A Georgia couple had a bit of a sssscare on Sunday when they came face to face with a large snake family under the bed.

Trish Wilcher thought she saw a “piece of fuzz” on the floor under the bed in her home in Augusta, but when she reached for it, it suspiciously moved.

“And then a second later another piece moved, and I went to my husband, ‘We have snakes!’” she told local news station WJBF.

In fact, they had 18 snakes.

“Ok we have turned the bedroom upside down… found 17 babies and the momma,” she posted on Facebook amid the slithery ordeal.

Her husband, Max Wilcher, was able to use a grabbing tool to contain the snakes in a linen bag. He released them outside near a creek, she told WJBF. A wildlife catcher later told the couple that the reptiles in their home were non-venomous garter snakes.



An eastern garter snake.

Georgia has both venomous and non-venomous snakes, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The agency notes that snakes are an important part of the ecosystem “because of their major role as both a predator and prey.”

Snakes coming into people’s homes is relatively common, Georgia DNR biologist Daniel Sollenberger told the Augusta Chronicle, noting that they can come in through “small cracks” or open spaces such as holes around pipes under sinks. It’s common for snakes to come inside if a home has a mouse problem, in which case he noted that the snakes might actually be helpful.

Non-venomous snakes are safe to shoo outside using a broom and bucket, Sollenberger said. But if you’re unsure whether the snake is venomous, he recommended calling someone licensed to remove wildlife.

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