SHAH ALAM, Monday – A family faced a life-threatening situation as a rattlesnake entered their house that night.

Earlier at 9 PM that night, Mr. Rashid and his wife Maya said ‘good night’ to their 3 children as they prepare for bed. ‘As I closed my eyes, I heard a faint rattle. At that point, I thought it was my imagination and I shrugged it off,’ said Mr. Rashid.

Later, at 9.30 PM, the rattling got louder and more vigorous, accompanied by hissing sounds. The eldest son, Ali, aged seven, whose sleep was disturbed by the sounds, opened his door to check what was going on. As he looked down, he met face to face with a rattlesnake. He panicked and shut the door. He then proceeded to scream in his room, hoping to tell his parents of the danger he was in.

As soon as he screamed, Ms. Maya woke up and rushed to the commotion. She checked the situation, only to find the stated reptile in front of Ali’s room door trying to enter. She then woke Mr. Rashid up. Ms. Maya led him to the scene. They yelled out, in an attempt to calm Ali. They then immediately called the firemen.

After 20 minutes, the firemen arrived. They attempted to catch the rattlesnake. They were faced with difficulty as the snake rebelled ferociously. After a combined effort, they apprehended the 2 meter rattlesnake. ‘It was a tough one,’ said one fireman, ‘especially with a boy and his family at stake.’

The firemen said that this was their fifth case this week. They suspected that this was due to the start of the rainy season. The land in the forests become muddy, and more animals take shelter. This causes the snakes to find lesser prey, forcing them out to find food in residential areas.

Most of the cases reported happened near forests, however, the rattlesnake from this cade attacked an urbanized area. The firemen concluded that it was due to the area’s poor lighting conditions. Most of the street lights were broken, and those that were in proper conditions were not set to turn on. These lights, based on the firemen’s claim, would scare snakes away from coming into an area.

There are several steps we can take to prevent snakes and reptiles from invading our homes. Firstly, make sure that rubbish such as leaves are thrown properly, in correct places. Snakes generally use these as hiding spaces and cover from being seen. Secondly, keep the grass low by cutting and mowing lawns. This prevents snakes from slithering through unnoticed. Thirdly, remove pests like bugs and mice from your house, as they are the prey that draw in snakes.