Having unwanted house guests in the form of mice or bugs is bad enough. However, some homeowners have found an even less welcome creature taking up residence in the exterior heat pump or air conditioning unit, and sometimes even in the walls of the house: a snake. Of course, as a homeowner, you want to make sure that snakes – even the harmless kinds – stay away from your home during the warm months of summer. We chatted with Oklahoma’s Skunk Whisperer, a certified wildlife rehabilitator serving Oklahoma City and Tulsa, to find out just how likely we are to find something slithering between our walls come summer.
What kinds of snakes are seen frequently in the Oklahoma area?
According to the Skunk Whisperer, the most common snakes found around homes in HVAC units or inside the walls in Oklahoma homes is a Black Rat Snake. “Another common snake to get into the house – specifically after a rain – is a Texas Brown Snake. Both snakes are relatively harmless and are typically there to regulate their body temperature and/or to [utilize] the water in the units/pans. And Texas Brown Snakes can [even] fit through brand new door seals.”
What is the best method for keeping snakes away from your home?
“The best method of keeping snakes out of the house is not giving them food or shelter. Food could be insects or rodents brought about by feeding the pets or birds outdoors, and shelter [includes spaces like] overgrown yards and flower beds.”
What should you do if you realize you have a snake inside your walls?
The Skunk Whisperer advises calling a Wildlife Management Professional. “They can not only snake-proof a house and A/C and heat pump and plenum – [they can also] remove the snakes and find ways to prevent future snake issues.” The kind of home you have also determines your likelihood of taking on an unwelcome house guest. “Most homes, especially brick homes and homes with attached garages, have countless entry points built into [them] which [the Wildlife Management Professionals] can alter to [deter] snake entry.”
How to prevent snakes from entering your home:
Of course, the easiest way to keep snakes from entering your home is keeping them away from your property altogether by following the advice given above in regards to keeping your yard well maintained. However, you can also take other steps to ensure snakes don’t make it into your home again:
- Look for gaps under your doors – and fix them. If you find gaps under your doors, add weather stripping to seal up the holes and potential entry points for snakes.
- Check your foundation for holes and cracks: Check your foundation well all around your home, and seal up any holes you find. Holes in the foundation can allow snakes or rodents (which are snake food) to enter your crawl space.
- Remove wood piles: Wood piles are a favorite hiding place for snakes and spiders. Store your wood somewhere away from your home or make sure it is stacked at least a foot off the ground.
- Use crushed rock instead of mulch: Mulch is another material that snakes love, so opt for crushed rock instead in your flower beds.
There are many pests that make homeowners’ lives miserable by becoming unwelcome house guests – but the snake might be the worst of them. But by following the tips above, you can keep these unwanted house guests from getting into your home – and giving you a nasty surprise!