Woman Falls off Six-Foot Ladder After Being Bitten by Hidden Snake

As snake season shifts into high gear in the U.S., it's best to remember to check those cool, shady spots around your house before doing any maintenance work.

One North Carolina woman was reminded of this on Saturday when she came across an angry snake while gardening in her front yard. A home surveillance camera caught her unfortunate encounter with the grumpy reptile as she was standing atop a six-foot ladder.

Heatherly Noble, a resident of Lake Norman, Mooresville, was at the top of the ladder, trimming overgrown hedges when she disturbed a hidden snake who decided to strike out and attack her, reported the Charlotte Observer.

"I was up on a six-foot ladder, about four feet in the air and I was going across and I guess I disturbed a snake who was living in my bushes here," she told the outlet. In a video posted of the interview, she can be seen using a pair of crutches.

"And out of nowhere, he jumped out of the bush, he struck my hand, which at the time I didn't realize that I had been struck by the snake."

After pausing for a second, she saw the sight of the snake preparing to attack again. "And what was really clear was, he was getting ready to strike again."

"I just knew that I felt a really sharp pain in my left hand," she told the Charlotte Observer. "That's when it rose out of the bush, like a demon right out of the depths of Hell."

Noble, shocked to see that four to five-foot-long reptile suddenly lunge at her face and feel its bite, lost her balance and fell to the ground, landing on her back.

As the recording from the surveillance camera shows, the snake does indeed try to take a second bite at her, leading her to make the jump that ultimately brought her to the ground.

"I, unfortunately, stepped backward into thin air so consequently I ended up with what appears to be a torn ACL," she told the Charlotte Observer, "I managed to wrench my right leg free but not before I did pretty major damage."

A neighbor called 911 after hearing Noble's scream. She was taken to Lake Norman Regional Medical Center in Mooresville and the snake was later identified as a non-venomous black racer.

"She is genuinely my hero right now," Noble said of her neighbor. "I had left my cell phone on the other side of the year, thank goodness one of my neighbors heard me and came to my rescue."

Noble shared the lessons she learned from her mishap, asking everyone to be thoughtful of our nature and wear gloves, long sleeves, and pants while gardening.

"I'll definitely be a little more respectful of the fact that we are living in a natural habitat," she added.

The black racer is often confused with North Carolina's most "familiar and conspicuous reptiles"—a "black snake," also known as a "rat snake," according to North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Black racers are comparatively smaller but faster-moving.

In another similar incident on Saturday, a Texas woman found a rattlesnake sneakily resting in her shoe while she was gardening at her own home.

Woman falls off ladder after being bitten
Red-bellied black snake Jono Searle/GETTY