Know where the snakes live

The presence of garter snakes can ruin a person’s enjoyment of their home.

I have lived in the West 7th neighborhood for most of my life. The block we live on is on the river bluff and the limestone is just beneath the soil. Garter snakes love it because the soil is warmer. It isn’t at all unusual to see a few garter snakes sunning themselves on the basement window sills.

Occasionally a snake gets in the house. They can’t climb but they can fall in. They are not poisonous, they don’t have teeth and they usually slither away when someone comes near. They eat frogs, small mammals, earthworms, and insects.

Fear or dislike of snakes is common and some people have ophiophobia, which is an irrational fear of snakes. I can’t recommend the part of the West 7th neighborhood along the river bluff to people who suffer from ophiophobia.

There have been people who bought houses in the neighborhood but could not live in them. In one case the buyer bought the home during the winter and didn’t see a snake until several months later.

It is a good idea to make a note on the seller’s disclosure about the garter snakes and encourage prospective buyers to read up on local garter snakes before making a commitment.

It would be nice if there were a box to check on the Minneota Realtors seller’s disclosure. It should also be noted on the St. Paul truth in housing inspection.

The snakes can be found anywhere in Minnesota and throughout St. Paul.

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