100 Rattlesnakes Found Under Woman's Home

Damir Mujezinovic

The United States is home to about 30 species of venomous snakes. Twenty three of those are rattlesnakes, and at least one venomous snake is found in virtually every state.

Northern Pacific rattlesnakes are the only venomous snake found in Northern California, and the last thing a person would want is to see one near their home.

But that's exactly what happened to a woman in Santa Rosa, a city in California's Wine County -- except, it wasn't one snake that she encountered, but nearly a 100 of them.

Here's what happened.

Snake Den

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On October 2, director of Sonoma County Reptile Rescue Al Wolf responded to an unusual call: A woman said that a snake den was under her house.

According to SFGate, when Wolf arrived at the scene for the first time he found 59 newly born baby snakes and 22 adults under the house.

He also found a dead cat, and a dead possum. It took Wolf three hours and 40 minutes to retrieve all the snakes.

On two follow-up visits, Wolf found 11 more adult snakes, bringing the total number to nearly 100.


Wolf described the situation as "exciting," noting that the Northern Pacific isn't aggressive unless provoked.

"You go under the first part of the house and there's storage and then it goes into the area that's tight and you have to crawl into it and you can smell the rattlesnake smell. It's the smell of their droppings. I got in, and I smelled that and it's like when you smell popcorn and you go 'Oh!' Right away, I knew I might have something special and I was hoping ... and occasionally your hopes come true."

Why Were The Snakes There?

So why were the snakes under the woman's house, and why were there so many of them?

According to Wolf, this usually doesn't happen, but the conditions under this particular house were pretty much perfect for rattlesnakes.

Apparently, the home "was built on top of a rocky area and access from the area under the foundation to the outdoors was left open, creating an environment snakes like."

"This was obviously their den site. They had access to travel in and out and get food," Wolf explained to SFGate.

Home Owner

Wolf noted that he never kills the snakes he retrieves from people's properties. He actually released the snakes he found in Santa Rosa in areas where there are no people.

As for the homeowner, she was very calm about the situation, according to Wolf.

"She told me, 'Now I know why I haven't had any rodents all these years.' This lady wasn't afraid of them. She doesn't mind having them there. There were just a couple too many," the director of Sonoma County Reptile Rescue said.

According to Newsweek, northern Pacific rattlesnakes are highly venomous and their bites can induce intense pain.

Fatalities resulting from northern Pacific rattlesnake bites are rare, and most people recover within 24 hours.