Pool noodles are popular foam flotation devices for swimmers of all ages, and they come in handy outside the water, too.
For instance, woodworkers can protect saw horses with one, families with small garages can make car door bumpers to prevent accidents, and you can even turn one into a kitchen faucet extension to fill buckets of water.
No matter how you use pool noodles, be careful because snakes sometimes find shelter from heat in their holes. The dark, cool environment inside these foam tubes is ideal for small reptiles and other creepy crawlies as temperatures rise.
A Salado, Texas, resident learned that after finding an adult rattlesnake and several baby snakes inside a pool noodle, according to USA Today.
Following that incident, the Salado Volunteer Fire Department immediately issued a statement to the public, advising people to store pool noodles in elevated, sealed locations to prevent rattlesnakes, water moccasins and other venomous snakes from using them as habitat.
However you use a pool noodle, here are some tips to keep you safe.
Pool Noodle Sawhorse Protection
If you use pool noodles to protect sawhorses, make sure there is a firm seal between the foam and wood so snakes can’t slither in.
Inspect the noodles and confirm that nothing will crawl out while you’re working. If the noodle isn’t secure, tighten it down with electrical tape or duct tape, filling any gaps.
If possible, store your protected sawhorses in a garage, shed, or indoors to limit exposure to the elements and unwanted inhabitants.
Pool Noodle Hose Extension
If you’ve used a pool noodle as a hose to fill buckets from your kitchen sink, be sure the inside of the noodle is dry before you store it. Moisture inside the noodle creates cooler temperatures, making it an ideal space for snakes.
Pool Noodle Car Door Bumper
Using pool noodles as car door bumpers in your garage can be an effective, inexpensive way to protect your car’s paint, but it could also provide a perfect home for snakes.
Close off the noodle’s ends so nothing can find its way inside, and avoid leaving your garage door open for long periods to limit access for snakes and other animals.
Your garage’s cool pavement is also an ideal spot for snakes to cool off and hide from the sun.
If you see a snake, stay calm and call your local animal control office; some police or fire departments also respond to snake sightings. Don’t gesture toward the snake and, remember, the snake likely won’t bite you if you leave it alone.
What to Do If a Snake Bites You
If the snake does bite you, stay calm and call 9-1-1. Try to remember everything you can about the snake’s features such as color, patterns, head shape and size, and tell the operator.
If possible, have someone take a picture of the snake from a safe distance. This will help medical staff treat you when you arrive at the hospital.
Remember, you aren’t a cowboy, and this isn’t the Wild West. Never cut into a snake bite or suck out venom with your mouth, as infection and dental problems could worsen your condition.
Advances in modern medicine have improved treatment for snake venom, so bites increasingly are less deadly, but you should always see a doctor right away.