08/12/03 - Homeowners in Florida nervous about brahminy blind snakes

Received from Dr. Billy Crow,
Extension Nematologist
University of Florida

Recently I have received several inquiries about "wormy-snakey things" in peoples homes in South Florida. I have been able to identify these as brahminy blind snakes (Ramphotyphlops braminus). They are up to 6 inches long, dark, and shiny. They are round on both ends and have no eyes so that they look about the same on both ends. They move from side to side as they crawl (typical snake locomotion), but do not stretch and contract as do earthworms.

According to Dr. F. Wayne King, Curator of Herpetology at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, these are an invasive species that was introduced into Florida in potted plants. While these snakes are harmless, they are giving some homeowners "the willies" when they come across them in the house. They may get into the home along with potted plants, or come in from outside by crawling under doors or through cracks. The best way to get rid of them is to block up their entrance pathway or to remove the infested pots.

For more information on brahminy blind snakes see http://www.snakesandspiders.com/brahminy-blind-snake/.

The UF/IFAS Pest Alert WWW site is at: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/pestalert/