Dream House : Snakes Infestation Chases Family Out of Home “Watch”

Dream house full of snakes? Annapolis family suing for $2 million after being forced from snake-infested home - Watch

Snake Invasion Turns ‘Dream House’ Into Nightmare for Maryland Family.

An Annapolis couple spent roughly $61,000 in a futile effort to rid their newly purchased dream home of a snake den before they moved out and filed a lawsuit against the real estate agent – also their next-door neighbor – who sold them the hissing house.

Experts told Jeff and Jody Brooks that snakes had established highways through the walls of the $410,000 house and found snake feces on the walls and in the insulation. The bodies of adult and baby snakes were found in the house early on, then live snakes up to seven feet long began emerging from the walls.

Jody Brooks told Patch the experience is “unfathomable, it’s insane. It’s incredible, and not in a good way.”

What keeps her grounded is knowing that her kids are OK. She grew up in the neighborhood and for now her family has moved in with her parents, who live on a nearby street. “The support from the community is certainly what keeps us putting one foot in front of the other.”

Discovering the slithering infestation prompted the Brooks family to move out recently and file a $2 million lawsuit against real estate agent Barbara Van Horn, Champion Realty, Inc., and Van Horn’s mother, Joan Broseker, court records show. Broseker was the previous owner of the troubled house that sits on just over an acre at 631 Truxton Road.

The couple’s four-year-old son, Thomas, called the spacious yard the site of his ball field.

Jody says she and her husband would lay awake at night, shaking from the nightmare their home had become.

Her single-most important question for a snake expert brought in: “Help me sleep, tell me wouldn’t have found one of these wrapped around our baby girl in her crib,” Jody says.

The expert said there was no danger of that, since baby squirrels are the rat snake’s largest item of prey.

“They’re harmless, except for the scared, poop and creepy factor,” she says.

The Brookses said they had asked about pest inspection reports before purchasing the home, and nothing was disclosed. The couple — along with son Thomas and 9-month-old daughter, Lilly — have suffered with respiratory problems since they moved into the home. Their lawsuit says it’s because of the high levels of snake feces found in the walls, ceilings and insulation of the house.

Court documents allege that as temperatures climbed in April, rat snakes came out of hibernation in the house, particularly its unfinished basement. Among the snake sightings described in court papers:

On April 3, their son found a 3-foot snake coming out of the house wall between the brick and the soffit.

On April 11, Jeff Brooks found a 7-foot snake in the basement, called a pest control company that removed the snake and applied a deterrent to expel other snakes. An hour later, Brooks found and killed a 4-foot snake coming out of the basement’s woodwork.

A few days later, the parents heard a snake slithering in the basement bedroom ceiling while their baby slept upstairs.

A snake inspector from Home Paramount urged the Brookses to have a contractor gut the basement so exterminators could assess the “snake highways” established in the house, court records say. Ultimately, snakes, snake nests and snake feces were found throughout all levels of the house and it was deemed uninhabitable and worthless.

The site has been a snake den for years, experts told the couple, and while the creatures are dormant in winter – including December when the Brookses bought and moved into the house – they are active in the warmer months. The lawsuit says there is no guarantee that demolishing the house and building a new home would keep snakes out of the site, which has likely been a hibernation spot since 1985.

The couple was told that even if a contractor dug down to the bare ground, the snake pheromones in the soil would draw them back to the house site to nest and reproduce. An expert tells them the site would have to sit empty for 15 years before the snakes would find a new home.

“The scope of this is just incredible, it’s unreal. It’s certainly life-altering,” Jody says.

As they grapple with the reptile invasion, and the national media attention, Jody says she’s humbled by people offering sympathy, hugs, thumbs up, and pats on the back.

“The support is just overwhelming, it’s certainly helping us get through this. I’d much rather crawl into a hole.”