It was this time a year ago that a snake breached my defenses and worked his way into my laundry room. Despite all my best efforts, he slithered into a hole in the wall and was never heard from again.
Whether or not this is good or bad is hard to say.
But as we enter this year’s snake season (also occasionally referred to as “summer”) I will be better prepared. This weekend I fully implemented Operation Snake Proof.
After some internet research (and reading a harrowing piece of clickbait my friend sent me called “5 Frightening Ways Snakes Can Enter Your Home”) I was ready to begin.
Step 1: Making the Basement Less Enticing to Snakes
According to the articles, snakes like cool, damp, dark spaces with places to slither and hide. Step one was making my basement as unlike this as possible. There’s not much I can do about the dark and cool. It is a basement with concrete block walls, but I did buy a dehumidifier I now run 24 hours a day to keep it as dry as possible.
To remove tempting hiding spots, I got as much stuff off the floor as possible. This meant installing another rack to hang brooms and the weedwhacker.
But what to do with the myriad of painting supplies, basic tools, and gardening tools that I had on the floor and in a big wooden dresser?
The dresser was the biggest issue. It was on wheels, which meant there was about an inch of space beneath it—a perfect dark space for hiding. And, critically, the back of the bottom drawer was missing, meaning a snake could easily crawl into the bottom drawer and surprise us both when I opened the drawer. (I had multiple nightmares involving this exact scenario.)
The dresser had to go.
So I gathered everything up, threw away what I could, and put the rest in clear, sealed, snake-impenetrable storage boxes. I minimized the impacted surface area by stacking them on top of one another. Now I have a much clearer floor.
I then used expanding foam to seal any crack or open space. If light came through, I sealed it up.
Step 2: Early Detection Warning Systems
Since the first snake many years ago, I keep an industrial flashlight outside the laundry room and do a full, sweeping inspection with the spotlight upon entry. But this year I also laid a trail of mounded baby powder across potential entry points…if the baby powder is disturbed, I’ll know there’s an intruder in the midst.
Step 3: Arm to fight to the death
If all else fails and the perimeter is breached, I will be armed and dangerous. I bought a genuine professional snake picker. These are used to safely pick up snakes from a distance. I keep it right by the entry door.
I’ve been practicing picking up the garden hose.
This summer, I’m ready.
Bring it on!
Actually, the last thing I want is for the snakes to bring it on. I would prefer us to live in peaceful ignorance of one another’s presence and never see one another again.
If there are any encounters, you readers will be the first to know!