CENTENNIAL, Colo. — After looking at homes for a few weeks, Amber Hall walked into a four bedroom, two bathroom home in Centennial and she knew it was the one. She could see her two children and two dogs loving the backyard and location, but never expected the home was already occupied by unwanted guests.
"I was trying to unpack, and my dog crouched down and he started walking over here really slow," said Hall, pointing to a door along the back wall of her garage that leads to the yard. "I came over to see what he was looking at, thinking it was like a spider or something, and there were two little holes right here and I saw snakes slither up the wall. So, I panicked.”
The snakes were shockingly large and coiled up right next to the door in a crevice in the wall. Hall put her hand on the wall above them and said she could feel warmth, leading her to believe there were even more snakes above them.
Hall said the first snake was found 10 days ago, and since then, 10 snakes total have appeared.
“Shockingly big. After all the research, everybody's saying they're some form of garter snake. But they're also giving the caveat that nobody's ever seen their garter snake that big," she said. “I can't unpack any of my stuff because I'm definitely afraid that there's snakes in the boxes or under the boxes... It's like you crawl into bed, and if the sheet brushes your foot or something, you immediately rip the covers off or jump out of bed to make sure nothing's in there.”
Hall said she hired a snake wrangler, who has been helping remove the snakes in a humane fashion. She said none of the snakes have been killed. However, the snake wrangler told her he believes some of the snakes have been living there for at least two years based on their size.
“I don't feel like I'm the first one to find them, but I don't think that anybody would ever say that they knew they were there," said Hall. “It's rough. I'm 42 years old, and this is my first home. I've worked my whole life for it, and I can't enjoy it. My kids can enjoy it. I'm scared to death.”
Hall said so far, she has spent around $1,000 on removing the snakes. She's not sure she will feel comfortable in the home until she rips up the concrete and locates where they are living.
Denver7 spoke with the realty company that helped Hall buy the home. A spokesperson said the company would have told Hall if anyone had seen any snakes. They added this is the first time they have heard about a snake infestation at any of the properties with which they work.
Joe Sheftel, president of Blue Tick Pest and Wildlife Control, said finding that many snakes in such a short amount of time would lead him to believe there is a snake den somewhere underground near the garage. He said this is the time of year when his company starts receiving more calls about snakes as the weather gets warmer and they begin to come out into the sun.
“Obviously the first thing is food, shelter and water, right, with any vertebrae. So you know, what do they eat? Insects and rodents mostly. So if we can reduce that, along with their shelter ability — so those kinds of foundation cracks, those areas along the concrete, seal those up," said Sheftel.
Sheftel said most home inspectors search for mechanical, structural or electrical issues. He said if a homebuyer would like, many companies similar to his will conduct pest inspections prior to the sale of a home.
“90% of the time we do free inspections. So, if it's in the metro area, you know, the vast majority of pest and wildlife companies will give you a free inspection. If it's for a new home and you're like, "Oh, well we don't have a problem, we just want a free inspection," it might run a couple hundred dollars, but then you'll still get a lot of pictures, you'll get a report, and you might get some peace of mind," said Sheftel.