Florida family finds snake living in attic for up to four years

By Ben Hooper

Aug. 9 (UPI) -- A Florida man suspected there were rats in his family's attic but made a far more surprising discovery -- a boa constrictor had been living in the home for years.

Bob van der Herchen said his son had complained about hearing sounds coming from the attic of the family's Englewood home for years.


"He used to complain he'd hear sounds in the attic. I didn't think much of it, I thought maybe it was rats," van der Herchen told WFLA-TV.

Van der Herchen said his son told him he thought there was a snake in the attic, but he didn't believe it until he recently spotted the serpent for himself.

"It took three and a half minutes for that snake to move into that rafter was bigger than I expected," he said.

He said the snake, which was initially misidentified as a rattlesnake but later found to be a non-venomous boa constrictor, had shed some skin in the attic and the trapper guessed that the creature had been there for two to four years.

"Over the last couple of years, my wife said she heard sounds in the attic. My son said he heard sounds in the attic," van der Herchen said. "It was actually bunking in the rafter space right above the Florida room chair where my wife sits."


Van der Herchen, a bee removal specialist, shared a video detailing the snake saga on Facebook.

"Been distracted from bee removals by a boa that was living in our attic. Only in Florida!" he wrote.

The homeowner said the snake trapper took the 6-foot boa away to find a more suitable home.

Van der Herchen said he believes the boa might have been an escaped or abandoned pet that slithered into the attic from a tree branch. He said the snake saga should serve as a reminder to trim overgrown branches.

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