Any tips on how to extract a reptile from a car's air vent?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    You honestly can't make this stuff up.

    husband took the kids out to run errands yesterday. I stayed behind to get ready for an outing with my mom. The gang got back just as I was headed out the door. easy child was distraught and crying because she had taken her beloved pet alligator lizard Gibble with her and it crawled into the defroster vent on the top of the car dashboard! :nonono: She had set her down there for a second to grab a cricket she'd dropped (they were on their way back from the pet supply store for crickets).

    husband said they stopped at a car repair shop to see if they could help, and they sent him to the Ford dealer but their service dept. had closed just 20 min. earlier. They showed him how to at least get the glovebox safely lowered, but that wasn't really very helpful in this situation.

    I went outside with all of them to see what could be done. husband, being the reactionary head case that he is, was frantic and barking orders at everyone, which got all three kids wound up. He's trying to dismantle the dashboard (I surprised with his luck he didn't detonate the air bag).Next thing I know, difficult child 1 and 2 are fighting and coming to blows, easy child is yelling at me, and husband is yelling at all of us in the middle of the driveway (I can only imagine what the guy across the street was thinking while he was standing in his garage watching the drama unfold).

    I sent the difficult child's to their rooms, briefly consoled easy child and helped husband get our EZ-Up canopy over the hot car so the critter wouldn't bake inside. Then I left.

    I called a few hours later to check in -- husband said easy child had been crying for about two hours. Gibble had popped her head up out of the vent briefly when easy child was standing guard in the car, and easy child tried unsuccessfully to grab her.

    So today we are looking at another marathon stake-out until this reptile decides to crawl out. And if it doesn't come out today, it's looking like husband will be taking my car to work tomorrow. But at some point this creature has to come out. I put a tiny bowl of water on top of the dash in hopes of luring it out. easy child said she'd just fed her a cricket before she crawled away, so hunger is not going to be a motivator for a while.

    Any suggestions?
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Call Janet. Jamie might have an idea.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jamie suggests running the AC so it doesnt die while it is so hot and tearing apart the dash.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Put something smelly that Gibble might like to eat (cat food?) on the dash as far from the vent as possible. It should attract Gibble and keep him in one place long enough to either block the vents or grab him. Take a look around for something you can slide down behind Gibble to block the vent.

    also, call a lizard expert for help/ideas. Some pet stores may have or know one, also try universities (animal science?), and pest control places. Don't forget to google the problem. One site (cannot remember it) has experts you can pay online to answer things like this. It came up on a google search and we paid $5 to figure out how to help a car problem. Would have been $35 just to have a mechanic tell us the same info.
  5. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I am so sorry. How is it going? I really hope you get the poor little guy out.

    We had a Gamble's Quail fly into a window of ours where we are staying yesterday and it died... I was sad as were the girls. It's mate sat by it until I could get outside and take it out into the wash.

    I'll be thinking of poor little Gibble
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, Gibble is alive and still in the defrost vent. She poked her head out this afternoon and we got all excited! I told husband to get me a cricket and a pair of tweezers, and we went "fishing" for a lizard. The wiggly bug got her attention, and within seconds, she lunged up and snapped at it, biting off half the cricket. So we repositioned the rest of the bug, and she poked her head out further to finish the job. That's when I tried to grab her head, but those dang things are so smooth and slick, I couldn't get a good grip on her, and she slipped back into the vent!

    Then we got smarter, and rather than let her take the bait, we put the cricket in a plastic zippered sandwich bag, and slid it across the vent opening. She started to come out after it, but again, we couldn't get a good hold on her and she escaped back into her lair.

    easy child is at least relieved that her pet is not dead as she'd feared. Now it's just a matter of outsmarting a reptile! I'll keep y'all posted :)
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Okay here's my idea........and if it works I want theco-author rights to the book. I would but a knee high panty hose over a shop vac and sit the tube on the dash. VERY QUIETLY......then I would put husband in charge of ON AND OFF switch. I myself would be the LURER OF BAD BAGGED CRICKETS and hold the vacuum with the panty hose (leg part IN the tube) and a back up pany hose IN the OTHER END of the tube just in case the suction is too great.......and then I would drag the baggie across the dash...luring, luring.......and when I gave some sort of Marine type silent signal to FLIP THAT SWITCH? I'D AIM THE TUBE AT GIBBLE AND.......Gobble her up.....Svcking her INTO the tube - and then slap my hand over the end and detach the hose......having the mud room prepared for her arrival to dump her into a recycling bin or plastic tub because.......

    Honey it's going to be like Mr. Toads wild ride at Disney.

    OH YEAH? (says with hands on hips) well WHO else had any better ideas?

    You go lizard svckers!
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, she finally came out again late this afternoon. I was on my way to go pick easy child up from soccer practice and there was Gibble, sitting on the dashboard! I quietly opened the car door and nabbed her just as she slithered half-way back into the defrost vent.

    I have one happy little girl tonight! :bigsmile:
  9. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Woo Hoo! Welcome home Gibble!
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Congrats on your successful lizard hunt!
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911

    No vacuums were hurt in the capture of that lizard. PHEW!
  12. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Yeah, cuz that woulda really sucked.
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Chicken... running for cover!
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Ya know, you are a truly awesome Mom. I know that when I was a kid there were very few of my friends' parents who would have tried that hard to get a lizard out of a car. Esp if they lived in an area where lizards are fairly common. Most would get upset at the kid and just wait for it to die and then figure out where it was.

    Heck, many parents I know NOW wouldn't have done that - even the over indulgent ones who give in at the first hint of tears - regardless of the request.

    You get an extra 22 super sparkly gold stars on your reward chart today!!!!!

    Star - your vacuum idea was a very good one, esp if with the backup layer of pantyhose!! You get an extra 9 super sparkly gold stars on your reward chart. Right next to your rose scented fuschia towel stickers.
  15. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Years back, husband's boa constrictor got out of the pillow case we were using to take it to the vet to have a sore mouth examined. It crawled under the dashboard of my car and refused to come out.

    I had to drop the dashboard and as soon as I did so, the darned snake crawled behind the firewall. I wound up having to have the car hauled in to be de-snaked.

    Let me tell you, it took some doing to find a mechanic at the dealers who was willing to go in after 'Norton"
  16. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Great story!
  17. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Well, Norton was better than six feet long at the time. SHE (yes, you can tell male boas and pythons from the girls) had been fed the day before and just wanted a cozy place to curl up and digest.

    Meeting Norton was the acid test in our relationship. First time I picked husband to be up at his place, he came to the door wearing Norton. She promptly extended four feet of neck and a few inches of tongue, and gave me a good nose to tongue sniffing over.

    Had I freaked that would've been it. I just went, OMG, it's adorable! What's its name!?

    Norton was a very lucky lady snake. When she got to big to handle safely, she moved into a beautiful vivarium at the HS husband to be went to.
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We had a lecturer at uni who had a pet boa constrictor in his lab. Then when he was given his own office, he moved "Monty" to the office. The cleaners refused to go in there! I remember Monty once disappeared; the secretary got a startle when she found him in the desk drawer, Monty had climbed in underneath and at the back behind the drawers. Then he decided he liked one particular lever arch file in the bookcase. I believe it got relabelled "snake".

  19. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Glad he's back home with your kidlet and no longer in the vent. Thanks for sharing the adventure, it made my day (well, now that he's all safe and sound of course).
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow. Thanks for the adventure and the laughs!!!