While some are shivering from the cold in the winter, rural Hillsboro resident Megan Hein was shivering from fear when she and her husband Nick found where a lot of snakes were hiding from the cold: their water meter.
“In the water meter there were probably 30 to 40 snakes,” Hein said. “You couldn’t even read the meter because they were literally covering the whole bottom of the meter and they were piled on top of one another.”
Hein’s husband Nick had to get a stick to slide the snakes off to get the water meter reading.
“I would have loved Nick to get rid of them, but he said they would leave once it got warmer out,” Hein said. “If they had been near our house, I probably would have not been OK with that because I wouldn’t have wanted them in our flower beds, but they were really quite far away.”
Hein’s husband found snakes in their water meter once again this past winter, and now that spring has sprung, snakes will once again be out and about looking for warmth and food.
“We have been seeing a lot of snakes,” Marion County reservoir worker Scott Amos said, “but a lot are harmless.”
Amos said that during colder seasons, when snakes are docile, they can be moved and do not have to be killed.
“They could just be looking for warmth,” Amos said. “A lot are now coming out of hibernation and moving and looking around.”
Assistant lake manager Kevin McCoy said that creatures such as snakes sometimes find their way into homes (though not very often) through various ways, such as open doors or dryer vents.
“They’ll find a way in an open garage door even for a few minutes,” McCoy said. “It’s surprising how many little critters can come in. There’s plenty of ways they can find their way into a house.”
If a snake has found its way into a home, and the owner does not want to deal with it themselves, if they live in the Peabody jurisdiction, may call Peabody animal control. Hillsboro and Marion do not have animal control.
Hein says though she is not a fan of snakes, her husband likes to leave them to help catch field mice.
“They are really good at eating other unwanted critters,” Hein said.
So while some may find snakes creepy, they do have a good side to them.
“They do help keep down rodents,” McCoy said. “You don’t want to live with them, but Kansas is full of a lot of snakes that do more good than bad.”