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How to Remove a Snake from Your House

Updated on July 10, 2014

There's a snake...(gulp) your house.

Snakes in a house. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence. A snake (or two) goes exploring for food and finds a crack or hole in your house. So it goes inside and then can't find it's way back out. And you end up with a new, unwanted house guest. The good news is that you can do something about it. Unless they're large snakes or venomous snakes, you really don't need to waste money on an exterminator.

Step 1: Don't freak out

Yes. This is an actual step. In fact, it's a very important step. If you can keep your cool, you might be able to identify the snake and remember where you saw it and which way it was headed. So, step 1 is Don't freak out.

Although if this happens, you can freak out!

A snake in MY house

I really need to follow my own advice because when I found a snake in my house, I screamed 3 times and ran so fast my feet didn't even hit the floor. And 4 days later when I found the other 5 snakes in my bedroom, I screamed another 3 times and ran even faster!

Step 2: Identify the Snake

Most people can't identify types of snake just from looking at it. However, you can identify whether or not it's poisonous just by looking at it. Here's how. Poisonous snakes have a triangle shaped head, while non-poisonous snakes have a more rounded head. So if your snake has a triangle shaped head, don't mess with it. Leave the room and call an exterminator. Also if the snake is large and you don't feel comfortable handling it, call an exterminator.

If you'd like to identify exactly what type of snake you have, try to remember any identifying features and google it.

These books could help identify the snake

A snake in MY house

Our snakes were small so I didn't mind taking a second look. I saw that they were black with a ring around the neck. When I googled "black snake with ring on neck", I found out they were probably ringneck snakes. A look at the pictures confirmed it.

Step 3: Catch it

So now that we've determined your snake is non-poisonous and small enough to handle, you can try to catch it. I would recommend boxing it in and being very quick. Make sure to have something handy to put it in, like a tall can or a plastic bag. Try to grab it with both hands, one towards the head and the other towards the tail. Once you have a firm hold on it, place it in your something handy and take it outside.

If you're too scared to touch it, put on a pair of gloves. I wouldn't recommend using thick gloves as this will hamper your ability to get a good hold of the snake.

A snake in MY house

When we found the snake nest in the bedroom, we cornered the snakes using suitcases and boxes. Then we put on gloves and picked up each snake and placed it in a small garbage can. Unfortunately, the can wasn't big enough. So they just slithered out and we had to catch them again. This time we placed them in a tall garbage can and they weren't able to escape. Then we placed the can outside while we decided what to do.

Step 4: Get rid of it

You actually have a couple options here. Your first option is to free the snake away from the house. For some snakes, this could be beneficial to you. For instance, a ringneck snake will eat the slugs in your garden. If you're uncomfortable freeing the snake anywhere near your house, you could always take it to a field or the woods and set it free there.

Another option is to kill the snake, either with a shovel or by shooting it. Unfortunately, this is the option most people choose. It's really not necessary. Most snakes enter a house by accident. They're just exploring and they get lost. The chances of the same snake re-entering your house are very slim. And like I stated before, some snakes are beneficial.

A snake in MY house

Once again, I need to follow my own advice. We ended up killing the snakes. It wasn't until later that I learned how beneficial these snakes would have been to our gardens.

Step 5: Snake proof your house

If you can, identify where the snake entered your house. Remember, they can enter through small cracks and holes. Patch up any potential entry spots. To help keep snakes away, spread some snake repellent. Some people recommend getting a pet to alert you of a snake, but I have a cat and 3 dogs and none of them said a thing about the snakes (you know what I mean).

Have you ever had to remove a snake from your home? Are you ready in case you do find a snake in your home?

All comments are moderated.

