From The Files of – You Thought You Had Problems? Vol. 31

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

From the Cleveland Park listserv:

“Can anyone help with a snake in my house?

Yes, I speak of the reptile variety. Our 110 year old house with lots of gaps in walls and floors and a now a poisonous snake added to the mix. Does anyone know of a professional to help in these matters? The snake is still a “baby” but is a pink spotted poisonous red snake. There are children, cat and dog in the house. Any advice would be much appreciated.”

47 Comment

  • there’s always every kid’s favorite stone cold snake killer :

  • Can we assume you’ve already called animal control?
    If not, why not? Call them today. Now.

    If so, what did they tell you that’s got you asking advice on a blog?

    • I am the OP who posted on the CP list serve. Yes, there is a snake loose in my house. Yes, I did call animal control. FYI, they only remove snakes that they can see, they don’t set traps. If I could see the snake, I am perfectly capable of doing what needs to be done.

      But there is more to the story: I am the landlord and rent out a room in my house. I THOUGHT to a responsible person. This person found a snake in the woods, brought it home and hid it from me , keeping it in his closet. To make a long story short it escaped and is now loose in my house. True it could just go live in the walls of my house, but since it is a row house, I don’t think that is very responsible of me. I also have a child and am worried that it could be poisonous as some times people dump exotic pets in the woods, which is where this bozo found it. Most of all I am PISSED that this jerk wont get off his ass and pay to have the thing removed as it is now officially a pest problem in my house. I have asked him to move out.

  • Are you sure it’s poisonous? From the description it sounds like a corn snake. My advice: buy a mongoose.

  • 1) Call an exterminator immediately.
    2) Once exterminated call a contractor to close all the gaps.

  • I think the snake you speak of is native only to Thailand… Are you sure it’s not a Corn snake or Rainbow snake (both non-posionous)? I’m pretty sure the only poisionus species native to this area are Copperheads and Timber Rattlesnakes. Copperheads have a “reddish” color to them, but the patter will remind you of a python.

  • The OP has to provide more info, especially the species of snake in question. The solution/options for getting a baby copperhead out of a house with older children would be quite different than getting a cobra out of a house with smaller children (toxicity issue). The possibility of capturing the snake is also going to depend on what it is eating….so again, the OP needs to provide more info.

    • The OP is freakin’ out, man… The good news is that most snakes you’ll run across along the East Coast are non-posionous. As a country boy who knows his snakes, I would rarely find posionous snakes hiking in the woods, which includes hiking a good portion of the AT (NC, TN, VA, MD, PA).

      • I’m guessing that this is an escaped pet snake, so who knows what species it could be……

        • I think that’s even less of a possibility… Who keeps exotic posionous snakes as pets? Clyde Peeling, that’s who.

          • people bring them over illegally and when they can’t deal with them, let them go in the street… my friend had his place renovated and when the contractors knocked out a wall, they found that a python had been living in the wall… the screams of grown men running up the stairs sounded so hilarious i wish i was there with a polaroid

      • And 30 years ago you wouldn’t expect to find snake head fish living destroying all the native fish in Maryland as snake heads ( pardon the pun) are not native to the US. Those days are over; anything can be shipped and is shipped every day. This snake was dumped in the woods by someone and this idiot brought it home from the woods, thinking “he was pretty sure” he knew what it was. He was alss “pretty sure” he had the right enclosure for it . What an imbecile.

  • If this message was posted to the CP listserv, did PoP simply post it for our amusement?

  • One good thing about your situation is that I bet you probably don’t have a mice problem!

  • Snakes in DC??? :Yikes! I thought the only dangerous ones we have inhabit a large domed structure on the Hill…

  • It looks like the only venomous snakes in Maryland are the northern copperhead and the timber rattlesnake. In Virginia, there are those two plus the eastern cottonmouth.

