Snakes may be displaced because of flooding. It is not unusual that these animals
seek shelter and food in areas close to people. These areas might include the inside
of houses, storage sheds, barns, and other buildings. Damaged structures have a
higher probability of attracting snakes because of the many accessible entrances.
Displaced snakes may also be found under debris washed up by flood waters or in
debris piles created during cleanup efforts.
It's important to realize that both poisonous and non-poisonous snakes benefit people
by keeping rodent populations down. Since rodents are also displaced by storms,
this is especially important.
- When cleaning up and removing debris, watch where you place your hands and feet.
If possible, don't place your fingers under debris you intend to move. In heavy
debris areas where it is more likely that snakes can be found, wear boots at least
10 inches high and long pants, preferably denim or another heavyweight material.
- Never step over logs or other obstacles unless you can see the other side. Watch
out for snakes that may be sunning on fallen trees, limbs or other debris. If you
do encounter a snake, step quickly back out of its path and allow it to proceed
on its way. Snakes are usually not fast-moving and you can easily move out of its
- If you find a snake in your house, try to drive it into a small, restricted area
of the house. Nonpoisonous snakes can be captured by pinning the snake down with
a long stick or pole, preferably forked at one end, scooping it up with a flatblade
or snow shovel. Drop it into a burlap sack or pillowcase and dump it outdoors.
- If you are afraid to remove the snake yourself, call Animal Control at (816) 325-7205
or someone else experienced at handling snakes, i.e. your local wildlife conservation
- If you need to kill a poisonous snake which has entered your house, never attempt
to kill it with anything that brings you within the snake's striking range (usually
this is estimated at less than one-half it's total length). Club it with a long
stick, rod, or other tool.
- Seal up all openings one-quarter inch or larger. Check areas such as corners of
doors and windows, around water pipes, and electrical service openings.
- Remove any debris from around the house as soon as possible. Keep lawn closely mowed.
- There is no legal toxicant or fumigant that kills snakes. Repellents and traps work
with limited success.
- Learn to identify nonpoisonous and poisonous snakes.
- If you are bitten by a poisonous snake, do not try to treat the bite yourself. Go
to the nearest hospital emergency room immediately. If possible, note the appearance
of the snake for identification and treatment purposes.
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