The No. 1 Mistake People Make When They See a Snake in Their Home


No matter how well you clean and maintain your home, there are some things that can still take you by surprise. Sometimes, it's a malfunctioning appliance. In others, it can be a sudden leak in the attic or a mysterious flood in the basement. But one of the most unsettling problems homeowners can deal with is a sudden infestation of animals from the outside world, such as rodents and even the occasional reptile. And while evicting the unwanted intruders can take some time, experts warn that there's one major mistake you should never make if you come across a snake in your home. Read on to see what you should avoid doing the next time something slithers its way indoors.

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Not all snakes on your property should be treated as a sign of danger.

Whether it's a bat in the attic or a scurrying rodent you notice late one night, there's a decent chance that every homeowner will eventually come face-to-face with an animal they would rather not have so close nearby. However, unlike certain pests, having snakes on your property can be quite a boon—especially in your yard and the outdoor space around your house.

"Although they can be icky and frightening, most snakes are actually very beneficial to your home's ecosystem," Donnie Shelton, owner of Triangle Lawn Care in Raleigh, North Carolina, tells Best Life. "If you notice a garter snake or a king snake, then these can actually be your garden's biggest ally! Garter snakes eat slugs which can damage your plants, and king snakes will eat rodents as well as kill more dangerous venomous snakes such as copperheads!"

But even if they're great for the garden overall, it's a little different when sharing your house's indoor areas with a snake.

Experts urge avoiding one major mistake whenever you come across a snake in your home.

There's no doubt about it: Seeing a snake creeping out from a cupboard or slithering by your shower calls for action. But if you ever do cross paths with one of the reptiles on your home turf, experts warn there's one major mistake you should never make.

"Once you find a snake in your home, make sure to stay calm," Eddie Connor, owner of Connor's Pest Pros, tells Best Life. "The biggest mistake someone can make is trying to act aggressive and on adrenaline, as this will usually spook the snake to not only try and hide but maybe even act in defense. Now you have an angry snake on your hands, and this will require more work than otherwise needed."

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You can badly injure yourself if you forget to do one thing during a snake encounter.

For many, it's easy to assume that most problems encountered during homeownership can be solved with some determination and a hands-on approach. Unfortunately, experts warn that removing a reptile from your home may be one of those instances when it's best to bring in the professionals.

"The number one way people get bit by a snake at home is by trying to catch or kill snakes themselves," Ray Mitchell of Mitchell Pest Services tells Best Life. "If you see a snake in your home, the best thing to do is to leave it alone and let it go back outside or call a pest control expert!"

There are a few ways to help ensure a snake never finds its way into your home.

Even though you shouldn't try to wrangle a reptile yourself, Connor suggests taking a picture of any snake in your home if you can do so safely so that a professional can tell which type it is and if it's venomous. He also suggests trying to open a door or a window to allow the snake a chance to leave on its own. But if you're looking to minimize your chances of something slithering its way into your house, experts suggest being proactive in a few areas.

"If a customer has pests such as bugs and rodents, this is a constant food source for snakes and draws them into the home," Dan Sherrin of Professional Exterminating tells Best Life. "Routine cleaning, decluttering, and pest control removes their food source and hiding spots, making it much less likely to find snakes in your home."

And sometimes, it's not even your house's interior that requires focus. "One of the best ways to keep snakes out of your home is to make your home and the perimeter around your home as unattractive to snakes as possible," Shelton says. "Snakes are looking for places to live unnoticed, so you should ensure a gap of two to three feet between your home's perimeter and bushes and shrubs. You should also ensure there aren't piles of leaves or sticks within that same distance."

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