snake in car
Omro Police Department via AP

The Truth About Snakes and How They Can Get in Your Car


There are a lot of people out there with a fear of snakes, and if one happens to make its way into your car, it may be quite an unpleasant surprise. Realistically, this can totally happen, although it's pretty unlikely in most cases. If you happen to live in areas like Texas, Florida, or Virginia, to name a few, the chances do go up, though.

So, how exactly does this happen, or more importantly, how can it be prevented from ever happening? Well, there are a few ways, which we'll go over below. The last thing anyone wants to see is a snake slithering inside the cab of their car, so this information could be pretty useful for some. First things first, I think it's important to go over why snakes will seek out vehicles for shelter in the first place.

Why Snakes Like Vehicles

Snakes have a very strategic way of living. They prefer to be in dark, enclosed spaces, because it gives them a dry place to hide from predators. They'll also utilize these areas, because they are much easier for defensive purposes than being out in the open. Now, think about a vehicle. There are tons of open areas for these snakes to quickly slither up into, especially when you consider the underside that the snake is looking up at. It's certainly a tempting place for a snake to find shelter.

The other reason snakes are drawn towards vehicles is the fact that they are cold-blooded. They are unable to generate their own body heat, so a nice and warm car can act as a good heat source. Generally, snakes rely on their environment and the sun to keep warm, but something like an engine bay has the ability to both heat and keep the snake out of harm's way.


Areas of Entry

So, there are some popular spots where snakes are more likely to gravitate towards. Obviously, the engine bay is likely one of the most common spots for a snake get into. It's normally pretty open, it's heated, and it offers a ton of different gaps where the snake can move around or hide. If you ever notice a snake in your engine bay, try to avoid reaching around until you grab it. It's much more likely to get you before you get it. If you don't have a useful tool to help you, it might just be best to call some kind of animal control officer to assist. That said, it is important to safely remove them, or you risk causing a fire, or having that snake get wrapped up in your belts.

There is good news. It's highly unlikely that a snake will ever make its way into the actual cab of the car. There are very limited areas that lead from the outside to the inside. You might think that they could squeeze into the car's air vents connected to the air conditioner, but air conditioning systems are traditionally sealed up well enough that it's not an issue. The only way a snake would get into the cab is through an open car door. Even if you're just on a lunch break, leaving the doors open does leave that opportunity for snakes to get in. If you leave them open overnight, you may find a surprise visitor inside the next morning. Additionally, the same concept goes for leaving your windows down. Believe it or not, snakes are good climbers, and they can make their way up there easily.

You've also got the trunk. Much like the cab, it's not common for a snake to be able to get inside, unless the deck lid were left open for a while. Keep that in mind, because if you happen to let a snake in, there are quite a few different holes where they can get behind the plastic dashboard, door panels, and through the vents. It's best to just not chance it, so keep those doors and windows closed at all times.


Pass this information along to your acquaintances, so your friend's car is just as protected as your own. That said, let's end things on a good note. As we stated above, it's not a common problem, so you really shouldn't be too freaked out. Also, only 25 percent of all snake breeds are venomous, so even if one finds its way in, there's more of a chance that it's harmless. Garter snakes, rat snakes, and brown snakes are among the harmless breeds, but if you spot a rattlesnake, well, you've got a bigger issue.

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