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Copperhead in the Living Room

Discussion in 'General Venomous' started by herdofturtles, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. herdofturtles

    herdofturtles New Member

    First, this is definitely a copperhead.I've seen a whole lot of rat snakes, corn snakes, copperheads, etc. in my life; I currently have a black-back ball python.

    I live in rural West Virginia and am thrilled when a blacksnake or a corn snake decides to winter in the house and keep the mouse problem in check. So this morning when I saw a little snake's head peeking out from under my dish network receiver, I was on the verge of welcoming it. Until I realized it was a copperhead. After putting on gloves and grabbing a cane, I gently lifted up the receiver, ready to lay the cane across the snake behind his head and GET HIM OUT OF THE HOUSE. But he zoomed behind the piano, then under a large corner cupboard. I put a reptile heat mat under a Cheezit box with a small hole cut out, but if he doesn't decide to move into it, I'm at a loss. Can anyone give me some constructive methods to find him and get him out of the house?!?

    Before anyone tells me to call Animal Control or the police or anyone else, again, I live in RURAL West Virginia - anyone I called would say "Smack it with a board (machete etc.) Good luck." I am really not at all comfortable sharing my living room with this copperhead - and it ist definitely a copperhead. He might have some siblings around, too.

    Please help!!
  2. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    First, I hope you don't have young children in the house. While you may know better than to keep your distance, they may not (and if there is any way to guarantee a child will do something, it's to forbid them to do it.)

    Have you tried placing some kind of bait in the box to entice him in? Maybe a mouse? I do not know what copperheads normally eat in the wild, but finding a suitable prey item might help entice him to get into it. Also, if you catch him in the act of swallowing, his mouth will be (for the moment) disabled, and he will be unlikely to make any sudden moves. Might make it easier to sweep him into a box using a broom.

    Removing other things from the room so he has limited options for hiding (or boosting them up enough they no longer feel like a good tight "hiding space")

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  3. herdofturtles

    herdofturtles New Member

    Thanks for the reply! I dug up some hostas just outside by a little goldfish pond this am - maybe that's where he lived - maybe my chasing him around scared him back outside. I don't have any small children, but do have a small playful puppy who would think a snake was totally mad cool! I've learned a lot more than I knew about them - they don't climb like rat snakes, a baby copperhead doesn't know to conserve his venom, so you get the whole load, and if they're next to a wall or something, they can rattle their little (greenish) tails when they're scared.
  4. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Yes, sounds like you have your hands full with this one.:eek: How do you think he got into the house, holes, door open, crawl space? Hopefully he's alone and doesn't have little friends or family near by. I think you have a great idea with the box, the heating pad, and the bait added. you'll just have to be pretty quick when he takes the bait.
    Keep an eye on the dog and please be careful and watch where you step. Good luck
  5. chevyzilla

    chevyzilla Well-Known Member

    I live in the Western NC Mountains and feel your pain. Lets hope you don't feel his. If you saw his tail and it was green or yellow then he was a juvenile and that means mom and the siblings are possibly around as well. Keep a close eye on the dog. Just in case he does get bitten the dosage for a dog and Benadryl is 1 pill per 25 lbs. Besides that all you can do is get him to the vet but it won't be pretty. Anti-venom is very expensive and the vets here except for maybe one in the town of Asheville don't even keep it in stock and i would highly doubt that anyone in rural WV does either. If it is a small puppy then its best to get this thing out ASAP. I doubt a small dog will survive a full dose Copperhead bite and if he does it will be a rough go for a while. If it was an adult maybe you get lucky and its a dry bite but thats a 50-50 shot. A juvenile will inject, period. Copperheads are mainly active more at night but will bask and move some in the daylight. They feed mainly on mice, small birds, insects and frogs but if it was a juvenile more likely the frogs and insects. There is not much to do other than what you already are doing. Good luck and keep a close eye on the puppy, you would fair much better than he would if a bite occurs. I don't mean to alarm you but a venomous snake in the house is serious. I don't believe in killing them per say either but in the house you have to react swiftly and if that means he has to go then so be it. You aren't going to damage the Copperhead population by any means and their territory is larger than you think so unless you plan on relocating him a good distance away just taking him outside a little ways from the house means possible revisit.
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Since it is imperative that you get it out of the house, a more drastic measure may be necessary.
    Try getting some of those sticky glue boards that they sell for catching rodents and place them along the walls, behind couches, etc. Places where the dog can't get into them.
  7. chevyzilla

    chevyzilla Well-Known Member

    Thats a great idea and i never thought of it but will keep that in mind being where i am.
  8. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Once the little booger is stuck in the glue trap, you can use mineral or olive oil to release him (in a much safer location, preferably with the assistance of gloves, tongs, and very long swabs!)
  9. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Yes I agree with you on this, a lot of people think that these glue traps are the final resting spot for the captured or little booger. This is supposed to be a safe humane type of trap and using the oil to release the animal to another location. Please keep an eye on the traps so the snake doesn't hurt himself if captured in this way.

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