People always said the adventures of home ownership were abundant and sometimes downright weird. How about creepy? Or slithery…as the cause was. How did a person get rid of something that no one expected. All the animal removal sites listed removal of raccoons, rats, bats, and squirrels, but no one said anything about snakes in the attic. People always told horror stories about snakes crawling up through busted plumbing pipes, only to end up in the toilet bowl, but somehow having snakes slithering about overhead was even scarier. A person would just about die if a snake fell out of the ceiling and onto their head. Something had to be done.
Anne and Noah were terrified of what they knew. They knew that there were snakes, not one, not two, and not even three, but multiple snakes living in their attic. It had purely been chance that they found the snakes. They had purchased an older home; it wasn’t that large and needed many renovations, but the price had been right. Many plans were made to remodel the home. One of those plans including enlarging one of the rooms, so the walls came out. Noah had a bit of knowledge of carpentry and had been able to tackle most of the home remodeling himself. When Noah and Anne tore into the wall, they saw something both strange and eerie at the same time. There in the wall was a long snake-skin coiled between studs and around pipe. It disappeared through a hole up into the attic.
They had hoped that this was a one time deal. The house was old. At some point in the past a snake had slithered its way into the wall and into the attic, where it presumably died, because the attic was about a thousand degrees in the swampy southern summer heat. All hopes of that hypothesis died when Noah took a look inside the attic. Anne stood down below ready to catch Noah if he fell from the small ladder.
Noah carefully pushed the attic entry hatch up and out-of-the-way. He then poked his head through fifty years of spider webs to the interior of the attic. He was in their territory now. He brought his flash light into the attic with him to see what was going on. It was dark and looked as if it had been burned at one point. All seemed normal. There were cords draped over the ceiling joists, which seemed strange to Noah because he knew that it wasn’t up to code. After doing a once-over of the attic, Noah looked back to the spot where he had originally saw the sub-par wiring. The cords were gone.
As his eyes focused further into the attic, he was able to discern movement off near the eaves of the house. This was not the movement of a mouse, or a squirrel, that would have been inconvenient, but a million times more pleasant than what was actually in the attic. No, there were snakes in the attic and they were alive.
Noah lowered his head out of the attic. He wasn’t going to be a sitting duck for all those snakes to bite on. He quickly put the hatch back over the attic opening then asked Anne for some duct tape.
“Why do you need duct tape?”
“Just get it. Get it now.”
Anne obediently went and dug through the mess that was their house for the duct tape. Piles of supplies littered the house. It took her longer than Noah would have liked, but she finally returned with the circle of silver that was going to put Noah’s mind at rest. He took the tape from Anne and tore off long strips. He taped the attic shut.
“Why are you taping the attic shut? How are we supposed to get back up in there if you duct tape it shut?”
“Snakes! There are snakes up there! They’re moving around everywhere!”
“You mean like real snakes?” Anne asked incredulously. Who had ever heard of snakes in the attic?
“What are we going to do about it?” Anne was already worrying about how the snakes would get out of the attic. “Do you think they can come down?”
“I have no idea. I have never once heard of having snakes in the attic. The basement or the bathroom maybe, but not the attic.”
“Maybe we can call one of those pest removal places?” Anne suggested.
“Ok, let’s do it. We’re tight on money, but maybe they’ll be reasonable or at least have a free estimate.”
Anne went to Google animal removal places that were nearby. She found one that was only five miles from the house and called them on her cell phone. A man with a very southern accent answered the phone.
“Bubba’s Animal Removal, how can I help you?”
“Hi, um, do you remove snakes?”
“Yea, we remove snakes all the time. We get about twelve calls a week for snakes, sometimes more, depending.”
“Oh, good…do you do free estimates?”
“Sure we can do an estimate. Most people don’t want snakes sticking around though, so we usually remove the snakes right away. When would you like us to come over?”
“How about now? We’re only a few miles away”
“We can do that, we’ve got Roy who isn’t on a call right now. Roy can come and check out your problem and give you an estimate. He can be there in about ten minutes.”
Anne gave Bubba, or who she assumed was Bubba the address of their house.
“He says that Roy can be here in ten minutes to give us an estimate.”
“Good, let’s wait outside. I don’t want to be in here any longer than I have to.” Noah tried to be tough and manly, but creepy crawly things were not his forte.
In reality, it took Roy about thirty minutes to get to the house. Anne and Noah both developed a layer of sunburn on their exposed skin. Roy arrived. He got out of his truck and hitched up his pants, which were barely held up by his thin hips. He spat on the ground, a brown gob of gunk anyone could tell was chewing tobacco related.
“Bubba said yuns weren’t too far ‘way, but I git lost ’round all these trees. Le’s see dem snakesss.”
It was clear that there was a reason Bubba was the brains of the operation instead of Roy.
Noah spoke up to explain the situation.
“Well, the snakes are in the attic.”
“The ATTIC?! YUNS got SNAKES in the ATTIC!”
“Yes, there are snakes in the attic.”
“A’ight, let’s see de snakess in the attic.”
They showed Roy into the house. He climbed up on the ladder and looked up at the duct taped attic hatch.
“Scared dey gonna git ya?” Roy grinned down from his perch like some kind of toothless brown-mouthed angel. He had been chewing tobacco for a really, really long time.
Roy peeled back the duct tape, lazily humming to himself. It was probably the 1990s Monday Night Football song, at least that’s what it sounded like. He pushed the hatch up and poked his head up there, quickly followed by a flashlight from his tool belt, which did not help hold his pants up at all. As Noah and Anne looked on, they could see Roy’s pants gradually resuming the slacked position they once held before he got out of his truck.
“There are snakes up here. Dis is gonna take le’st five people. We gotta have two people up here catchin em and we gotta have two people down there ready with bags and then we gotta have another guy to help out. We gonna need two trucks. We prob’ly gonna need ev’rybuddy from the shop.”
This did not sound good price-wise to either Noah or Anne.
“So how much is that all going to cost?” Anne finally asked.
“Oh, prob’ly at least five hundret, maybe more. I reckon.”
“We don’t have five hundred dollars right now. Do you do any type of payment plan?” Asking about a payment plan had always been worth a try in Anne’s opinion.
“Nope, he don’t do no payment plans. He gotta have a check or cash to git the job done. I even knowed him ta put snakes right back under the house if the check bounced.”
Anne and Noah really didn’t have five hundred dollars. All the renovations had been expensive. With all the moving expenses they were still paying on, they really didn’t have any wiggle room(more like slither room, Anne thought) to afford the snake removal people. They had to be honest with Roy.
“We can’t afford that right now. We really can’t.” Anne let Noah do the explaining, since this was the South and people still had a penchant to charge women more for certain repairs.
“Well, they been up der, they prob’ly gonna stay der for a while. Jus’ make sure yuns don’ have any holes in the ceiling anywhere. Get some moth balls…but if I were yuns, I’d carry ’round a stick, just in case.”
Roy got down from the ladder, hitched up his pants, left the house, spat on the ground, got in his truck and left.
Anne and Noah stood side by side in the yard watching their toothless, brown-mouthed angel drive away. It seemed they were going to have to learn to live with the snakes for a while, but first, they were going to go into the trees and find big sticks.
P.S. This is loosely based on a true story. Really! I have snakes in my attic! Well, not my attic, the attic of my rental house, but it’s still technically my attic. I really wish Steve Irwin was still alive right now.
attic, pest problems, pest removal, snake invasion, snake nest, snakes, Snakes in the Attic