Country Living: Move’em Out to Move In
You just closed on a house in the country, and you are looking forward to starting the renovations so that you can move in. What is the first step? Do you clean the house first, or do you start tearing down the things you don’t want and then clean everything out at the same time? The answer is neither.
The first thing you do when you buy a house in the country is get rid of all the wildlife that has moved in, the most annoying and the deadliest— the rattlesnakes. When my husband and I first started working on our house, he killed a snake in the shed, and that proved to be an omen of things to come. In the first month, he killed at least eight rattlesnakes. The snakes had moved in under the house, and they liked to sunbathe just inside the vents that allows air to circulate under the house.
One day, while my dad and I were going in and out the door bringing in tools and supplies, I heard a rattle behind me as I waited to hold the door open. I jumped into the house, and as I turned around, I saw the snake all coiled in on itself and very unhappy about being disturbed. Before we could do anything else, the snake went back under the house. Later that snake got 15 rounds from a .380-caliber pistol.
Next, we decided that we were going to redo the walls in the bedroom, so we could take out the giant beehive that was in one of the walls and add insulation. The problem with that was it meant creating openings where anything under the house could come up the wall and into the room, and they did. When we went to work on the room, low and behold, a rattlesnake was in the room, but it was a young one, which meant a clutch of eggs had hatched. So, we peeked down the walls and saw a few more young snakes in the walls. We must have scared them off because they never did come into the house.
I am not certain we got all the snakes from under the house; We have not seen any in the past two months, except for a grass snake that was stuck on a sticky trap. One thing for sure, I will always be alert, but I will still enjoy my new home.