In the pool business, we are fairly accustomed to dealing with animals in swimming pools-mice, rats, frogs, crawfish, turtles, armadillos, and even an occasional skunk. In addition, we sometimes have to deal with snakes in swimming pools. Several of our service technicians have some very humorous snake stories, but they can also be dangerous. We once had an employee injured dealing with a snake-not being bitten by it but trying to get away from it. He fell and injured his knee in an attempt to leave the area of the snake-obviously in a hurry!
We are also aware of another service technician in the area that had a snake incident. As he was cleaning the pool, he reached down into the skimmer basket to remove the basket full of leaves. As he reached down into the basket, he felt something grab onto his hand. He pulled his hand out, and discovered that he had been bitten by a snake, a copperhead approximately 10″-12″ long. The copperhead had curled up into the leaves in the skimmer basket and was not visible. The pool technician spent three nights in the hospital, but evidently will have no long term effects (other than he might never empty another skimmer basket).
It is important to be careful when cleaning your skimmer baskets. Be sure that your skimmer basket has a handle so that you do not have to reach into the basket. In addition, before reaching into the skimmer basket, look real closely, and even consider using a hook or pliers to remove the basket. Another option is a Skimmer Pro basket—which has a tower that can be used for a handle. The tower is actually designed to help water flow when the basket is full of debris, but we have found that it also works well as a handle. Another product, called The Skimmer Angel, is actually a handle that attaches to your current skimmer basket.
Happy swimming and watch those snakes!