“How do I get a boa out of my attic?,” was the question over the last few days I repeated to friends, acquaintances and anyone who I thought could give me a solution. But, alas no.
My boa problem started on Thursday last. I wasn’t home at the time, I was close by, on my way home, when my wife called me, “where are you, there’s a boa?”.
My last few days were spent attempting to coax it out of the small space, about 6 inches, between the roof and the ceiling. All without any results. I emptied two small fire extinguishers in cramped space. Smoke from under, seeping through the wood ceiling boards.
My last resort was a couple of mice hanging in a cage near the opening that the boa had squeezed through, breaking some of the boards. Not to worry, it all ended well for the mice. And the boa for that matter, slithering out in the early hours of Sunday morning, between 4 and 6 a.m. when I decided to take a much-needed rest, while no one was watching.
I can only surmise that the cold weather since Saturday made the space uncomfortable. It didn’t bother with the mice, it didn’t hang around, no pun intended. The dogs and I checked the property completely.
How do I know it came out? I put tell tales (three clothespins) on the entrance that I assumed it would use as an exit, to slither back down the tree and to the creek. I was sure the clothes pins would drop as the serpent slithered out of the hole.
The pins where in the ground. It was time to relax and plug the hole.
What an anticlimax. I had prepared to take photos as it came out. Had my (studio) light and camera ready for action. The only photos I have are of the mice hanging in my makeshift cage.
My house in Santa Ana, in an area still not part of the concrete jungle, on a large lot bordered by two creeks and large empty field in the back. The occasional snake has come into the property, but they are rare. Boas especially, though they are known inhabit the area.
Until two weeks ago I had never seen one up close. It was at least two meters in length and thick-bodied. It had wandered onto the property and my dogs rang the alert. We were able to force it back into the creek.
On Thursday, as my wife told me, the boa was stealthy, had selected as prey my big Husky. It was stealthy this time. Luna, my young American Stafford drew attention to the presence of the reptile, drawing the attention of all the dogs – six in all. Knowing its ambush has been frustrated and too far to retreat to the safety of the creek on the other side of the fence, the boa decided on climbing the tree with its branch closest to the roof, slithering in a hole from a missing board that had come loose from the strong winds of a few weeks ago.
Boas are non-poisonous. They don’t have fangs but have small, hooked teeth that they use to grab and hold prey. They don’t move very fast. They don’t need to since they don’t have to chase their food.
Even though the boa constrictor looks intimidating it actually is not very dangerous. But, I don’t want it around my house, especially not in the roof attic.
Now, how do I keep this boa or any other boa from coming back? I am open to suggestions.
Oh, yeah, the mice? I set them free.