Photos and text; © 2010-2013 Catherine Taylor. All Rights Reserved

Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

How about you?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The best way I have found to locate and get rid of a snake is with a cat. If you don't have a cat, borrow one. This works inside your house and outside!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Yikes I have been seaching for a 4 foot black snake for a week in my house. Not going so well! I know it will not hurt me but this is not my type if pet! I have been cleaning with Pine Sol and after searching rooms putting a few moth balls out as I read they don't like the smell (I don't either!). I have a full basement which is where I think it is now but who knows. Think it is time for an early Scavenger Hunt Halloween Party. Find the prettty little black snake and you win plenty of haunting cocktails!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      We just caught 4 ringneck snakes, coming down our stairs. My husband and I were watching tv in the basement and heard a thumping noise. My amazon parrot was watching the snakes as they made their way down the stairs, no worries for her and no warning for us. All of a sudden my husband informs me there is a snake on the stairs, so we both walked over and not only was there one, but four. We caught them and put them in a bucket, my husband was so excited, neither of us are afraid of snakes, but they weren't invited in and I wanted them out. We talked about keeping them in our 55 gallon aquarium, but neither of us wanted to set it up. So we desided to let them go out back in the woods, before we did another thump and one more snake was found. Don't know how they got in and was surprised to see so many together, wondered if they might of recently hatched? The humidity level (even with the dehumidifier) has been perfect for hatching reptile eggs. But I would not have thought we would have had so many at one time. Looks like I will be spending the next few days looking for possible entries into our home. The only critters I want in my house are the ones I have invited in. My Chihuahua was interested in the bucket full of snakes, but was very upset. He as extremely excited when he saw my husband take the snakes back outside. Are we ready? I suppose we were, and after reading that ringnecks sometimes return to the same area to lay their eggs the next breeding season, I guess we will have to "SNAKE Proof" our home. What an exciting night.

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 

      6 years ago

      It happened twice with us. My young son was the first to spot both. Both were of big sizes and my son was very small and was playing near them. One was python and the other unidentified. Both the times we rang up a friend who came along with few friends and the snakes were chased away. There is a belief that snakes should not be killed.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Recently while visiting my sister, we were alarmed to find a snakeskin in her garage. Obviously from a large snake, we were worried about its current location. Never did find it.

    • jadehorseshoe profile image


      7 years ago

      VERY Useful Lens.

    • AnneVis profile image


      7 years ago

      Well, I must say even just reading your lens already gives me shivers! You are very brave! Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice tips. Very useful lens.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I like snakes, but they do freak me out when I first them slithering along. I had to remove one from the house once, I just picked it up after I got over the shock, and set it outside. It stayed on the sidewalk in the sun for the longest time getting warmed up.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm afraid I would have to leave it to the big boys to do exterminating. I once had a snake in my swimming pool...but the neighbor shot it.

    • raswook profile image

      Jeff Wendland 

      8 years ago from Kalamazoo, MI

      I just had to remove a big garter snake from my garage. He was in the process of eating a frog. We live right by some wetlands so we get lots of frogs and the snakes do follow.

    • Amarant LM profile image

      Amarant LM 

      8 years ago

      I found an iguana once in my house... much better than finding the snakes!

      Nice lens :)

    • LoKackl profile image


      8 years ago

      That picture of the baby teething on a huge snake defies my eyes! Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      no thank god!!! I am def not ready and had no clue this happens wow very enlightening lens!

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L B 

      8 years ago from Covington, LA

      After hurricane Katrina our house had some holes in the fascia and some mice got into the attic. Soon a nice big Rat Snake moved in and ate the mice. It left and we plugged up the holes.

      Lately, I found a new hole, more mice and a new smaller Rat Snake, which I scooped up and put outside. I think it ate most of the mice and I'm going to have to plug up that hole, too. That is the way it is when you coexist with and respect wild creatures.

    • Othercatt profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @resabi: lol. Frozen mouseburgers? Now that would be a lens worth writing. lol.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I feel a definite kinship here, since I went through a similar experience with squirrels (I've lensrolled you to my Squirrels in the Attic lens, which details my misadventures with "invaders"). Engagingly written and very informative. Excellent work. (I am glad we now know a non-lethal alternative for the snakes... We tried to have one as a pet once, but I couldn't handle feeding it live mice so we attempted little frozen mouseburgers. Apparently, snakes don't recognize it if it isn't moving...) Thumbs up.

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      A great read! I hope this will also be very useful to anyone who has a snake loose in the house. :)

    • SacredCynWear profile image


      8 years ago

      Another lens that was written very well. i feel bad for the snake, but I understand the panic and need to act quickly. A very interesting read, I hope that never occurs to me!


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