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What kind is this?


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Cute little feller.

I remember years ago coming home from the store to find two 5 - 6 foot blacks snakes basking in the sun in our driveway. We lived in a 100+ year old solid stone masonry Quaker farm house and our driveway alone was about .75 miles long. We were renters on a farm with some serious acreage. Our closest neighbor was about a mile away as the crow flies. Closest sleepy little town was about 14 miles away.

When I got out of the car and dispersed the snakes, they abruptly climbed a huge spreading tree in our yard, dropped onto our shed style standing seam tin roof of the kitchen addition and disappeared into the stonework of our home... Well, that was comforting... [:-weepn] [:-scared]

But, the interior walls were plaster over the stone in good condition and we never saw the snakes ever again. [:-thumbu] [:-yawn] [:-sleep]

Come to think of it, we never saw a mouse [:-mouse] the entire time we lived there either. No wonder our "mouser" cats became so lean when we moved there from a 100 + year old log cabin with a cement stucco exterior. [:-kitty] They had some stealthy and formidable competition. [:-idea]

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Well, I generally agree with Mr. Goodman about snakes. This one didn't look menacing, so I let him live.

My other inspector found this one about two weeks ago. Now this one I would have worried about.

I couldn't tell if it was the agent or the builder...[:-eyebrow

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The first one looks like a variety of garter snake - harmless. The second looks like a varient of the rat snake - also harmless, although it can grow to a pretty good size and inflict a painful nip if you allow it to. Plus, if you pick it up it'll discharge some really smelly stuff all over you that will make a skunk smell nice by comparison. Rat snakes also have another defense, they will try to imitate a rattler when startled. They'll freeze motion and then vibrate the end of their tail so fast that it'll freeze you dead in your tracks if you aren't expecting it and then they'll take off at about 10 mph through the brush.

When I was at Bragg as a private, I had to pay for my rations when out in the field because I was married. Myself and another guy used to go out every morning early and catch 3 or 4 rat snakes and fry 'em up with some eggs in the mornings rather than eat c-rations for breakfast and have to pay for 'em. No, they don't taste like chicken - sort of like oily bacon with a slight fishy tint.

S'funny, I'm more afraid of rats than I am of death, but snakes and me - of any variety - are cool. Maybe I like 'em because they eat rats. I don't kill 'em unless I'm planning to eat them. Found one in Germany once while on a field problem. They're so rare there that they're protected. I policed it up, because it would have been killed for certain with about 500 soldiers stomping all over its hunting grounds, and turned it over to the Forstmeister. The guy freaked. His entire life in the wood he'd never seen one.

There I go, drifting again.

Here's my point. Snakes are not going to hurt you unless you startle them or corner them and threaten them, so there's no good reason to kill them. They control rodents and without them we'd probably be overrun with rats. Anything that will kill rats is my friend.



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The snake skin I pulled out between the opening of the crawl space and a 5 gallon bucket at the beginning of the inspection. I called the buyer and told him what I found and that I wouldn't inspect the crawl space. I apologized and told him straight up I was deathly afraid of snakes and asked if he wanted to hire someone else, he said no, that he understood. I still never felt right about not inspecting the crawl space although I did document why I didn't inspect it. If I came across a snake in a crawl space I would come out bloody and screaming like a little school girl, (no offense ladies). The other snake was in a basement of an unoccupied home. I don't know what kind of snake either one was.

I had the hair on the back of my neck standing up all day.

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S'funny, I'm more afraid of rats than I am of death, but snakes and me - of any variety - are cool.

I'm kind of the other way. It seems that every other crawl space I've been in recently has had lots of fresh rat droppings. Besides the odd carcase, I've also seen a few live ones scurrying away. Then there's the attics with compressed runs all over. Not that I enjoy rats, but I can handle them and get on with the job.

Snakes, on the other hand, give me the willies. If we had poisonous ones here, I probably wouldn't be doing this. I can't imagine being a home inspector in Australia. Doing crawl spaces down there equates to Russian roulette...at least in my head.

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