What Happens When a Snake Enters Your House?

by BobinOz on March 30, 2011

in Australia's Bad Things

Update: A Warning

Do not try this at home!

I have had several people contact me, including born and bred Aussies and one or two snake experts, and on reflection what I do in this video is really stupid.

Many snakes in Australia are extremely dangerous and can kill, and snake identification isn’t straightforward, even for experts. I may have thought I identified the snake as you will see in the video, but I am not even close to being a snake expert.

I am closer to being an idiot.

I should have called a snake catcher and if you find yourself with a snake in your house, so should you.

So, on with the post now and if you came here from YouTube, you can continue watching the video below after reading the full story…

What Happens When a Snake Enters Your House?

And it’s six-foot long!

Well, here’s exactly what did happen. To me. Yesterday. In my house. Yes, BobinOz’s house. No, I’m not kidding.

Of course, being BobinOz, the first thing I did when I saw a snake in my house, was grab my video camera. Once I’d secured it on my tripod and was pointing it in the right direction, that’s when I started working on my plan of action. And you can see it all as the drama unfolds in this virtually un-edited video.

I say virtually, because in all I captured 19 minutes of video, that’s how long this drama lasted. But for you I’ve reduced it down to 12 minutes. Nothing much happened during the other 7 minutes, apart from me trying to think, which doesn’t make any sound and is not good video viewing. So that’s why I cut it out. Anyway, without further ado, meet……

BobinOz: The Snake Catcher!

Note: if the snake isn’t big enough for you, this video has been recorded in HD, so you can always go full screen. Also, do not click on either of the two annotations that pop-up early on in this video, they are for YouTube viewers only to bring them to this page; you are already here.

Here’s the video…

Well, snake catcher was a little bit of exaggeration, I never caught him. Maybe I can call myself a snake relocator.

Anyway, if you’re thinking of moving to Australia, or you’re already here, that video may have scared the pants off you. But there’s more to this story than you see here. So if you come back on Friday, maybe I can put your mind at rest. You will also be able to watch Snake in the House: The Video Analysis

Really, it’s not as bad as it seems.

Have you ever had a snake enter your home? If you have, I’d love to hear from you. So why not add a comment below, there’s no need to register. Even if you haven’t had a snake in your house, I’d still love to hear from you. Cheers! Bob

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve March 31, 2011 at 7:44 am

Wow! I couldn’t take my eyes off the wasp video you made I can’t wait to see this when it’s up!!

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BobinOz March 31, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Hi Steve

Sorry the video was uploaded much later than anticipated, almost 12 hours later, but that’s the fun of working on the Internet!

I hope you enjoy it as much as the wasp video.

Cheers

Bob

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Steve March 31, 2011 at 7:37 pm

That just goes to show that the snake was a lot more scared of you than you were of it! If it was any other snake though maybe a good idea to leave the room and call a snake catcher!? $50 or a nasty bite… (though it would have been worth the risk to clean your floor before he came!! Only kidding!!, my eyes were fixed on the snake!).

Great video bob! Beats the wasp one hands down!

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BobinOz April 3, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Thanks Steve!

Yes, I think it beats the wasp video. I was guessing at the price of a snake catcher, it may be more than that. But if it had been a brown, I’d have got straight on the phone, whatever the cost.

Cheers

Bob

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K. March 31, 2011 at 11:51 pm

You’re such a brave lad!! Great video, you’re always right on the spot of action, allthough I hope I’ ll never find myself in your shoes someday!
It’s the spiders that scare me off most of all ;-(
Btw; we do have our Visa since 16 March, we are leaving Belgium in September to pass on springtime in Adelaide!!!! Yippijeeeeeee…

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BobinOz April 3, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Brave or stupid, I’m not sure.

Congrats on the visa, hope you enjoy Adelaide, do let me know what you think.

Cheers

Bob

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tereza April 4, 2011 at 3:24 am

oh, BOB!!! We had a great time watching your video… We screamed, we shrieked, we laughed… (DH, me and 4 children) it was exciting and scary at the same time. Now, I am NOT going to Australia. :)

thanks for sharing. :)

My husband says cheers! He wondered how many beers you had after the episode with the snake! LOL

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BobinOz April 4, 2011 at 11:27 pm

I hope you ARE still coming to Australia, but I suspect you’re joking about that. The smiley face gives me a bit of a clue.

I mentioned your comment in my post today called 10 reasons to move to Australia. I’ve had a few people wobble because of my snake video, that post makes everything OK again.

Cheers

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Kayleigh Slack April 11, 2011 at 4:58 am

Wow! Loved that video!

I have had a snake in my home for almost 2 years now! Luckily it’s my baby boa Rocky :) Not much wild snakes here in England.

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BobinOz April 11, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Bet Rocky doesn’t hide behind cupboards! Hey, I should call my one Grassy!

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Kym June 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Bob, somewhere you had a picture of a mangled snake that I think you said their dogs had killed. Someone had ID’d it as a blue phase tree snake. I sent the picture on to a reputable herpetologist friend who said no, it was a young brown snake. I didn’t think it looked like a tree snake either which is why I sent it to him. He is a real ‘expert’ who has written for many science and herpetology journals and many years experience working with venomous snakes. I won’t mention his name because he is extremely well known in the professional community and he hasn’t given me permission to quote him.
My husband and I have kept reptiles and insects for many years. Currently we have goanna’s, pythons and death adders. I have kept bird eater spiders, a few types of scorpions and centipedes, small goanna’s like acanthurus and orientalis etc, large skinks and goannas, dragons of various types and many geckos. Anyway, I have enjoyed your blog immensely. My son and his welsh wife are returning to Wales next year and my younger son is returning from England with his english girlfriend in August. I hope to visit Wales and England when grandchildren eventuate in due time. Kym

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BobinOz June 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Hi Kym

Ah, yes, I found it. The picture is in the comments on a post called Australian Snakes and Death: Continued. You can access that same picture here: Unidentified Snake.

