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- Some snakes, like the rat snake, are very skilled climbers and are able to access heights that might surprise you.
- Coming across a serious snake nest can be a very complicated challenge.
- This article covers a 4-year-old child finding a three-foot black rat snake inside their new home.
A 4-year-old child discovered a three-foot black rat snake rising through the exterior of his family’s brand-new Annapolis house in the first few days of April 2015. At first, Jody and Jeffrey Brooks were happy with their son’s findings. After dealing with snake issues for months, it seems like they had found the source!
Eastern and central parts of the United States are home to black rat snakes. They can survive at a variety of heights and inhabit a variety of environments, from flat farmland to rocky slopes. Non-venomous constrictors known as black rat snakes prey primarily on rodents but occasionally on amphibians, lizards, birds, and nests.
They spend a lot of time in trees and are skilled tree climbers. Additionally, they frequently take refuge in stone walls and rock outcroppings, and they can be seen close to barns, dilapidated structures, and trash heaps, where they are probably foraging for rodents. They have been observed scaling building rafters, like the ones in The Brookses home.
They believed they had solved their snake problem after finding a snake’s shed skin inside the house months earlier. Jeffrey Brooks, though, discovered a thick, seven-foot black rat snake a week or two later. The family later discovered another and another. A contractor and snake inspector were called in, who demolished the basement and determined that the home was snake-infested and unfit for children.
Taking Legal Action
Jody describes hearing the snakes as a distant waterfall or a quiet breeze. The constant slithery and being on edge all the time made them extremely uncomfortable. Before buying the home, the couple was told about the history of snakes in the home but was also informed that it was all a lie for the previous owners to get out of their mortgage.
They quickly found out that it in fact was true, and worse than they could ever imagine. Jeffrey walks around the house with a machete, ready to decapitate any slithery serpent he comes across. After talking with professionals, they were told in order to remedy the infestation, they’d need to leave the house vacant for 10 to 15 years!
The Brooks took action and filed a lawsuit against the real estate brokerage and the seller’s agent, Van Horn, who lied about the known snake issue. The $2 million lawsuit against Van Horn in May 2015 reached a verdict in late 2016.
On Nov. 9, according to court records, Genevieve H.R. Lindner, counsel for the Brooks, filed a voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, concluding the matter definitively and barring the Brookses from bringing any subsequent claims related to the incident. According to court records, the Brookses completed the purchase of the home in December 2014 for $410,000.
Is This Kind of Behavior Normal?
While it is rare to have this kind of a nest in your home, snakes have been known to delve into walls or crawlspaces to prepare and lay eggs for the winter. Snakes are generally shy of humans, but they do tend to seek out protected environments. And if a home suits them, that may be the way it goes.
Snakes will most likely take this course of action to keep warm during the colder months. And the scary part is that they may go mostly undetected while they maintain a low profile during the winter. They are cold-blooded, after all.
The lifespan of a snake can vary depending on the species, but on average, it ranges from 5 to 30 years. Some species of snakes have a relatively short lifespan of just a few years, while others can live for several decades.
For example, the garter snake typically lives for around 4-5 years, while the reticulated python can live for over 25 years, and the king cobra can live for more than 30 years. Captivity can also affect the lifespan of a snake, depending on the conditions of the enclosure, the diet, and the care provided.
Snakes that are kept in captivity and are well-cared for can often live longer than those living in the wild. It’s important to note that the lifespan of a snake is also influenced by factors such as genetics, environment, and diet. So, the lifespan of a snake can vary widely depending on its species and individual circumstances.
Other Dangerous Snakes Found In Maryland
Maryland is home to a variety of snakes, both venomous and non-venomous but the most dangerous snake found in The Old Line State is the copperhead. This snake, which is a member of the pit viper family, has heat-sensing pits between its eyes and nose, which allows it to immediately detect the smallest change in temperature to recognize where prey is. Found in forests, old fields, swamps, and dry sandy ridges, their bites have a low amount of venom but are still very painful.
The timber rattlesnake is another member of the pit viper family and is the only snake in Maryland with a rattler. They prefer forested areas with rocky outcrops. A shy snake that tends to avoid humans, it is most active in the spring following hibernation and will bite if provoked. The bite is extremely painful and as with the copperhead, medical attention should be sought immediately
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