Snakes galore

We found another one.  It seems brown house snakes love dressing rooms or clothes.  This is the warehouse where we store all the donations we get as the 1in1out charity.

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So the warehouse is being cleared and shifted a bit this week.  So Eric, the church’s caretaker, came around yesterday announcing they found another snake while clearing the corner where they keep the pillows and fabric off-cuts.  See the picture below:

Clothes pile in the corner

I spoke to a snake expert a few weeks ago.  He reminded me that we live on grasslands and snakes are inevitable.  They were here way before we were, and we are actually disturbing their habitat.  He gave me a few tips on keeping them at bay…though this is no guarantee:

  • Long grass is a favoured habitat of snakes so keep yours well mown
  • Keep shrubs trimmed round their base and away from the house
  • Ensure that branches of trees do not overhang your house or seating areas in your garden
  • Stack your wood on a suitable platform – such as a pallet – off the ground.
  • Regularly sweep up leaves and other garden debris.
  • Fill gaps, cracks and crevices in brick and stone walls
  • Wooden decking in seating areas should be solid, rather than slatted, to prevent snakes climbing through it.
  • Be aware that play areas such as Wendy houses, Tree houses, sand pits etc are potential harbourages for snakes
  • Compost heaps could potentially attract many different species of wildlife which, in turn, may become the prey of a snake.  Ensure that your compost is made in a sealed and sold structure, preferably raised off the ground, and can be securely sealed against any wildlife but particularly rodents.
  • Do you have screens on your windows and doors?  Are there gaps around the frame or holes in the actual screening?
  • Do you have gaps under doors in & out of the house, garage doors, shed doors?  If so, bristle or sealing strip can be an effective way to seal these.
  • Are there are holes, cracks or crevices in the brick or plaster work of your house?
  • Are there any holes, cracks and crevices between patio areas or pathways and your house? – Drainage areas in patios are a perfect point of entry.
  • Is the gauge size of any grates covering your drains small enough to stop snakes going down it?
  • Make sure that there are no holes in your roof that snakes can get through – particularly if trees overhang your house.
  • Ensure Skirting boards do not have gaps under or behind them
  • Seal all holes where wiring, plumbing or gas enters your home
  • Cover gutters and drain pipes with fine gauge mesh
  • If your home has wooden floorboards ensure that access to the floor space beneath them is sealed and that gaps between the boards themselves are filled.

Now our snake was a house snake.  The name House Snake is appropriate in this species as it is often found near human habitation as it is drawn to them by the rodents that inevitably accompany humans. The brown house snake is harmless and an economically valuable snake as it preys primarily on rodents. This snake has become popular in the South African pet market because it is harmless, settles and breeds well in captivity. As with all other South African snakes, permits are required for possession. It lays six to 12 eggs which hatch after two and a half to three months.

2 things…Firstly, to me a snake is a snake.  Secondly, what if the snake I found laid eggs in my dressing room?  Oh my goodness!  That just freaks me out!

On the subject of that…we are slowly but surely making head-way with the dressing room.  

Carpet in dressing room

We still have a far way to go, but we are getting there.  Everyone knows how we like to recycle so a client who is renovating gave us cornice this week.  Now all we need is ceiling board.  All good things come to those who wait.

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