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Snakes in the Basement? Don't Panic


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#1 NOTAGUNNUT

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 10:55 AM

From the Maryland DNR website;

When autumn arrives, snakes start showing up in basements and other places where they may not be wanted, looking for places to hibernate. Snakes normally hibernate in crevices under rocks, trees, stream banks and occasionally in buildings. Sometimes when they crawl into basements and ground floors of buildings they can't find their way out.

"When situations like this occur, we want people to remember that snakes can be removed from a building safely without killing them," explains Glenn Therres of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife and Heritage Service. "Believe it or not, snakes are just as afraid of people, as some people are afraid of them. The person who unexpectedly finds a snake in a basement or building need not panic."

Most snakes in Maryland are non-venomous and can be removed simply and easily, without harming the snake or person. Several methods can be used. One is to sweep the snake into a bucket or empty garbage can. Another method is to pick the snake up with a rake or broom handle and place it in a bucket or empty trash can. Then take it outside and let it go at a reasonable distance from the building, releasing it into a forest or field. There is no need to kill the snake. In fact, it is against state law to intentionally kill native wildlife without a permit.

Snakes are an integral part of the environment. As predators, they feed on mice, rats, insects and other pest species. They are also prey for hawks, herons, raccoons, and other predators. Snakes are an important part of the food chain.
Snake identification can be difficult, so one should use caution when removing the snake. Unless the person is familiar with handling snakes, it is best to pick it up with something other than one's hands. To the inexperienced observer, all snakes appear to have heads distinctly wider than their bodies (which is how venomous snakes are often described) and therefore might be incorrectly thought to be venomous.

The snakes most commonly found in basements in Maryland are black rat snakes, ring-necked snakes and garter snakes. Adult black rat snakes are black on top with white bellies, and can be as long as four or five feet in length. Young black rat snakes are usually less than 12 inches in length, have a gray or tan back with black or dark brown spots distributed randomly from its neck to tail. When startled, black rat snakes will rattle their tail, mimicking rattlesnakes. Though black rat snakes can bite, they are non-venomous.

Ring-necked snakes are small (usually less than 12 inches in length), with dark brown or black backs and a cream-colored ring around its neck. Its belly is pink or orange in color. Garter snakes have brown to greenish colored backs, with three tan stripes running from the head to tail. Some garter snakes have small dark spots instead of stripes. A few other species have been found in buildings in Maryland.

There are only two species of venomous snakes native to Maryland. Copperheads are found statewide. They have cream, beige or orange colored backs, with dark brown hour-glass shaped bands going from side to side. Young copperheads have a yellow tipped tail. Timber rattlesnakes are the other venomous species in Maryland. They are only found in the mountains.
There are two color phases of timber rattlesnakes. Yellow backs with dark brown or black spots are the more common variety. Dark brown or black is the other color. Both have distinct rattles on their tails. The chances of finding either species in a basement or building are slim, though if the building is in wooded areas, especially in the mountains, it is possible. Toll-free in Maryland: 1-877-620-8DNR, ext. 8540</B>



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#2 Ravenchamp

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 11:42 AM

what?????????????????????

guess I better get some small bird shot ready.
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#3 George-WNEC

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 11:51 AM

Panic? Me? Nope, have torch, will burn... Only good snake is a dead snake...when it's in my house that is....:D
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#4 Ravenchamp

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 11:54 AM

Panic? Me? Nope, have torch, will burn... Only good snake is a dead snake...when it's in my house that is....:D


with ya 1000%
Remember the average response time to a 911 call is over 4 minutes.
The average response time of a .357 magnum is 1400 Feet Per Second

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#5 NOTAGUNNUT

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 12:29 PM

I used to play with snakes as a kid.:D

You city boys are wusses.:P

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dude: Whats a Democrat?


#6 Dryfire

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 12:39 PM

I used to play with snakes as a kid.:D

You city boys are wusses.:P


I guess I never grew up. I still like snakes @ 53. A few weeks ago the youngest and I were cleaning up an old torn down shed when she made the remark that she smelled a cucumber. I told to stand up and step backwards. 10 minutes later I found the source and captured it. Released it back into the wild in the State Park near the house.
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#7 Snoopy71

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 08:45 PM

Only good snake is a dead snake.:D


That's always been my philosophy.

I am frickin petrified of snakes .... if I found one in the basement, I would have to go get my wife to get it ... she wants to get one as a pet, but I told her no ... but right now, I don't think it would go over to well with her... "honey get you get your 35-week-preggo-with-twins bunghole downstairs and get the snake" :D

I don't get it ... she wants a snake, but climbs on top of the furniture and screams for me when she sees a spider!!!

#8 TheIcon

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 06:48 AM

I know in the past 3 days I have found some serious spiders around my house. Could wack these spiders with a mallet. Not sure what kind they are but they give me goose bumps.
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#9 mayday

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 10:07 AM

Snakes in basements are not too much of a problem. You can usually find and get rid of them. However, when they find their way into your box-springs mattresses and couch upholstery, they sometimes become a creepy and uncomfortable problem.

