I’ve browsed through just about all the snake related questions on this sub and haven’t seen this one yet. So here goes.

Yesterday, I found a black rat snake (almost certain, but given one of the answers on here, I am probably misidentifying the snake) about 4 feet long in my backyard. I’m in Charlotte, NC, where black rat snakes are very common. I saw this snake casually slither across my yard, crawl all the way to the other side, and casually enter a teeny hole in the underside of my outdoor generator unit. The confidence and familiarity with which this lil guy crawled in there makes it seem like there’s a nest down there. I’ve already seen a lil baby snake a few weeks back, so I’m confident on the nest part.

My question is a two part question:

  1. I understand that black rat snakes, if it is indeed one, are non-venomous. But a 4 foot long snake surely gives me the creeps. Also, I’ve been thinking about selling my generator (recently bought the house and it came with it, but I have no use for it since we hardly lose power and it runs on gas and that gives me anxiety). If I were to call someone (there are several online folks that just come pick up your generator and pay you for it), they’d absolutely refuse to take the generator if there’s a snake nest on under it. I don’t want to trick them into doing it anyway, that’s just a lawsuit waiting to happen. I highly doubt that a pest control company would have the skills required to be able to remove the generator to clear out the snakes. So my question is, how do I get this snake, and any possible babies out of this lil hole? The best answer would be I can do this without pulling the generator out to reveal a hundred snakes waiting to strike.
  2. I had the chance yesterday and I might have it again, but if I do, what do I do if I were to try to catch it? I can take all proper precautions and capture it. Then what? I live in the city. The road outside my front door has a speed limit of 35 but an average vehicle speed of 50 MPH and is a Heavy traffic area. I cannot release it in the front. The back is another house and not the woods. There aren’t any proper fences that can keep the snake away and I am positive it is bound to come back to its nest if I tried. So If and when I catch this snake, where do I put it after?

I don’t care if this snake helps with the rodents and is non-venomous, I don’t want a 4-foot snake in my yard. I’d like to not kill it, but I definitely need to do something with it that makes me feel like it does not exist in my life anymore. I hope I’m not coming off as hateful, I just really don’t like snakes.

Thank you

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  • Call animal control for your city - they likely have someone skilled in catching snakes. – bob1 Jul 19 at 20:23
  • @bob1 a few years ago, he could have called this guy. – Darren Jul 19 at 21:28
  • "The Humane Society of the United States says this: If you know there is a snake in your house, but you can’t find it, consider this: snakes like warmth and darkness, and a heating pad or even a pile of burlap or other material on the basement floor may attract the unwanted visitor, who can then be trapped and handled". This is in an article What to do about snakes, the Humane Society. In your case the heatuing pad should be put outside the hole under a burlap shelter. Never tried this, so can't vouch for it. – ab2 Jul 21 at 1:46
  • @bob1 I tried that, they said they will only come and catch a snake if it is IN MY house. Since the generator is outside, they refuse. And even if they think the hole under my generator warrants a visit, I highly doubt they'd send someone who would take the liability of opening up the gas generator to get to where this lil buddy is. So, that wouldn't work for me :( – Crazy Cucumber Jul 21 at 16:03

You could do what I did for a friendly family of skunks under my front porch. Set up a one-way trapdoor that lets it go out but doesn't let it back in. That's what the exterminator was going to do for $500, did it myself.

Might be a simple as glueing/taping a clear piece of plastic that it can easily push out from the inside, but can't push aside from the outside.

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  • That is a good idea, I will try doing this. Making it not too taut so it does not struggle to push out but still impossible to push into. Thank you for the suggestion! – Crazy Cucumber Aug 10 at 13:42

Ok, here's what you do.

First get some yards of fence wire ( very fine mesh, so that the snake can't get through ) and encircle the generator. Then start the generator. Wait for as long as it takes for the snake to come out.

If the snake doesn't come out then either it's dead already or very scared. Wait... It will eventually come out.

Then it's your choice: You call a snake expert to capture it alive, or kill it yourself. Sorry, if I can't tell you how to do this.

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  • A dead snake will eventually come out? – Darren Jul 31 at 14:09
  • @Darren well, if it doesn't, it's dead. The generator gets very hot, after a few hours in operation. – dimachaerus Jul 31 at 15:09
  • @dimachaerus I'd rather not have a dead snake under my generator and stink the house and my backyard away while it gets infested by worms. – Crazy Cucumber Aug 10 at 13:41

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