Guide to the Unwanted Pest and Household Nuisance

a snake in someone's garage

souced from Home Efficiency Guide

snake found in a garage

Paul Navis

Many unwanted creatures invade people’s houses every year. Bats in the attic, bugs crawling on the ground, snakes in the garage, birds in the chimney: all of these creatures have a tendency to invade places you don’t want them to. My house has endured them all, and I can say they can be much less scary and easier to deal with than people think as long as you are prepared.

Because bats are commonly depicted as creepy and frightful, they are unwelcome into homes. Many people fear bats because of misinformation about vampire bats sucking people’s blood or having rabies. The truth, however, is there is no need to panic. While vampire bats do suck blood, it is not from humans, and rabies are incredibly rare with bats. According to Pests.org, “most bats are benign and even shy.” Understanding this animal’s nature can help people be prepared when it comes to bats. While bats are not generally dangerous, there are some important aspects to note. Bats are not able to break into a house, but they can sneak in through small openings. These openings typically include  broken screens, broken shingles, and areas behind shutters. Once bats enter the home, one of the biggest issues is their guano known to cause mold. So how should you get rid of bats?

  1. Make sure to monitor points of entry and seal ways when bats are out at night.
  2. Add liquid or gel repellants to make the area less hospitable to bats.
  3. Make sure to clean the area of bat guano but be careful since it can hold diseases.

One animal that can be quite dangerous is snakes. Snakes tend to decide to find cold, dark places, making garages a good housing place for snakes to find. I once stepped past one without noticing until it slithered further into the garage. Luckily, a friend of mine was brave enough to go after the snake, but for those who don’t want to, there are a few tricks. According to Wildlife-removal.com the best way is to handle unwanted snakes is to “leave the snake alone. That doesn’t sound helpful, but it’s actually the best approach 90+% of the time.” If this does not work, you may be able to use a glove to remove it, but only do this if you know the snake is non-poisonous. You could also use a broom to move the snake away from you out of the garage. Jason Thornhill, the man who got my snake out, said ”with something like a snake I’d want to be able to identify with it. If it is poisonous then I likely wouldn’t deal with it. If it is not poisonous I have no issue dealing with it even if I get a bite on my bare hand.

While typically harmless, bugs inside people’s homes have a tendency to unnerve people.  Blythewood Senior Justus Nygard talked about a centipede found in his home and  “his mother swept it out with a broom”.  While this method works I would have just followed the old fashioned stomp on it method. To keep these insects from entering your home in the first place, you should follow some basic safety procedures. Don’t leave doors open. It’s a bad idea. Don’t leave food on the floor unless you want to attract ants. According to dengarden.com putting cucumbers at points of entry is a good idea. 

Next time you see any of these creatures, remember these tips and stay well informed instead of afraid. Oftentimes you will find unwanted critters are not as big a deal as they may seem.