Black Mamba Slithers Through Man's Front Door With Son at Home Alone

A black mamba slithered through a homeowner's front door while a son was home alone in South Africa. The venomous snake then tried to find cover and hid under a TV cabinet, darting across the room as the son ran out.

Black mambas are highly venomous snakes native to Africa. The snakes are among Africa's longest and can grow up to 14 feet, though the average is around 8 feet. They are among the deadliest snakes in the world, with a fatality rate of 100 percent if an envenomation is left untreated.

Snake rescuer Nick Evans was called by the boy's father and he went to the property to try to find the mamba.

Evans–who owns a snake rescue service in KwaZulu-Natal province–was with researchers Cormac Price and Craig Cordier, on his way to release several other black mambas he had previously rescued when he got the call to remove the snake.

The snake hid under a TV cabinet for cover

Evans arrived to find the door open, with the son keeping watch of the snake through a window, he said in a Facebook post.

On walking into the house, he was overcome with the smell of Jeye's Fluid, which is a type of disinfectant.

Black mamba
A stock photo shows a black mamba in a tree. The snakes regularly slither into residential properties MarieHolding/Getty Images

"It's a terrible, strong smell. It was everywhere." Evans said in the Facebook post. "I had to obviously get on my knees to look under the TV cabinet, but I absolutely dreaded that. I had to just do it though. The young man's identification of the snake was spot on, it was most certainly a black mamba. Quite a big one too."

Suddenly, as the snake catcher was trying to remove the snake, a toad hopped out right by his face.

"The fright I got when that happened...!" he said.

Evans reached under the cabinet with tongs, and pinned down the snake quickly. He then noticed the black mamba was soaked in the disinfectant–something that can kill snakes if left untreated.

The mamba was a large one, Evans said on Facebook.

"I rushed it to an outside tap, and we gave it a good rinse with water. Later, at home, I rinsed it off with Sunlight," Evans said on Facebook. "Jeye's Fluid is a toxic chemical not meant for animals. It's useless as a repellent. It doesn't chase snakes away either. However, if poured on snakes, the snakes suffer a slow death, as they suffocate."

Black mambas often slither into Durban properties as many are close to nature reserves or valleys, which are the species preferred habitat. They are often attracted to the prey that can be found there, such as rats and small rodents.

In the Facebook post, Evans warned people against using the disinfectant on snakes or any other animal. "Every mamba contributes to our ongoing research project, an extra bonus for me," he said. "After a few days of monitoring it, I'll be releasing it."

Correction 04/04/22 4.40 a.m. ET: The spelling of Craig Cordier has been corrected.