Many, if not most, people are not too fond of snakes. This is particularly true when said snake invades our space—yard, house, garage, etc. Some people’s automatic reaction is, “Kill it!” and if the snake is a venomous one, that’s probably the safest thing to do. But not all snakes are poisonous, and some are actually beneficial to have around, as they eat rattlesnakes, mice, and other destructive rodents. So how does a person go about persuading a migrant snake to find a home elsewhere? Here are a few suggestions on how to remove a snake in a manner that is safe for both human and snake.
The first thing that seems logical is to enlist the help of someone who is unafraid of snakes. A person who is afraid of snakes, or repulsed by them, may inadvertently injure the snake when trying to capture it. So if there is no one in your own household who feels comfortable capturing the snake, you may have to comb the neighborhood for such a person. If all else fails, you can call animal control, your local wildlife department, or some such agency that deals with wild critters on a regular basis.
Confirm It Is Not Venomous
It is vitally important that the first thing you do is to determine whether or not the snake is venomous. There is no need to risk a dangerous bite so always call a professional to deal with a venomous snake. When you have made that determination, then you can proceed with catching it. Let’s assume for this article that the snake is a non-venomous one.
Catching The Snake
The size of the snake may determine in part how to handle catching it. If it’s a small one and you can sneak up on it, just gently grab the snake right behind its head and pick it up. Use the other hand to hold onto part of the body. A larger snake may require a little more effort to subdue it. A pronged instrument, such as a rake, hand weeding tool, or a “grabber” (a device for picking up items from the floor or ground without having to bend over) will do the job and pin the snake’s head down. Be firm, but gentle.
Once you have captured the snake safely, just place it into some type of container—box, large jar, gunny sack—and secure the opening so the snake can’t escape. Don’t leave the snake in the container very long. Then take it away from your home to a rural area to release it.
Go back to the home page: Snakes of Scranton