CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A Midlothian man was greeted by a large black rat snake when he grabbed a food delivery from his front porch.
Jeff Irvine snapped photos of the snake wrapped around the front door handle of his Brandermill home on Saturday afternoon.
“I ordered lunch through Door Dash so I came downstairs around that time to get the delivery. I saw the driver walk up, place the food on the front porch and walk off,” Irvine recalled. “I opened the door and looked down and didn’t understand what it was at first.”
“What the heck?” Irvine recalled yelling at the sight of the black snake hanging from the door.
“The delivery driver must’ve not noticed the snake because she put the food on the ground and walked away,” he said.
The snake eventually slithered away from his property. Irvine said he spotted the snake hanging out on his back porch a few weeks ago.
They found a similar but smaller black snake inside their home in September.
Irvine admitted that his wife and mother-in-law are quite agitated with the snake’s presence, but believe the reptile is friendly.
“I’ve given it some thought of catching and relocating it, but I think it would be more hassle than it’s worth,” Irvine said during a phone interview on Tuesday.
Dr. Ernesto Dominguez works as an exotic animal veterinarian at the Wellesley Animal Hospital on Lauderdale Drive in Richmond. He recommended humans give reptiles and other wildlife their space.
"I think the most important message to put out is that snakes are out there, and we have to respect them," he explained. "They also provide a lot of benefits to us, especially pest control. They control all the rats and mice that live around the houses."
Virginia state code prohibits the killing of snakes unless they pose a crucial threat to your health and safety. Most snakes are not aggressive if they are not threatened, according to the experts.
Non-venomous rat snakes are beneficial for humans to prevent pests from coming into houses and spreading diseases.
Dr. Dominguez warned people to be on the lookout for snakes as reptiles increase their movements during late Spring and Summer when there’s increasing humidity and the rainy season.
"They depend on the weather for their metabolism and activity. The warmer it gets and the more active they are," Dominguez stated.
If you encounter a snake or reptile, just leave them alone. Snakes are more afraid of us than we are of them, he said.
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