Snake in our dishwasher vent


My youngest son went out to the kitchen, and then popped back around the corner telling me "Mom, there's a snake in the kitchen". Thinking it a trick, I followed him. When I get in the kitchen, I see what I assume is one ...of their toy snakes wound into the dish washer vent. I start to approach when my son pipes up and says "Mom, it's really real! It's not a trick!". Second guessing myself, I look again and see the flicker of the tongue.

Backing up, I call for my husband who is in the bathroom. Not willing to try and get it myself, and not knowing what else to do, I grab my camera. My thought, if it gets away I will at least have a photo to show a pest guy and find out what type of snake was in my house. I snap a few photos (using zoom!) and then Mike, my husband, joins the kids and I.

Now the fun part. What do we have that can get the snake out without having to get near it (turns out my knight in shining armor didn't like snakes either). In the end, Mike dons my heavy-duty cleaning gloves, grabs a pair of tongs and a bag. Armed with his snake-removing tools, he now approaches the snake. After a small fight (the snake tightened up and didn't want to be pulled out), Mike got the snake out of the dish washer vent and carried it dangling over the bag and out to the back yard.

If anybody can help me confirm that this is the relatively harmless garter snake, I would be able to sleep nights again. Also, does anybody know if it's possible for the snake to somehow come from the outside, and get in and up through the dishwasher, or is it more likely that the snake crawled up there after getting in another way?

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Jean says ... on Thursday, May 12 at 12:43 PM

OH MY GAWD! That is scary and funny. Love the snake removal tools comment. If that would have been at my house we would have had to buy a new dishwasher cause I would have had to get a gun and shoot it! I don't like snakes, only good ones are dead.

Anonymous says ... on Thursday, May 5 at 6:39 AM

OMG I barely slept last night after seeing this. Still creeped out this morning

bridbod says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 11:19 AM

Crikey! Thank goodness I live in England as my toes are curling at all these sightings of snakes your homes. Last week it took me over an hour to pluck up the courage to remove a 2inch garden slug from my under sink cupboard.

squeamish says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 10:20 AM

If I found it... there'd be a newly found high level of screaming and series of rapid shot gun blasts followed by an insurance claim. yup I can handle the situation but it would involve a full kitchen renovation... or the snake could keep the house.

chaunceydog says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 10:15 AM apparently climbed (yes, they can climb to some extent) up to go after the bird's eggs and found the hole. We're pretty sure it was in the house for 2 days before discovery. Random things had been knocked over....sometimes loudly. yikes.

Chaunceydog says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 10:13 AM

I had a snake in my bed...and yes, I mean an actual snake (black/rat snake to be exact). We figured out that it found a hole in the eves where a bird had pecked out the insulation to the point there was a hole into the house......

Kazul says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 10:06 AM

I thought the snake looked like a Black Racer, a type of King Snake. If you don't like snakes the Black Racer is the one to have as it eats other snakes. And yes, they're non venomus, but they can still bite when they feel the need to.

chaoboy says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 9:31 AM

@chaogurl: are you post lobotomy? rdw was obviously joking.

chaogurl says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 9:25 AM

rdw5, you are a mean and ignorant person. anyone who is a snake expert can tell this is a non-venomous snake. Also mamba snakes are indigenous to Africa and are highly unlikely to be found roaming freely about the US.

Lawrence says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 9:15 AM

Page87 of the King James Bible contains picture of this snake. That is the original snake. Very likely Adam & Eve may be hiding under your dishwasher! (insert silly wink here)

Snake Friend says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 9:08 AM

1 Garter is a good snake. 2 It may have entered from under the house through a plumbing hole wider than the plumbing. It liked the heat of dishwasher. 3 In Colorado, neighbors had an annual mating ball of hundreds of snakes under their house.

Annee says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 9:03 AM

While I lived in West Africa, I found a 4-ft-long green mamba curled up in my back-porch closet one afternoon. I gently closed the door, then called the houseboy from next door to get rid of it for me...while I stood out in the street...shiverrr!!!

molly says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 8:33 AM


Animal Fanatic says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 8:13 AM

That snake is just a Oregon Garter Snake. I know alot about animals so I should know what the snake is.

debrattt says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 8:04 AM

... day. It certainly enlivened a good portion of my Monday evening, and has kept me jumpy ever since! BTW (for those who care), we've lived here almost 10 years and have never even had a snake around our house (that we've seen) and we have no cat :)

debrattt says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 8:02 AM

I want to thank everybody for their input. I'm going to go with the general consensus and my gut feeling that this is some version of a typical Garter Snake. I'm also really glad that this story seems to have enlivened some part of so many peoples...

Sherri says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 7:33 AM

This reminds of the time that my mother discovered a snake in her toilet - well, actually, the dog did while she was in the bathtub. And this from a woman who called 911 one time for a king snake in the yard.

Len says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 7:24 AM

Best quote ever, "the snake is very sneaky." LOL

Michael Bean says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 7:21 AM

This is a Yellow Racer Gartner Snake. Harmless. Cats often bring them into a house. They can come in from unde rthe house.

