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: My cat found a snake in my downstairs
: bathroom. From what I can recall it
: was black with crooked vertical yellow
: lines on the sides. About 10-12"
: long and 1/2" wideth. It coiled
: up and was striking at my cat and the
: tail was hitting against the floor so
: fast and hard that I thought for a
: second it had a rattle but it didn't.
: I think the eyes were round. I was
: able to trap it w/ a bowl and slide a
: cardboard under underneath and took it
: outside. I'm really freaked out about
: it. What's the chances of this type of
: snake getting into my house again?
: Anyway, I live in southeast TN. I
: would appreciate any information.
Angela, it is an Eastern King Snake, and is perfectly harmless. It has no venom, but kills its prey by constriction. They eat many things, including other snakes, even venomous ones, as they are immune to the venom of all native venomous snakes.
Many farmers catch these snakes and place them around the house and in the barn, as no other snake will enter a place where a King Snake lives, thereby keeping dangerous snakes out.
Thank you so much for not killing it.
I would place it near the house to utilize its dietary preferences, and would not worry about another getting in the house, as they usually don't bite, and if somebody really scares them and gets bitten, the bite is clean, and not dangerous.
The buzzing of the tail is a strategy used by many non-venomous snakes, and is just to startle predators just enough to allow the snake to escape. This is usually done in dry leaves, which can make a very big noise. The Rattlers have just taken it a step further so they don't need dry leaves.
The Appalachian Naturalist