Snakes alive! Leeds family terrorised by nest of slippery reptiles under the floorboards

3 August 2017......   Rebecca West with son Oscar, 17 months, whose rented property on Stanley Road in Harehills is infested by snakes. The home is being ripped apart to find the reptiles but the council, landlords and the RSPCA are unable to offer assistance. Picture Tony Johnson.
3 August 2017...... Rebecca West with son Oscar, 17 months, whose rented property on Stanley Road in Harehills is infested by snakes. The home is being ripped apart to find the reptiles but the council, landlords and the RSPCA are unable to offer assistance. Picture Tony Johnson.
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We’ve heard of things that go bump in the night - but Rebecca West and her family are being terrorised by an altogether slipperier sort of univited guest.

The 23-year old mum was shocked to discover a family of SNAKES living under the floorboards of her rented house in Harehills, Leeds.

North American corn snake. File pic.

North American corn snake. File pic.

She claims one of the serpentine interlopers even BIT her partner Daniel Bodally, 31, before sliding away.

And the cheeky reptiles have been leaving trails of shedded skins all over the house.

Rebecca made the discovery after laughing off initial concerns when she heard rattling under the floorboards.

“I had heard a one-off scratch before but I thought it was probably a mouse and it would go,” she said.

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“Then we found a snakeskin and started investigating.”
“We’ve not been able to catch any of them but we have seen them,” she added

“We put a torch down the floorboard and they slip away, but you can see where they have been sliding about.

“There are loads of babies and there is a nest under the bath.

“I don’t think they are poisonous, or my partner would have lost his finger by now.

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“But they are three or four feet long and they are still constricting - if they feel endangered they will suffocate their prey.

“I am worried they will get into my son’s cot and am constantly watching him.”

Miss West said the landlords - Family Estates based in Hunslet - had been out twice to investigate the problem but had just given the family a pair of litter pickers and a box to put the reptiles in.

They have also put expanding foam in gaps in the floor.

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However Miss West says this is not good enough.

She has also contacted Leeds City Council’s pest control department, as well as the RSPCA, but neither can help because it is a private property and they are not willing to go into the floor cavities.

“We have to basically wait for the snakes to come out and we have to catch them,” Miss West said.

“But every time we try they slide away quickly.”

Miss West believes the nest started when a previous tenant left their pet snakes behind, and the reptile family started expanding.

She thinks they are either corn snakes, a North American species of rat snake that subdues its small prey by constriction, or a variety of king or milk snake.#

She said she has asked the landlords to move the family to a different property, but to no avail.

In the meantime, she and her partner are sick with worry for the safety of baby son Oscar, who is 17 months old.

“We have had to lift all the floorboards up because they are moving around,” she said.

“The house is an absolute bombsite.”

The family moved into the house in May but only saw the first shedded snakeskins on Monday.

The YEP contacted a number for Family Estates, which is listed as being based in Pepper Road, Hunslet.

A woman answered the phone as “Family Estates” but declined to comment on the case.

She said: “I’m not prepared to comment. We are trying to deal with it, but that’s as much as I can tell you.”

The YEP has also contacted Leeds City Council for comment.

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