: I am having the same problem. I just
: bought a house in Florida and a snake
: got in from somewhere. I need to get
: the snake out of my house before my cat
: kills it. What is the best way to do
: that? Its 4 feet long and black. I
: don't think its posionous but was
: wondering if it isn't posionous and it
: bites me while I'm trying to get it out
: of the house will it hurt?
: I also need finding a way to keep
: snakes out of my house. I can't figure
: out where it got in. How do they get
: --Previous Message--
: I recently purchased a very old house
: New York State (235 years old). I have
: found 2 3 foot snake skins (which
: appear to be Milk Snake Skins from very
: faint markings and their similarity to
: online pictures I've seen of living
: snakes). One was found in the attic
: and one in the basement. The house
: probably had a decent mouse population
: prior to my occupancy and the snakes
: probably found foundation cracks and
: holes to sneak in. Obviously I'll try
: to close up any openings to keep them
: out and their prey also. Is there any,
: less obvious way to keep these valuable
: creatures outside where I would prefer
: them; such as a known repellent, ect.
I hope this message gets to you; I try to get people with questions to start a new topic, as the questions get buried in the old posts, but here goes.
The snake is probably a Black Racer, or possibly an Indigo, though unlikely, as they are severely endangered. We don't have any all black venomous snakes in the southeast, so an all black snake is harmless.
All harmless snakes have tiny teeth to hold on to their prey, but since the prey is tiny, so are the teeth. Some like the Racers use their mouth more in handling prey, so can clamp down a little in defense. This can sting a little, but doesn't hurt much; think of a rose bush - they hurt more than a Racer bite.
To handle a Racer, grab it by the big part of the tail, hold it in the air, and take it outside. If it tries to come back up its body, just shake it out like shaking out coils in a rope. Don't grab it by the tail tip, as they tend to "helicopter" around in their efforts to get away, breaking off the tail tip. Since there are some large blood vessels in the tail, they can bleed to death.
Racers are nothing but spring steel and nerves with a good dose of terror (they are prey for anyone who eats snakes), so expect it to be terrified and defensive. Take it outside, and it will take off into the brush, never to be seen again.
BTW, if the cat gets into it with the Racer, the snake won't stand a chance, and you will have a terrible mess. Cats love to play with their kills, and a snake body holds an amazing amount of blood...
The Appalachian Naturalist