A rattlesnake woke up an Arizona woman up in the middle of the night, and the predicament actually got worse in the minutes that followed.
The venomous snake vanished from sight, which meant it was still there but hiding.
It happened recently at a home in Marana, about 20 miles northwest of Tucson, and the homeowner ultimately took refuge in another part of the house, according to Derek Carlson, a rattlesnake prevention specialist with Rattlesnake Solutions.
“The western diamondback rattlesnake was initially found early in the morning by the homeowner on the side of her bed,” Carlson told McClatchy News.
“For obvious reasons, she left the room quickly. She called a neighbor who helped look for the snake. He searched for a good period with no luck. She then decided to call me to inspect the entire house for the snake.”
Carlson had been to the same home a day earlier, removing an even larger rattlesnake from the yard.
He came back for round two and faced an ominous bedroom door with towels stuffed in all the cracks.
“As soon as I opened the door to the master bedroom, I heard a slight buzzing sound,” Carlson said, noting the snake was not immediately visible.
“I opened the master bathroom door and found a juvenile western diamondback rattlesnake in a defensive posture on a bathroom mat below her vanity.”
The venomous snake was about a foot and a half long and Carlson managed to capture it quickly and place it in a bucket. Adult western diamondbacks average 3 to 5 feet in Arizona, according to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
The terrified homeowner then asked him to search the rest of the house. No other snakes were found, he said.
“It was determined that the snake came in through the back patio door that was left open. She had her security door closed, but the gap underneath was quite a large one,” Carlson said.
Rattlesnake Solutions posted a photo of the rattlesnake May 16 on Facebook, where it has gotten hundreds of reactions. (The snake was later released alive in the desert, according to Carlson.)
“That’s called a Monday morning heart attack!” Tracey Murray Templeton wrote on Facebook.
“No way that I would ever spend the night in that house again,” Debbe Taylor said.
“See that is the reason private citizens should be allowed to have hand grenades,” Mike Jennings posted.