It is not too often one can find a snake on the high ground – as ground-dwelling animals, they prefer keeping a low profile and avoid climbing various surfaces. Yet, some people did have an unpleasant experience of encountering snake in attic in their own house, and most of the encounters were in the attic.
Not all snakes are capable of this, a snake needs to be light enough, as a Yellow Rat snake, for example. There is a bunch of snake species you can find in your attic, some can be relatively harmless, some would have some nasty bites to deliver, yet some might be even poisonous and therefore most dangerous to deal with.
Before you dive into the solution to the problem of a snake in attic, it is incredibly important to understand how to distinguish them and how to deal with different types.
Why would a snake get into my attic?
The main drive for snakes to invade your attic will most likely be a nice source of food, and that would mean that apart from snakes there are rats or other rodents in your attic. While snakes would become a solution for the issue of how to get rid of these rodents, they themselves remain far from becoming a pleasant neighbor.
There were few cases the snakes were found in the attics without the signs of rats in the attic or other animals around, however, further investigation showed that in the majority of these cases the snake has already exterminated the whole rodent population in the area.
Another reason for such a visit can be the winter season. Snakes in their search for heat and comfort can invade your attic during the low-temperature season specifically for this reason – it is dry, it is mostly undisturbed by your visits and it maintains about the same temperature throughout the year; a perfect place to get warm and lay low.
As reptiles, snakes basically can not generate heat within themselves, so they seek it through radiant sources. And despite the lack of limbs, these guys are decent climbers, so if they put their mind onto climbing into your attic, they are very much capable of doing so.
The majority of those ‘break-ins” take place through cracks, crevices, or points of the intersection of shingles and gutters around the roof.
If the food source is what drives them in, how do I get rid of it?
When facing a problem, it is always a wise move to tackle it at its core. In our case, the core of the problem is the food source – all the rats and other animals snakes can feed on and that attracted them initially – and to get rid of it we should start from them.
The presence of rats is quite easy to identify by rat grease in form of brown smudges, you can find these on the walls or on wooden beams, and if you see the rat feces – usually that would mean you ran into a rat latrine.
As for the quick solutions with fair efficiency, snap traps made themselves quite a reputation in that; thus we would suggest setting some of them out and check from time to time since there should be a sufficient amount of rats that has drawn the snakes in.
What problems snakes in the attic can cause?
Snakes generally speaking make quite unpleasant neighbors; apart from the life threat they may present depending on their venomousness, they will leave some droppings and may get stuck somewhere between the walls and, in a most unfortunate event, die there and start decaying.
And though this is unlikely to happen, there is a problem that you very likely may face and have to deal with – if the snakes find the environment appropriate and the timing of their occupation of your attic would fall into their mating cycle phase, they can decide to make their snake nest in house, and have baby snakes.
Now, little snake babies are quite curious creatures, and very likely gonna be exploring not just the attic, but all the premises attached to it. And before you know it, if you are unfortunate enough to surprise a snake with your presence or corner it by accident, big or small, a snake will attack to defend itself.
How do I remove the snakes from my attic?
First and most important – you definitely need to deal with the core of the problem, the snakes’ food source. This would cause the reptiles significant discomfort and decrease their motivation in staying around any longer.
If you have already done it, that does not have to mean that at this point your hands are tied and all you can do is wait. Contrary to that, you can significantly accelerate the process of reclaiming your attic and relocating the unwelcomed neighbors far away.
The best strategy humankind knows so far when it comes to snakes is to set the traps and, once the target is captured, relocate them and set them free in another habitat.
You should remember though how much of slippy guys these snakes are and be extremely careful when setting traps, as well as removing them with the captured snakes inside – do not give snakes an opportunity to attack and lunge at you.
Talking about traps, the safest option would be a sticky trap. The principle is quite simple: the sticky pad is covered with a special glue, which, once a snake wonders on it, immobilizes it, and holds it in place. You can also use bait, such as raw meat or boiled egg, to draw a snake onto the pad, rather than waiting around for it to accidentally end up on it.
Be careful, however, to put the bait and trap in such a way that the bait draws the prey’s attention and the trap does not. At this point, you should be able to collect the trap and relocate it together with the animal to the other location, where you set it free. To do so, you will need to pour some vegetable oil over the snake and the trap to dissolve the glue and let the reptile slither away.
Even if you decide not to roll with the sticky traps, we strongly recommend discovering the other available options of exclusion methods. There is plenty of snake species out there, and every single one, given enough reason to, can find its way into your house.
With the unique design that nature has given to these creatures, they can easily navigate and move in secluded and unreachable human beings’ spaces: through the interiors of walls, ventilation systems, air extraction systems, various pipes, and different wires.
Once the attic is snake-free, what is the next step?
The short answer is: you need to repair and disinfect your attic.
The long one would describe to you that you should inspect your attic for the damages caused by the rodents and snakes, estimate the workload required and get it done. Since the snakes were driven in by rodents, it is very likely that soiled insulation material and gnawed wires would need replacement or reparation, so you better add them to your to-check list.
You can do the job yourself or hire a professional. Once the attic is fully recovered from the reptile occupation consequences and all the ways for the future occupation are interrupted and sealed shut, we strongly suggest disinfecting the attic and getting rid of the bacteria and spores that snakes could bring with them. After that, your attic will be safe for you are your family to visit again.
Helpful Video: Snake In Attic
What to do if you have an unexpected guest in your attic? Watch this video and you will find out.
How can I prevent snakes from breaking in again?
- First and most important – as we mentioned in the previous paragraph – all the possible ways to the attic, mainly the holes, must be sealed shut. To do so, you would need to conduct a thorough examination of the premises, and do it quickly. Not to mention, that the reparation should be of high quality so that the hole does not reopen again, especially not without you noticing it. We suggest taking a close look at the walls from both inside and outside; some holes may be hard to notice from the inside of the attic while leaving them untouched would give future intruders a clean open path in back to your attic.
- Prepare to eliminate the rodents quickly if they return. As you read above, rodents do not only represent a problem themselves but also attract even less appealing neighbors. Stack up some traps or other solutions you intend to use the next time you see the signs of rodents’ presence or at least make the first contact with the extermination service that would handle the intruders for you.
- Sit and wait; or more precisely, monitor. Check from time to time all the rooms in your house for the signs of rodents or signs of snakes in the attic and their activity, like snakeskin in the attic, and be especially attentive to those spaces that you do not visit regularly. These regular checks would be able to alarm you just in time when further action is necessary.
It may be interesting for you to know that majority of snakes have a nocturnal lifestyle – during the day they are hiding out, and at night they hunt and thrive. After you have dealt with the problem, an extra way to secure your house from further intrusion would be the installation of the exclusion netting.
Securing your roof and walls, we do recommend keeping in mind that the snakes can vary in their shapes and sizes significantly, yet the problems they cause are still about the same; therefore even the tiniest holes must be found and sealed. To seal off crevices or replace broken woods and ensure that the animals won’t return, you can use cement plasters.
However you decide to proceed, please keep in mind that if you are not comfortable with any part of the process, there are special services ready to assist you with it. Check your local area for such services, since their offers and price lists may vary.
Last important note: avoid using chemical poisons on the premises next to your living areas. The environmental hazards this treatment possesses are too strong for people to handle and may put your own life and those of your family members at risk.