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Seeing a snake or a black widow outdoors in the open isn't too bad, but seeing one when your ability to move is hindered by the confines of a crawlspace or attic space is an entirely different story. One live snake in 7 years, an attic. I got out right quick.

Marc

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They typically lay still, hoping you don't see them. Even the rattlers I've walked up on and photographed usually face you, but wait for you to make the first threatening move. I did have an interesting experience about four months ago, when I walked up on a big blacksnake that coiled up and started making a noise exactly like a rattler with its tail in the leaves. WTF I thought. When I got home I googled that behavior in black snakes and to my surprise it's a common ploy. Black snakes are tough hombres - even known to eat poisonous snakes. They're definitely the most aggressive snake I've ever dealt with. I had one rise up like a cobra and hiss at me, when cornered it to photograph it. I couldn't get him to stay still long enough - Amazing tree climbers too - very athletic snakes.

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I've seen a TON of skins but only two actual snakes in 17 years, which I suppose makes sense. There just isn't much on their menu that hangs out down there.

Snakes eat rarely. They usually don't hang out in places because they're looking for food, they're mostly looking for quiet, warm spaces where they won't be disturbed.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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When I lived out in the boonies in a 100 year old Quaker farm house, I came home to two big black snakes that were sunning in the gravel driveway. As we got closer, both of them scaled a big oak tree that overhung the home, dropped onto the lower roof and disappeared into the stonework of the house. That freaked us out. The home was solid stone with a plaster interior finish. Never saw the snakes in the home during the years we lived there, but never saw a rodent either.[:-thumbu]

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I never met my paternal grandmother, she being quite ancient when I was born, but family lore has it that she used to keep a pet snake in her kitchen. It had free run of the kitchen and would hang out on the counter while Grandmother was working. It was quite tame and would allow her to pick it up & move it about if it got in her way. If anyone else came near it, though, it hissed at them.

Mice steered clear of her kitchen.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I do not mind finding a live snake, it give me the opportunity to decide on what other direction I want to go.

What I really hate is finding the shed skins of a snake(s)! I can't tell you how many times I have found just the shed skins in a crawlspace, garage, attic or outbuilding. What is so bothersome to me is that you know that a snake was around the area; so where is it now?

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I do not mind finding a live snake, it give me the opportunity to decide on what other direction I want to go.

What I really hate is finding the shed skins of a snake(s)! I can't tell you how many times I have found just the shed skins in a crawlspace, garage, attic or outbuilding. What is so bothersome to me is that you know that a snake was around the area; so where is it now?

Scott, I think my record for snake skins hanging in a crawlspace is probably seven. Yet, in over 10,000 inspections I've only seen two live snakes - neither was poisonous and both stayed put. When I do see snake skins on my initial cursory crawl space peek, I leave the door open and make a lot of noise, just to let them know I'm coming. I assume that, they find the crawlspace a fabulous place, due to all the insulation and other surfaces, to get assistance in shedding their skin, but don't find it a great place to simply hang out?

Jim, Great story about your grand mother. I'd have liked her. As you also confirm, black snakes are uniquely notorious for being capable and aggressive. They can switch from being lightning fast at a retreat to "OK, you asked for it" mode. [:-gnasher They're very fast when they want to be.

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This guy lived in the back yard at my previous home and I saw him regularly when mowing. This pic was taken on the deck off my office. To get an idea of size, the flooring is 2x6's.

Someone forwarded a series of photos to me a few months ago of one eating a (live) rattlesnake! Pretty impressive.

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This guy lived in the back yard at my previous home and I saw him regularly when mowing. This pic was taken on the deck off my office. To get an idea of size, the flooring is 2x6's.

Someone forwarded a series of photos to me a few months ago of one eating a (live) rattlesnake! Pretty impressive.

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Yep, their fearless and aren't the slightest bit concerned about a venomous snake.

This one was shot down in False Cape State Park of Virginia - a wetlands a few miles from the North Carolina border. It's probably a couple inches short of six feet.

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