If you are a resident of the gator-infested Sunshine State, you’ve likely had at least one close encounter with a reptile. With that being said, not all scaly creatures are created equal— especially when found squatting in homes.

That’s right, Sarasota County local Bob van der Herchen was appalled to discover that the noise coming from his attic wasn’t a mouse, as he had suspected; instead, it was a 6-foot-long boa constrictor!

In an interview with news station Fox 13, van der Herchen describes what it was like to open up his attic space and see a massive snake resting next to piles of shed skin. “When he pulled the snake skin out—that’s the sign that it might have been there for quite a while!” van der Herchen muses. Creepy!

To aid him in his quest, the freaked-out homeowner brought in the big guns, a professional snake capturer by the name of Mark Lampart. Two-and-a-half hours later and after several failed attempts, the reptile whisperer was eventually able to coax the snake out with the help of an 18-foot long PVC pipe. Hey, whatever works!

Florida’s problem with serpents

While the state of Florida is certainly known for being home to a myriad of dangerous reptiles – did someone say “alligators”?! – it currently has a huge problem on its hands when it comes to the snakes, like the star of today’s video—giant constrictors.

Large, nonnative snakes like the boa constrictor and the Burmese python have been terrorizing southern Florida since the 1990’s, with many researchers blaming the problem on negligent pet owners.

You see, it has, unfortunately, become common practice for would-be reptile enthusiasts to buy large constrictors with lofty goals in mind, only to abandon them when the serpents get too big or too expensive to manage.

Because some boa species reach up to 13 feet and live an average of 20 to 30 years, it’s not unreasonable for an owner to get overwhelmed at one point or another, especially considering their backyard is a suitable environment for the snake.

And while these slack pet owners may think they are performing a good deed by letting their snake live in the wild, it has created a serious problem for all involved.

These invasive predators aren’t just terrifying, they also cost both the State and residents a lot of money, as they require seasoned professionals for trapping and relocation. On top of being an annoyance, the snakes are virtually wiping out some indigenous animal and plant species.

Now that you know how and why these invasive reptiles can end up slithering into people’s homes, it’s time for you to see the evidence for yourself. To meet both Bob van der Herchen, as well as his unwelcome house guest, click on the video below.

Talk about disturbing! We’d love to hear your thoughts on this story. Have you ever encountered a snake living in your home? If so, how did you remove it? Do you own a boa constrictor or any other large snake?