Snakes invade Manitoba housing complex

A government-owned and run rural Manitoba housing complex has turned into a scene from a horror show after garter snakes began infesting the building, residents say.

A Manitoba Housing complex has turned into a scene from a horror show after garter snakes began infesting the building, residents said Wednesday.

People living at the Inwood Manor apartments in Inwood, about 150 kilometres north of Winnipeg, said snakes have been slithering in through any crack in the building they can find.

"They're always hanging out at the door, when somebody opens it they sneak in," said resident Tom Miller.

The apartment block, which is owned by Manitoba Housing but operated by a non-profit community group, is located about six kilometres from a major Manitoba tourist attraction, the Narcisse Snake Dens.

During the fall season, thousands of garter snakes make their way to the dens to hibernate over the winter.

Resident Ann O'Malley said she first discovered she had a problem around suppertime Tuesday.

"I was going to the stove to get some more supper and I just about stepped on one."

O'Malley said one of her neighbours pulled one of the snakes out of a toaster. They've also been discovered in people's beds and laundry.

O'Malley said the snakes are scaring people and they're wondering about possible health risks.

They say the snakes smell and urinate inside the building.

The problem has existed for a few years, but Manitoba Housing has refused to fix the problem, O'Malley said.

"Nothing is being done to stop them — but you can see for yourself the blood here from people killing them," O'Malley said. "Nobody wants them in their apartment. If they're out there — that's good. I don't want them in here."

Family Services and Housing Minister Gord Mackintosh said he would be looking into the residents' complaints.