Now, I’m not saying either you or your expert are wrong, but the other reader who identified it as a blue phase green tree snake also showed the picture to a reptile expert, so it appears we have a disagreement between two experts. Just shows how tricky snake identification can be sometimes.

Sounds like you’ve got a zoo going on at your place. I’ve not yet seen a wild goanna around here, but I know we have them. I’m still looking. Thanks Kym!

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Kym June 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Bob, I have seen lace monitors out towards Samford valley and around the Dam and up Mt Coot-tha. Come mid summer any well used picnic ground is a good place to look. That’s the most usual goanna you will see in Brisbane. If you travel out towards Miles In Summer, you can see sand goannas on the side of the road.
Easier of course to go to Australia Zoo but nothing like seeing them in the wild.

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BobinOz June 15, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Thanks Kym, I think I will look for them at popular picnic areas around Samford and Mt Coot-tha, I also know that a picnic spot I’ve used a couple of times up Mt Nebo usually has a goanna, but I’ve never been lucky enough to see him.

But Miles, I’d love to take a look around that way sometime, but it’s a fair old whack from here, isn’t it. Must be four or five hours drive.

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Dan August 30, 2012 at 7:14 am

Bob

The kids and I were fascinated with the video.

We probably would have closed the door and put the house on the market, rather than mess with a snake.

I’d rather deal with the estate agents!

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BobinOz August 31, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I was quite fascinated by it all at the time, couldn’t take my eye of the snake. Can’t think why.

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greg wallis March 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Hi Bob

the snake is definately a Common Tree Snake otherwise known as a Green Tree Snake and is considered completely harmless.

I’m the guy you posted with the brown snake “chasing” him!

Greg

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BobinOz March 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Hi Greg

Yes, since posting this video I have had that confirmed from several sources, I was pretty sure at the time it was a Green Tree Snake, but I just wasn’t 100% sure. I was about 90% sure though, hence my ‘bravery’ :-)

I certainly don’t intend to play around with brown snakes, like you did!

For any of you who haven’t seen that one, check out Getting Chased By An Eastern Brown Snake…

Cheers

Bob

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Layla Turner September 27, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Only just watched this video – dude, this is HILARIOUS, (I made the mistake of watching it at work, I couldn’t express my laughter as much as I wanted!).
It’s not the way you dealt with the snake – I thought that was brave and pretty impressive; I think it’s the pommy sense of humour that made me laugh so much :-)
The snake’s sheer determination that your lounge WAS going to be his next “new home”, was pretty funny too.
Nice work! LOL

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BobinOz September 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Yes, I have to say it made me laugh when I first watched it, and I was there when it happened! What’s even funnier, and I found this out later, is that these snakes apparently let off a really pungent smell when they are in these situations, it’s another form of defence.

What this snake didn’t know is that I am 100% anosmic, I have absolutely no sense of smell whatsoever :-) He was probably thinking “How can this dude put up with the stench?”

I truly hope this snake has found a lovely new tree to live in, my lounge was never going to be an option.

Thanks Layla!

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Mike Jordana December 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Hi BobinOz! Only just saw your Snake in the House video today. Very dramatic. The production values were a bit under par, heh heh, but considering you were playing Steve Irwin AND camera operator at the same time, I guess it was to be expected. But I especially would have liked to have seen the moment the snake actually slithered out the patio door.

Anyway, you know those minutes you edited out because you said you were thinking? Had it been me, I would have doing some frantic research online, Googling “getting rid of snakes in house”. I did that today, and came up with a few ideas.

One was cinnamon and clove oils in a spray bottle. Apparently, snakes hate strong odours. Another was mothballs, although I think if you crush a handful of them (assuming you have a mortar & pestle handy in the kitchen), they will release more of that smelly naphthalene or dicholorobenzene, when you throw a handful of the powder on the snake. Make sure to sweep up thoroughly after all the hue and cry is over–mothballs are not nice things for pets or small children to eat.

Another thing I read asked whether perhaps snakes enter houses in search of prey. In other words, might you have a rodent problem? Although I think you speculated it might have been of a case of a snake that had just lost its home due to a neighbor having a tree taken down.

Another suggested that if you’re going to live in or near the bush, you might want to take a snake handling course (http://www.snakehandlingcourses.com.au/).

Or if you’re a DIY’er, you can invest in a set of snake tongs–I found a nifty 1.5-metre model on eBay for just around 44.65 AUD, plus some 28.00 AUD for shipping. Or you might find something cheaper and more local on Gumtree, perhaps. I think having a set of snake tongs would make me sleep better at night, knowing I can handle any snake that comes my way, short of a 5-metre python.

Cheers!

Anyway, that was a funny video.

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BobinOz December 17, 2013 at 7:50 pm

Well, thank you for the tips Mike, you’re about to and a half years too late though :-)

Like yourself, I’m also disappointed that I didn’t manage to capture on film the moment when the snake departed, I really need to practice holding my snake broom in one hand and my camera (steady) in the other. Next time there’s a snake in my house I’m sure I will do a better job.

Oh, what I would have given to have had a set of those snake tongs around, I think it would have been so much easier, but perhaps not quite as entertaining. I am tempted to buy a pair though, you never know when they might come in handy.

Cheers, Bob

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