The weak basement doorway translated into unfortified walls leading downstairs. The bouncy bathroom floor had been wet under the linoleum and about three inches up two of the walls. The flickering light switches were warning them of the outdated wiring which had to be replaced. In the end, their $10,000 savings only helped to give them a bit of consolation when they paid $27,000 for all of the remodeling! The five-bedroom house sat on pastoral acreage in the American countryside. At less than $180,000, it seemed a steal. But it wasn’t a bargain. Ben and Amber soon realized the dream home they had purchased for their growing family was infested with hundreds of garter snakes. Throngs of reptiles crawled beneath the outer walls. At night, the young couple said they would lie awake and listen to slithering inside the walls. It was like living in a horror movie. The home was most likely built on a winter snake den, or hibernaculum, where the reptiles gather in large numbers to hibernate. In the spring and summer, the snakes fan out across southeast Idaho, but as the days get shorter and cooler, they return to the den. At the height of the infestation, the home buyer said he killed 42 snakes in one day before he decided he couldn’t do it anymore. He waged war against the snakes and “they won.” Buyers had little recourse when they decided to flee the home. They had signed a document, noting the snake infestation. They said they had been assured by their agent that the snakes were just a story “invented” by the previous owners to leave their mortgage behind.


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