By Alex DeMetrick

GLEN BURNIE, Md. (WJZ) — A spike in snake problems. Calls are flooding into exterminators, as snakes move into Maryland homes. They’re looking for a meal and a warm place.

Alex DeMetrick has the scaly details of this early fall problem.

They aren’t everyone’s idea of a welcome house guest–even if they are harmless.

The reaction of snakes getting into people’s homes is more than a YouTube staple. As summer ends, it’s a fact of life.

In Maryland, it’s most often the black rat snake moving in.

“This time of year, we probably deal with anywhere from five to 10 a day,” said John Adcock, nuisance wildlife expert.

This house call is in Annapolis. John Adcock’s business is trapping unwanted animals.

“The snakes follow the scent trails that the mice leave behind and generally that’s why they’re in the structures,” he said.

“And also to get away from the cold air as well. They try to hibernate. It’s warmer in people’s houses,” said Nikki Heiss, House of Tropicals.

At the House of Tropicals in Glen Burnie, Nikki Heiss handles the snakes. She says most people never know they have a snake inside…until they shed.

“You find their skins, most likely. That, or young ones. The little babies,” Heiss said.

Which is exactly what John Adcock found in Annapolis.

“We got some immature baby black snakes. These are hatchlings. They were probably hatched in the last week or so,” said Adcock.

Because they climb so well, openings higher up are no problem. But crawl spaces and garages are easier for mice, and the snakes that follow them home.

In Maryland, nearly all snakes are harmless. Only timber rattlers and copperheads are poisonous, so it’s probably safe to check that crawl space when you get home.

According to the experts, the best way to keep snakes out is to seal any opening to the outside that mice might use.