Humane Snake Removal
How to humanely deal with snakes
A lot of people’s first reaction to when they see a snake is to panic. Many don’t realize more often than not a snake is far more afraid of you than you are of it. The vast majority the common snakes you encounter are completely harmless to humans and serve vital roles in helping control the populations of pests that actually spread diseases that are harmful and even potentially lethal to people. Snakes are one of the primary predators of the mice, rats, and insects that can often get in our homes through often invisible ways. Much like spiders they have an undeserved negative reputation. They do not hunt or chase people and will rarely strike unless provoked.
If you encounter a snake either indoors or outside and cannot avoid it or otherwise “let it be” always try to relocate it using humane animal removal methods. The first step in doing so is to first identify if the snake is one of the few venomous species or one of the more common non venomous ones. All harmless snakes have round pupils in their eyes in Illinois. This is different than venomous species that will always have a vertical slit for a pupil instead. You cannot always tell simply by looking to see if the head of a snake is triangular as opposed to more oval or rounded because many nonvenomous snakes alter the shape of their head by flattening it.
Most of the venomous species in Illinois are from the pit viper family of snakes. This is important because another method you can use to determine if a snake you are dealing with could be a threat is look and see if there is a small pit located between its nostrils and eye just above their lip.
Once you determine if it is safe to approach a snake you need to remove from the area you can proceed to get it out of there. The best way is to find a large container with a lid such as a trash can or storage container. Make sure it is not air tight so that the animal can breathe inside of it. You will also need a broom. Position the open container in the direction you want the snake to go and use the broom to gently chase the snake into the container. Then once it is in there secure the lid and relocate the snake as fast as possible.
If the snake is in your pool you or an animal control officer may be required to help get it out if the snake cannot escape because it is to worn out from having to constantly swim. Just like people snakes cannot breathe underwater and need to constantly prevent their heads from becoming submerged which can be tiring. In this case use a long handled leaf skimmer to humanely remove the snake.
Always stay calm and focused and both you and the snake will get through the encounter safely.