U.S. children suffer snakebites each year, with one-quarter of all cases in Texas and Florida. Other states with high incidents include West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.
At least one state is addressing the reptilian rush head-on. A bill passed in the Arizona House of Representatives this week makes it legal for homeowners to use small-caliber firearms to kill snakes or rats that enter their property. It’s a big leap forward for snake-hating supporters of the Second Amendment!
According to an NBC affiliate, House Bill 2022 makes it legal to shoot the vermin with a special type of bullet known as a bird- or rat-shot cartridge.
Just in case you didn’t already have enough to worry about when buying a new home, you can now add snake infestations to the list.
Like lead paint or termite damage, such creepy-crawly problems need to be disclosed to home buyers. If a Realtor® fails to do so, the consequences can be expensive on all sides.
A couple in Annapolis, MD, gained national attention in 2015 when they filed a $2 million lawsuit against their agent, claiming she knowingly sold them a house laden with snakes. Annapolis Patch reported the couple spent about $61,000 to unsuccessfully rid the house of numerous rat snakes (a combination that seems to have it all). Shortly after the pair moved in, snakes up to 7 feet long began emerging from the walls. The house was ultimately deemed uninhabitable, and the family moved out.
So if you hear a slithering noise you don’t quite recognize when all is quiet, don’t overlook it as merely a house sound. For your sanity, have it checked out by a pro.
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