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Woman Sees Snake "Slithering Out of Her Hood" While Driving—How to Avoid the Same Fate

Two recent separate incidents show that the reptiles can sometimes hitch a ride.

Even if they're trying to mind their own business and steer clear of humans, snakes still have a unique way of taking us by surprise. The reptiles can make their way into places we might not expect to find them when they're searching for a meal, whether it's in our backyards or inside our homes. But they can turn up in even more unusual spots—as recent incidents have shown, including a woman who saw a snake "slithering out of her hood" while driving. Read on to see how you can avoid the same fate and keep any stowaways out of your ride.

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A woman recently called 911 to report a snake slithering out of her hood while she was driving.

driving car
BEAUTY STUDIO / Shutterstock

We've all been caught off guard by something in our car, whether it's discovering an old snack that managed to make its way underneath a seat or a bug that happened to fly in through the window while en route. But in one recent incident, an unlikely stowaway managed to take one woman by surprise after she discovered a snake hitching a ride in her vehicle, local Oklahoma City NBC affiliate KFOR reports.

In a 911 call, a woman reached out for help after she realized a reptile was making its way out of the body of her vehicle while driving down the road. "There's a snake in my engine. It's coming out of the hood," she told operators.

Officers from The Village Police Department responded to the distressed driver. "He laid out across the whole front end of my car, up there by the windshield wipers," the citizen told the responding officer in body cam footage, KFOR reports.

Fortunately, the police officers were able to safely remove and release the animal without harm, according to a Facebook post from officials on May 21.

The same police officer had responded to a similar incident of a snake in a person's car days earlier.

Woman In Car Talking On Mobile Phone Whilst Driving. Attractive woman uses smart phone while driving.

But this wasn't the only snake incident reported recently in the small Oklahoma town. Days earlier, the same police officer was called in to deal with a resident who also noticed a reptile in their vehicle.

In a Facebook post on May 13, The Village Police Department shared an image of the same police officer carefully holding a snake he had just removed from a resident's car. "While this isn't a common police issue, officers responded to try and help," officials wrote.

The officers said the animal was unharmed in the process, jokingly adding that "after it was checked for warrants it was released at the city barn away from residences." Commenters on the post also identified the reptile as a non-venomous western king snake.

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You can tell you might have a snake in your car in a few ways.

A snake on the hood of a car
Shutterstock / Tucker Heptinstall

While it may not be as common as finding one in your home's basement or kitchen, the latest incidents in Oklahoma show that snakes are more than willing to make themselves comfortable in cars. And according to experts, they will often hide in vehicles for the same reasons they end up in other unexpected places.

"Especially during the fall and winter, snakes are searching for a warm, enclosed place to seek shelter, sometimes making their way into your car," John West from Alamo Termite & Pest Control previously told Best Life. "They can easily sneak in through an open door or window—or even up into your engine, undercarriage, or trunk if it's left open."

West says that usual signs of a snake's presence, such as shed skins, can be less useful for spotting one in your car since they can take up to three months of hanging around before any get left behind. But you can still keep an eye out for tracks around your vehicle to a clue there's been one nearby.

"Look for a side-winding pattern in the dust near the car created by reptiles slithering across the ground, particularly along walls and beneath automobiles," Jon Callahan, reptile expert and founder of nature website OwtDores, previously told Best Life.

Here's how you can avoid picking up any scaly stowaways.

A snake coiled near the tire of a car

While it's still shocking to see a snake emerge from beneath your hood while on the road, there's no reason to fear they'll be able to get inside your closed vehicle. Contrary to popular belief, cars' vents and climate control systems are sealed off from outside air, making them unviable pathways for reptiles looking to slither in, AltDriver reports.

But while parking in your garage might seem like a foolproof way to protect against any kind of reptile intrusion, you should still ensure that you're not leaving any potential entry points for snakes, either. Leaving your windows down can give them all the space they need to slither in while looking for a warm place to stash themselves—even if it's just a tiny crack.

Your garage could also entice snakes in another way if it's home to a pest or rodent problem. "Besides warmth, the other thing snakes are in search of is food," Sharon Roebuck, owner of Eastside Exterminators in Seattle, Washington, previously told Best Life. "Their main source of food in the wild is rodents. So, if you are attracting rodents into your garage, then snakes will soon follow."

You can avoid pest problems in your interior parking space by keeping it clear of clutter or other spaces rodents can hide, especially cardboard boxes. It's also best to avoid storing any pet food or bird seed, which is an enticing food source for mice and rats.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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