Fort Worth

Snakes! They’re slithering out of the rain into homes. Here’s how to keep them out

How to avoid snakes in your home

Randall Kennedy, Fort Worth wildlife control expert, holds a rat snake and talks about keeping them out of your home.
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Randall Kennedy, Fort Worth wildlife control expert, holds a rat snake and talks about keeping them out of your home.

They’re slithering through back yards, falling out of trees and showing up in bathrooms, kitchens and garages.

Snakes, just like you, want to stay dry.

Record rainfall across Dallas-Fort Worth has creeping critters looking for shelter. Since rain began in September, Dallas Fort Worth Wildlife Control has seen calls about snakes and rats double, owner Randall Kennedy said.

“We’re seeing all kinds of stuff coming up,” Kennedy said.

Across the the Metroplex, more residents than usual are finding snakes where they don’t want them. Garages are typical, but callers are also reporting them in bathrooms, kitchens and inside their walls.

On Thursday, Kennedy visited the home of a woman in far west Fort Worth who found a baby rattlesnake sneaking around her front porch. Snakes come and go on her property, she said, but never a rattlesnake and never so close to the house. She thought maybe it came to get away from the rain.

“That’s what I’m thinking,” she said. “It’s been raining so much there’s nowhere for them to go.”

Their dinner, rats, also search for dry ground, Kennedy said, so the number of calls for rat infestations has also increased.

The invasion has been most notable in west Tarrant County, he said. Most calls come from west Fort Worth, Benbrook, Aledo, Lake Worth. To the north, calls have come from Westlake and Southlake.

Dylan Choate, operations manager of Brinker Animal Removal, said his company hasn’t gotten more calls than he would expect about snakes, but he wouldn’t be surprised if snakes were spotted near homes in undeveloped areas. He primarily works north of Dallas in areas such as Frisco.

Choate recommends that people animal-proof their homes. Snakes often come in through cracked and eroded rubber seals around doors, especially the garage door. The most commonly overlooked areas are vents and under siding, especially at the corners. The spot where the air conditioning line enters the home and drainage holes in mortar work are also favorite entrances. Homes should be inspected for unsealed wire or pipe conduits, windows and doors that don’t seal tightly and and even tiny cracks.

Roofs and second-floor windows should not be overlooked, Kennedy said.

“People don’t tend to look up high, but snakes will crawl up high, into attics and then down into the walls and into the rest of the house,” Kennedy said. “They’ll come in any crack or crevasse.”

People are commonly seeing rat snakes but water snakes are also common, he said. A video on DFW Wildlife control’s YouTube page shows Kennedy pulling a rat snake from behind cardboard boxes in a garage.

The area has a large population of copperheads and rattlesnakes.

“Even water snakes like to dry out for time to time, so they’re getting flooded out too,” he said.

When unseasonably high rain fall started in early September, a neighborhood in Leander was inundated with rattlesnakes, according to KXAN, the Austin NBC affiliate. Later, reports of increased snake sightings came to South Texas.

It’s not just snakes, Kennedy said.

Flash flooding and heavy rain has washed out habitats for squirrels, raccoons and other animals.

The floods, brought on by heavy rainfall, forced the closure of several parks and lakes as authorities conducted search and rescue missions in Texas.