Chris says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 6:59 AM

Doesn't look like a Mamba. Do they sell them in this country?

Chris says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 6:47 AM

I know how you feel! One night my husband went into his bathroom (we have two baths in our bedroom) but anyway went into his bath. and said there is a snake around the toliet and sure enough there was, turned out to be a rat snake. WOOF!

azure says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 6:46 AM

OMG, rdw5, a snake "expert"?? LMAO.

rola says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 6:23 AM

LOL@rdw5. Took me a bit to figure out I had to read your posts from bottom post to top post.

rdw5 says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 6:16 AM

an affection for it. Wash all dishes by hand from now on. Also, the snake is very sneaky and fast. Be on the lookout 24/7, and always have running shoes on. Sleep in them. Well, don't sleep actually. Good luck!

rdw5 says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 6:14 AM

....venomous snakes in existence. You and your family are very fortunate to still be alive. The snake is also very territorial. Unfortunately for you, it's territory is your home. I would never use your dishwasher again, as the snake seems to have...

rdw5 says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 6:13 AM

Hi Debra, I have some unfortunate news for you. I'm a snake expert, and I've been on many excursions to the plains of Africa and the jungles of South America. What you have in your dishwasher is a Copper Striped Mamba. This is one of the most......

Pick Me Up says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 5:59 AM

I am about to pass out just reading this. I can't get that image out of my mind now!!!

Ethernet says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 5:54 AM

He just wanted to clean up

Jen says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 4:58 AM

I found a small garter snake or rat snake twisted around the night light in my bathroom one morning. That really creeped me out!

Chris says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 3:19 AM

GET THESE MOTHER ****IN' SNAKES OUT DIS MOTHER ****IN' DISHWASHER! I think you have yourself a sequel.

Chris says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 3:17 AM

GET THESE MOTHER ****IN' SNAKES OUT DIS MOTHER ****IN' DISHWASHER! I think you have yourself a sequel.

JayT says ... on Wednesday, May 4 at 12:45 AM

There's several types of garter snake. Many types look vastly different from others. This one is better known as a "Common Garter." His dorsal stripe is a dead giveaway. Google the term and you'll find images of a hundred others just like him.

Robin says ... on Tuesday, May 3 at 11:09 PM

I had a snake in my house once. At first I tought it was a stick my kids had let on the floor. Realizing what it was as it was backing up sticking it tongue out at me, I yelled for my kids father who quickly got id of it YUCK! It was hard to sleep!!

Covet Loves Snakes says ... on Tuesday, May 3 at 10:59 PM

Dishwashers are not connected to the inner and outer workings of a house's infrastructure. It got in from outside. Its harmless. Glad nobody hurt it.

Dailene says ... on Tuesday, May 3 at 9:30 PM

oh my...I would die if a snake came out of my dishwasher. Crazy story.

Anonymous says ... on Tuesday, May 3 at 8:27 PM

A snake! In a dishwasher!

Krista says ... on Tuesday, May 3 at 8:25 PM

Its a Garter snake completely harmless.... If you have cats they probably brought it in. If you don't it cam inside looking for a warm place to sleep... It will not harm you or anything else in your home(unless you have mice).

Anonymous says ... on Tuesday, May 3 at 6:24 PM

you people make me afraid to use my dishwasher now!

RJM says ... on Tuesday, May 3 at 6:23 PM

This is clearly a garter snake, and not a gopher snake as suggested by 'Anonymous' (note the pale but distinctive stripe down the backbone of the snake, seen best in this photo below the head on the neck). Either way, it's completely harmless.

Maurer3D says ... on Tuesday, May 3 at 4:40 PM

It is defiantly a harmless snake, and is most likely a Northwestern Garter Snake (Thamnophis ordinoides).

Anonymous says ... on Tuesday, May 3 at 4:22 PM

Unfortunately mistaken, its not a garter snake, thay are much smaller and are black with a stripe down its back. It looks like a gopher snake instead. Ive been around snakes all my life. Gopher snakes are harmless, they often are called a bull snake.

Kay says ... on Tuesday, May 3 at 3:18 PM

If you have a cat, that would be how it got in! Mine brings them in alive every now and then.

BobbieJo says ... on Tuesday, May 3 at 3:14 PM

Snakes crawl into dishwashers, sinks, tubs, etc at the begginning of springtime because they are trying to moisten there skin to start shedding

vswag says ... on Tuesday, May 3 at 2:50 PM

This is exactly why I love YouNews!! This is awesome (in the "I'm glad it was harmless and it didn't bite anyone" sort of way). This is the best post I've seen in a long time.

itsme says ... on Tuesday, May 3 at 2:14 PM

I had the same thing happen last spring. Three of them came out from under my dishwasher and scurried across the floor.

Jethro says ... on Tuesday, May 3 at 1:08 PM

Yes, absolutely harmless snake :)

Guads says ... on Tuesday, May 3 at 12:26 PM

Hello, That is absolutely a harmless garter snake, although they love to leave super smelly musky secretions if you handle them and may bite a bit. No idea how it got in the dishwasher. I did find a mouse in mine once though.

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