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Venomous Snakes Can Make Your Home Smell Like This

 Unless you’re at the zoo or you have exotic pets, locking eyes with a snake is never a pleasant experience. Unfortunately, these slithering reptiles are known to wander into people’s homes in search of either food or shelter from the elements. In many cases, you won’t know that there’s a snake in your home until you find it. But there is one warning sign of a venomous snake in your home you can sniff out - Literally. Watch out for the smell of this common vegetable if you live in an area where venomous snakes are common. 

Snakes copperhead closeup
Pest controls experts state that a strong smell reminiscent of cucumbers can mean you have either a copperhead snake or a rattlesnake in your home. Both copperheads and rattlesnakes are especially common in the Southeast, but rattlesnakes can be found almost in every state of the continental United States.
Both copperhead snakes and rattlesnakes are venomous, and they are also the most likely to bite humans. One article reported that of the average 45 thousand snake bites reported annually across the US, “Most hospitalized victims ate bitten either by rattlesnakes or copperheads or by unidentified snakes.”
If you're worried about being intentionally attacked by a snake, don't - copperheads and other snakes don’t see humans as prey and will only bite people to protect themselves when someone steps on them or tries to grab them. Some snakes, including copperheads, have a special gland at the base of their tails that produces a musky odor that some people confuse with cucumbers. 
Snakes copperhead

Image Source: Peter Paplanus/ Flickr

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), this musky, cucumber-like odor is the snake’s defense mechanism, and it usually means that the snake is frightened, angry, or startled. Therefore, sensing this smell is NOT a good sign.

The best way to prevent a snake encounter in your home or garden is to snake-proof your home by repairing any gaps in the wall, mowing the lawn regularly, and getting rid of a rodent problem as quickly as possible. For more tips, read our article titled How to Keep Snakes Away From Your Home - 7 Useful Tips.

If you do notice a snake in your house or yard, never try to handle it on your own or hurt it. Try to isolate yourself from the reptile and call an animal control expert who will remove the snake from your home. For more details and instructions on what to do when you see a snake, read our Guide to Surviving a Snake Encounter.

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