    Check out the following resources:

    “Snakes in the Basement? Don’t Panic” (from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources)

    “Snakes of Virginia” (from the Virginia Herpetological Society — shows photos of venomous and non-venomous snakes)

    “Venomous Snakes in Maryland” (from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources — includes drawings showing how to tell a venomous snake from a non-venomous snake — also includes info on what to do about unwanted snakes in the house)

    “Field Guide to Maryland’s Snakes” (from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources — has photos of venomous and non-venomous snakes)

    • Thanks. These are great resources. I wish that I could upload a photo here, but don’t see how to do that. If you google : pink spotted red snake….and click images, that is EXACTLY what it looks like. It also looks like an albino corn snake, but have seen one of those up close and they were solid in coor. This snake had dark pink spots and markings and bright red eyes, the belly was light light pink. Even if it is not venomous, I don’t want it living in my walls. It is a row house and both girl in basement and next door neighbor are due to have a baby soon. Forget the snake,can anyone help me evict a jerk? How could someone cause this problem and then not take the lead in getting rid of the snake. My housemate is doing nothing about the problem he has brought to the house.

      • Sorry for your troubles…I wouldn’t want a snake living in my walls either. However, a red snake and corn snake are the same snake, and not venomous. Doesn’t help you get rid of it or the tenant, but it would ease my worry for my child.

  • Get a honey badger?

  • Don’t call animal control – they’ll just kill the poor snake who’s probably just trying to get out of the cold and likely doesn’t pose a threat to you or our family (pets included). I would call – an amazing resource for pet owners and animal lovers in DC, and I’m sure they’ll have a good answer for the snake removal. My hope is that the snake is humanely trapped and released somewhere far away from homes and people so it can live a happy, healthy life.

    • boochow

      WARL does not deal with animal control issues in DC, they are only a shelter. Most wildife that DC animal control deals with, if it’s not injured, are returned to the wild if they are native.

  • I’m a vegetarian and an animal lover, but I’ve got a skin-crawling indescribable mega-fear of snakes. I’m in the KILL THE DAMN THING camp. KILL IT KILL IT KILL IT.

  • Unlikely that you have a SE Asian snake in your home, but if it IS a poisonous snake, it being a “baby” is irrelevant. Indeed, some venomous baby snakes (for example, the copperhead) release more venom in their bites than an adult, because they haven’t learned how to control the venom pouches. see #8 regarding snake myths at

  • tonyr

    Help – my house is on fire. What steps should I take to ameliorate the situation? Any advice would be much appreciated.

  • Feed it and when it gets big enough kill it and have it made into an awesome belt!

  • Hey all, state biologist here. The snake is probably not venomous. Pink spots suggest to me either a cornsnake or a mole kingsnake, as others have suggested. They don’t suggest copperhead, which is the only venomous snake native to DC and is usually darker/duller colored. If you can provide a photo, we can give a more definitive ID. The small size indicates that it is probably not a released exotic, although that is always possible.

    This time of year, snakes are looking for warm places to hibernate over the winter. This poor little guy is probably just looking for a place to sleep.

    As others have pointed out, snakes are very beneficial to humans because they eat an enormous quantity of mice and rats. I would suggest using a broom to sweep it into a bucket or trashcan and releasing it in a park. If you are too scared to do that, see if a friend or neighbor will do it for you. No need to pay someone to come kill it.

    Or, who knows, maybe you could get someone from the VA Herpetological Society to come out and ID or remove it for you.

    • Thank you Level Headed Adult for coming to offer sincere and relevant advice. We’ve missed and need more of your kind.


      The Internet

  • Adcocks Trapping removes all sorts of wildlife from where they don’t belong, puts them back where they do belong, and can fix your house so they don’t come back in. They successfully dealt with a birds in the attic issue at my prior house.

  • I”m so sick of these mother forking snakes in this mother forking house!”

    Someone had to do it.

  • austindc

    Unleash a larger, more venomous snake in your walls. The big snake will kill the small snake and wear its head as a trophy, as is their custom. Problem solved. Next question.

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