Some more squeamish people are unable to sleep well knowing that a snake, or snakes, are hibernating inside their mattresses.

Check the bottom of box-springs for small tell-tale signs of entrance -- such as small openings, slits and holes.

#10 smithie

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 10:11 AM

I know in the past 3 days I have found some serious spiders around my house. Could wack these spiders with a mallet. Not sure what kind they are but they give me goose bumps.



Snakes eat the spiders

#11 luv_big

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 10:17 AM

Around what month can I expect them???

#12 Dryfire

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 10:47 AM

Around what month can I expect them???



Starting about now and lasting into mid to late october depending on the weather. Then after the first snow you have to worry about the snow snakes.
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#13 TheIcon

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 10:50 AM

Snakes eat the spiders


Well I guess I don't have snakes then :)
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#14 karlydee

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 11:35 AM

I guess I never grew up. I still like snakes @ 53. A few weeks ago the youngest and I were cleaning up an old torn down shed when she made the remark that she smelled a cucumber. I told to stand up and step backwards. 10 minutes later I found the source and captured it. Released it back into the wild in the State Park near the house.


I'll never forget my dad's advice.

"Son, Copperheads smell like cucumbers. So if you're out playing with your brothers and smell cucumbers, freeze, tell them to feeze, and locate the snake. Then, clamly back away. Don't kill it, snakes kill mice and rats."

30 years ago, he would regularly stop the car, pick a black snake off the road, let it coil around his wrist, and drive down to the creek, with his arm hanging out the window -- used to freak my mother out -- me and my brothers would be cracking up.

#15 East_of_Here

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 11:42 AM

Snakes in basements are not too much of a problem. You can usually find and get rid of them. However, when they find their way into your box-springs mattresses and couch upholstery, they sometimes become a creepy and uncomfortable problem.

Some more squeamish people are unable to sleep well knowing that a snake, or snakes, are hibernating inside their mattresses.

Check the bottom of box-springs for small tell-tale signs of entrance -- such as small openings, slits and holes.

There's a big hole in the underside of my box spring. It's where the cat goes in to sleep. I don't think he'd be willing to share with a snake. :D
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#16 karlydee

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 11:43 AM

I know in the past 3 days I have found some serious spiders around my house. Could wack these spiders with a mallet. Not sure what kind they are but they give me goose bumps.


look like tarantulas, but not that big and not that furry??

most likely a wolf or fishing spider species;

some of these spiders can grow to 4" leg tip to leg tip, with a body almost the size of a man's big toe. -- even in maryland

most of the larger spiders are slower than average -- good for us

#17 daravenator

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:04 PM

yea I have a big spider that comes out at dusk hangs down from are parabela he was scared at first but now he/she knows were not going to squash um

#18 TheIcon

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:11 PM

look like tarantulas, but not that big and not that furry??

most likely a wolf or fishing spider species;

some of these spiders can grow to 4" leg tip to leg tip, with a body almost the size of a man's big toe. -- even in maryland

most of the larger spiders are slower than average -- good for us


Nah not a wolfe spider. I am familiar with those. I want to take a pic and see if I can compare it to some pics.

One was brown but don't think it is a recluse. Another was green I believe.
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#19 karlydee

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:31 PM

Nah not a wolfe spider. I am familiar with those. I want to take a pic and see if I can compare it to some pics.

One was brown but don't think it is a recluse. Another was green I believe.


As far as a brown recluse -- the Maryland DNR states that brown recluse spiders are not found in Maryland. While someone may find one it is highly unlikely -- and even more unlikely that you actually see a recluse -- they are named that for a reason.

A brown recluse is about the size of a quarter- legs and all.

I live in 'bama and we are lousy with brown recluse spiders down here, yet in the last 5 years, I have not been able to confirm that any of the spiders that I have killed that remotely resemble b-rec actually were -- and I have been able to exclude ~95% of the candidates based on examination of the carcass

OTOH -- I regulary kill at least 10 adult female black widows a year. Spraying the perimeter does little to stop them, they apparently dont pick up enough poison, or don't groom like others -- you have to find them and direct spray, or splat, squish etc. You also have to be vigilant - looking for the telltale juxtapositioned filamentous web - very disorganized looking -- but the strongest spider silk I have commonly come across. I have been close to bitten, while carefully searching for them in the garage/outside. Vacuuming all the sacs, spiders and webs helps.

Which, BTW is the BEST WAY to get a spider if you want to be safe if they will fit up the tube, vacuum the critter up, cyclonic vacs rip the spider apart/ or cause fatal trauma -- then just dump -- no paper towls, or gross stain on the carpet/floor/shoe -- and its hard to miss -- the suction just gets them.

#20 East_of_Here

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:38 PM

Nah not a wolfe spider. I am familiar with those. I want to take a pic and see if I can compare it to some pics.

One was brown but don't think it is a recluse. Another was green I believe.

http://commons.wikim..._orb_spider.jpg

http://www.whatsthat...m/spiders2.html
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