Snakes in the car: A summer nightmare

06/12/2018 Same topic: Let's drive safe & smart!
It is reported by many car owners that snakes are sometimes found hiding in various places inside their vehicles. This terrifying encounter is not a myth, but a scientifically approved phenomenon that can happen to any of us if we do not take precautions.

The recent incident of a 9-foot long king cobra getting into a minivan in China has raised the concern of this danger among car owners and drivers, especially those who live in tropic countries where many snakes inhabit. In fact, there were many cases, recorded in many countries, of snakes getting into cars and causing panic to drivers and passengers. These incidents are not only frightening but also potentially dangerous, especially if you get bitten by a venomous snake or panic to see a snake in your car while driving.

A snake coming out from a car vent

Snakes need to hide in shady and cool places to avoid getting overheated in the summer

Why do snakes get into cars?

Snakes are cold-blooded reptiles which are very sensitive to outside temperature. When the weather is too hot, e.g. in sunny summer days, they need to hide in shady and cool places to avoid getting overheated. Houses and parked cars, which provide the shade and space, are possible “targets” for snakes that live nearby. In addition, snakes naturally love to hide, and the car’s engine bay and cabin consisting of multiple parts can be perfect hiding places for them, such as under the seats, in the ventilation system, and most commonly under the car hood.

Fortunately, snakes cannot crawl inside your vehicle unless the door, window or the hood is open. So if you are going to park your car in a shade where there are trees, grass or water’s edge nearby, don’t forget to close all doors and windows to block the snakes outside.

Places in the car where snakes can be found

Snakes naturally love to hide, and the car’s engine bay and cabin consisting of multiple parts can be perfect hiding places for them

How to detect snakes in the car?

It is difficult to notice the presence of a hidden snake in your car, especially when it often chooses the most secretive places to hide. You might only see it crawl out from under the hood or out of the vent after you started to drive, or never see it at all if it hides under the seats and stays there untouched.

However, if you suspect that there could be a snake in your car because you parked in a mountainous area and left the windows open, you can gently push a long stick into dark spaces in the cabin and through the openings of the vent. If nothing comes out and you don’t hear hissing sounds then your car is clear.

Handle the situation of detecting snakes in the car

If, unfortunately, you detected a snake in your car, don’t panic and rush to do anything. A snake will hardly ever attack you if it is untouched, so calmly get out of the car without touching the snake. If you are sure that it is not venomous, you can use a long stick to push it out of the car; otherwise, ask for help from someone who has experience dealing with snakes.

a snake in the engine compartment

If you detected a snake in your car, don’t panic and rush to do anything

How to prevent snakes from getting into cars

Try not to park in places where there are trees, bushes and grass nearby, in the mountains or damp areas. If you are going to park in those places that there could be snakes, remember to close all doors, windows and the hood before leaving your car.

If you live where there could be snakes nearby and they sometimes get into your car and your house, it is recommended to have a house pet like a cat or a dog. Cats and dogs are very sensitive to the presence of a nearby snake, so they can alarm you before you step into it. Also, planting marigolds or lemongrass in your house and garage would help scare snakes away, because they dislike the smell of these plants.

Snake slithers from vent in Florida woman's car

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