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'I'm not gonna live with snakes': Georgia woman leaves home rental infested with snakes

Mary Carswell says her snake problem comes from a rat infestation with her home. She says she's asked her landlord to help exterminate the rats, but he never did.

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — It's enough to make a lot of people throw a ‘hissy’ fit.

One woman in Milledgeville says she's found six snakes in her rental home over the past year and a half.

She says she's been forced to leave the house. 

Mary Carswell has lived in this rental for about seven years with no problem. However, she says lately it’s become a bit of a ‘sssticky’ situation. 

"I love the place. I'm not gonna live with snakes,” Carswell says– throwing her hands up in the air. 

Carswell says she saw her first snake in her home a year and a half ago. 

"I didn't know what kind it was. It was dark, it was at night. I'm coming out of the bathroom-- yeah, I killed it. I beat him,” Carswell said.

She says she saw another five over the next year.

"You know, you don't sleep for two or three nights, but then you get used to it again because you don't see it!”

Carswell says her snake issues stem from a rat infestation, and the declining conditions in her home.

"I can't put fruit down, I can't put cookies-- nothing down. There's plenty of rats,” she said.

Carswell says her home has started to sag in areas, so gaps are beginning to open up in her floors, between doors, and wood separating the inside of the house to the outside. She says she asked her landlord to call an exterminator for the rats, and he never did.

She says he's only brought rat pellets and sticky traps, and now there are snakes in the home. 

"Oh I'm living in a motel paying money every night,” Carswell said. “If he had listened and did like I asked, I don't think they would've come in. No one should have to live like this.”

Carswell’s daughter, Demetriss Strange, says her mother suffers from many illnesses already. 

“Open heart surgeries, leukemia. We don’t want any more problems,” she said.

Strange says they’ve been complaining to the landlord for years to no avail. 

She says it’s time for them to go. 

“He’s been known about it, I feel. So, it’s nothing new,” Strange said.

Possum Hollow Wildlife owner, Billy McLean, says he deals with pests like Carswell’s all the time. 

"We deal with everything. Alligators to chipmunks and everything in between,” he said. "If you're seeing snakes, it's for a reason.” 

McLean says Carswell has rat snakes, identifiable by their long and skinny body. 

He says they're common and harmless. 

"Generally, they're there for one reason, they are predators looking for prey.”

McLean says the best way to get rid of rat snakes is to get rid of their food: rodents. 

He says you should hire a professional for that.

McLean says even if you get rid of the rats, snakes that are already in the area have to be chased away too. 

"Marigolds, lemon grass, garlic,” he said. “There are some repellents, but I don’t recommend going to your local hardware store and buying the over-counter-repellents. That stuff is about 90% filler, and 10% active ingredients. However things like lime, seminole, clover, sulfur– that works great.”

McLean says snakes in the state of Georgia are protected and says killing rat snakes is illegal. 

We reached out to the land owner, Giles Christopher. He declined to comment on the situation.

Carswell says she didn't expect to move out so suddenly. If you'd like to help her with her move, you can go to her GoFundMe.

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