A home renovation project in Arizona turned into a risky game of hide-and-seek after a den of western diamondback rattlesnakes was discovered living behind the shower walls.
It happened at a home in Tonopah, and video shared by the snake catching service Rattlesnake Solutions shows it took cutting holes in the wall and ceiling to catch the snakes.
Four were removed in a series of hair-raising encounters in November and December, videos show.
In one case, a worker stuck his hand in the ceiling to find a gas line and heard something rattling. Days later, he looked up to see a rattlesnake “reversing his way down backwards, like he was backing into a parking spot down into the wall.”
“That was crazy. I’m really glad that they rattled at him,” veteran snake catcher Marissa Maki says in one of the videos.
“You’re not thinking when digging into your wall that you’re going to run into rattlesnakes. It’s just not something that’s probably on your mind. It’s on in his mind now.”
It took two visits to flush out the snakes, who likely came and went as they pleased by following a gas line through the walls, Maki says.. She suspects they intended to spend winter in the wall.
“So this is an older house in the middle of the desert. He’s remodeling it. He was taking out some walls and he noticed two sets of snake skins (and) didn’t think much of it,” Maki said. “Today, he was up there fiddling with wires and he noticed a rattlesnake coiled up in the wall. The snakes were between the first floor and the basement.”
The snakes were taken to a wilderness area and released into earthen dens.
Videos of the four removals have gotten nearly 30,000 views on YouTube, with commenters noting it was the element of surprise that most unnerved them.
“Nothing like reaching into a hole and unexpectedly hearing that buzz. I wonder if he called before or after he changed his pants,” one commenter posted on YouTube.
“That house would be up for sale. I could not live there knowing they were in there,” another wrote.
Tonopah is about 50 miles west of Phoenix.