20 Rattlesnakes Found in Man's Garage—Here's Where They Were Hiding
The removal expert said there may have been as many as 40 snakes in the home at one point.
No matter where you live, it's not uncommon to come across a single snake in your yard occasionally. However, it's always unsettling when one happens to make its way inside your home—especially if they're a venomous species. But even then, the only thing that's arguably more frightening is finding a lot of dangerous snakes hiding out where you live. And while it might seem like the kind of situation you only encounter in nightmares, a new video shows the moment when 20 rattlesnakes were recently found in one man's garage. Read on to find out where they were hiding and how you can avoid this situation.
An Arizona man recently discovered a rattlesnake infestation in his garage.
Even if you're relatively tidy, the garage is one part of the home that can acquire some interesting odds and ends over time. Usually, the worst-case scenario is a cluttered mess. But one Arizona man recently learned things could get much worse when he discovered nearly two dozen rattlesnakes hiding in his garage.
The infestation was documented in a video posted to YouTube by animal control company Rattlesnake Solutions, during which the homeowner explains to wrangler Marissa Maki that he's only ever noticed lone snakes on his property before noticing a few potential reptile intruders in his home. But a chorus of intense rattles begins shortly after she's led into the garage, indicating a serious problem.
After peaking into a corner, it quickly became clear that the homeowner's initial estimate of three rattlers was incorrect. "There's a lot of snakes in here!" she exclaims.
Many of the snakes were hiding near the hot water tank.
The homeowner explains in the video that he "only saw them from peeking around the corner" and had "tried to wait them out." But Maki soon discovered the area around the home's water heater was still positively crawling with rattlesnakes—which she identified as western diamondbacks—including five adults and what she first counted as 10 to 12 babies.
"That is a lot of snakes… I'm not going to lie. This is crazy," Maki exclaimed while using a special tool to pick up the snakes and place them in a bucket. "I'm guessing more than one of these was a mom that had babies," she said, later noting that one adult was pregnant and likely just getting ready to give birth.
After loading up the adults into one bucket, Maki was forced to grab a second so the first batch of rattlers didn't begin striking. But she was surprised to find many more of the recent offspring hiding around the appliance, removing enough to bring the total number of rattlesnakes to 20.
The rattlesnake infestation was likely even larger at one point.
During the removal, Maki noted that baby rattlesnakes typically stick around their mother for about 10 days after they're born until they shed for the first time and take off to fend for themselves. She said that the area near the water heater already had several skins, which means several had already left by the time they'd been discovered.
While 20 is already a daunting headcount, the number of rattlesnakes on site and the amount of shed skins means there were likely as many as 40 snakes living in the garage at one point, Bryan Hughes, owner of Rattlesnake Solutions, told the San Luis Obispo Tribune.
"It looks like it's been a group estivation (hibernation) and rookery site for quite some time, so we'll never know how many rattlesnakes have come and gone over time," he said. "This is our record for the most rattlesnakes caught in one call!"
Experts caution that it's the beginning of baby rattlesnake season.
Despite the overwhelming number of venomous reptiles, no one was harmed. Maki took the rhumba of rattlesnakes to a remote place in the desert and released them, confirming her count of 20 as she let them go.
The homeowner speculates in the video that the parents may have first arrived through a "desert wash" on his property. These act as channels for floodwaters during intense rainy periods but often become busy pathways for snakes and other wildlife, per the Tribune. Maki also pointed out that a gap near the corner of the garage door likely gave them easy access to their hiding place.
While the sight of nearly two dozen rattlers is shocking, experts point out that baby rattlesnake season is just kicking off in many parts of the U.S. In a Facebook post on Aug. 17, the National Weather Service office in Midland, Texas, warned it had found a recently born rattler while launching a weather balloon and cautioned people to stay aware.
"As your friendly neighborhood meteorologists, we're not only here to advise you of hazardous weather, but also hazardous wildlife," the agency wrote. "This is the time of year that rattlesnakes give birth, so keep an eye out, and stay safe!"