By Liz Collin

OAK PARK HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — It sounds like a scene out of a horror movie: A Minnesota mom and her kids unsuspectingly move into a house full of snakes.

While it may sound hard to believe, it’s the frightening reality for a family left with few options after buying what they once considered the perfect home.

Like a couple of crime scene investigators, they treat the property like a puzzle, piecing together a homeowner’s worst nightmare.
“Typically, you’ll find them along the siding,” one pest control worker from Adam’s Pest Control said.

garter snakes House Of Snakes: Dream Home Turns Out To Be A Nightmare

(credit: CBS)

“That’s an access point for them to go ahead and get up,” another said.

When WCCO’s cameras visited, the pest control guys pulled five from hiding in less than an hour.

But the recent finds doesn’t truly tell the hell Angie Whitley has been living through.

“I hate that she’s going through this,” Mark Anderson, with Adam’s Pest Control, said.

The evidence of that is in her basement, which is now torn apart and littered with snake traps.

As a nurse and a single mom, Whitley spent years renting a townhouse in order to save enough for a down payment for new start.

“It was clean, new carpet, new paint,” she said.

The split level home in Oak Park Heights seemed like the perfect neighborhood for her two kids to grow up in.

Several walk-throughs and an inspection of the house yielded no trouble, but 45 minutes after closing on that October day, plenty of it slithered in.

“I brought my first sort of box here to my bedroom and I found a snake,” Whitley said.

“One quickly turned into 3,4,5. Today is 6 months later and I’m about 95 snakes that I’ve found inside my house,” Whitley said.
That’s 95 inside and a few hundred more outside.

“In the snake world, this is up there,” Anderson said.

Whitley knows a garter snake den is somewhere under her property which sits close to a marsh.

“Water creates a big boyd that’s where the foundation of her house is,”Anderson said.

It’s the perfect location for a reptile attracted to heat and to each other.

Whitley went back to the sellers who said they knew nothing. They’d rented the house out for the last six years.

“From what I’ve heard from the experts who have come out, they tell me that there’s no way this just started,” Whitley said.

So, Whitley has spent more than $13,000 herself trying to rid her family of the problem.

Ripping up her finished basement to tightly seal off any potential cracks and pumping out 40 gallons of water from a large hole she found in the foundation.

“We really thought that that was the problem,” she said.

Still, the spring has brought the snakes back.

Adam’s Pest Control has now donated their services to try to locate the snake den. While Whitley now sleeps upstairs on the couch and stays out of the basement.

The previous owners of the home did not return WCCO’s calls for comment.

Whitley has a lawyer and will likely enter into arbitration with them. An arbitrator will determine if fraud occurred and who covers the costs. Homeowners usually have two years to do so after a sale occurs.

Comments (44)
  1. John Koch says:

    What a laugh! Story is mostly bs.

  2. Tim Chandler says:

    Why don’t they start a business selling the harmless, inoffensive garter snakes?

  3. Jack Pod says:

    You been “had” lady. Hiring a lawyer was a good first step forward. This situation could go back to the builder constructing a house on a faulty lot.

  4. Matt Warne says:

    I realize there are plenty of people that don’t like snakes…but Garter snakes are completely harmless. They’re no more dangerous than a big garden lizard. Not worth $13,000 to try to get rid of if you ask me

  5. Garter snakes sell for about $20 as a pets. They are colorful and harmless. This dumb lady was sitting on a goldmine: 95 snakes @ $20/each = $1900.

  6. Homeowner should let her Title company know. title companies are owned by armies of lawyers who hate seeing misrepresentation, fraud go unchallenged.

  7. Telly Caster says:

    On the bright side, rats and mice are a non-factor in and around this lady’s home

  8. Stupid commenters. Obviously, no one wants to live like this!

  9. garter snakes? really? this is a problem? better than mice or rats… get a couple of cats they’ll cruelly capture, torture and dismember all the snakes… My two cats rid my acre lot of Rats in about 6 months… started out with a rat a day, a rat every other day, 3 rats a week, and so on until they were all gone… then they started killing lizards… they’ll kill small snakes too..

  10. John Oakman says:

    But she doesn’t have any mice.

  11. Kurt Frommd says:

    I bet she has no problems with mice or other little critters.

  12. Ra Williams says:

    My daughter and son would pay top dollar for a house with snakes in it! That is, if they had a job.

  13. They’re harmless garter snakes. Sell them to pet shops.

  14. Asian countries for Asians.

    Black countries for Blacks.

    but White countries for everybody?

    That’s genocide.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for Anti-White

  15. stay for a million dollars…the previous owners must have known about this infestation of snakes.

  16. Even before looking at the comments for this story, I could have told you that they would contain answers to the world’s problems.

    “Lady has snakes? TURN ‘EM INTO PETS!” “Oh Garter snakes? THEY’RE AWESOME! LADY IS INSANE!”

  17. I have had the same problem, and the answer is moth balls around and under the house

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