Birmingham News article written by Kelli Hewitt Taylor
April 7, 2006
Birmingham Al -- With
a dog-eared black bible, snake tongs and a .22 caliber rifle in his pickup, Arthur "Buddy"
Hawkins Jr heads straight toward the things that make other folks scream and run.
roaches and rats--Hawkins combats them all as owner of Cahaba Pest Control and inventor of the Cahaba Snake Trap.
As the weather warms up and cold-snakes crawl out in search of sun and food, customers have Hawkins' phone
ringing into the night. Many want his new invention.
"I've been catching snakes for 10 years with a piece of PVC
pipe", said Hawkins, 60, a self-taught snake and bug enthusiast. "One day I just started thinking, "Why
not make something that is consumer friendly? I think God just laid this thing out."
This First-time inventor
put a new twist on an old idea: a long-used sticky pad to trap the creatures, but with a commercial-strength plastic outer
case that makes it durable and reusable. Most other traps are cardboard.
The former shoe retailer said inspiration came to him last summer in heating
and cooling section of Home Depot. He eyed pieces of aluminum wall ducts, which looked like perfect fits for the critter
sticky pads used for years in pest control.
He modified the idea to use outdoor plastic instead
of metal, made it kid and pet-friendly, and his invention was born.
traps are $ 59.99, Large Lift-top 32 inch $65.99, Small Trap 15 inch $29.99. Now Hawkins work shirts, his business cards,
his truck and his wife's car are all emblazoned with the coiled snake logo of the Cahaba Snake Trap. And yes, this member
of Cahaba Heights Baptist Church has heard all of the serpent wisecracks.
the people at church that I hope people don't think we are handling snakes here, " Hawkins joked.
keeps some of his trapped snakes in his basement freezer, to either stuff or use for publicity photos.
"I guess that's where the redneck part
comes in," Hawkins said with a grin. Hawkins likes the idea of helping people, and leaving a mark on the world. "When
I'm dead and gone, this thing may still be here," Hawkins said. "I compare it to whoever put water in a plastic
bottle. Who would have thought that he could do it" and be successful? For critter haters, the Cahaba Snake
Trap captures them indoors or outdoors, rain or shine. For animal lovers, pests can be humanely released with a few
squirts of cooking spray or a little vegetable oil. The device is drawing Internet sales from around the nation, about
400 since july. He's also sold five in Australia, one in Englad and one in Vietnam. Sales come by word of mouth
and through his Web site, www.cahabasnaketrapsales.com.
Over the last five years, I've seen a steady increase in the snake population."
Hawkins said. "We have built all these homes and moved in on the critter territory".
On Tuesday morning, Mountain Brook maintenance man Leon Sensabaugh
found a 2-foot copperhead in his employers' snake trap, set out at the home about a week before.
"It's not in my job description to be a snake-handler,"
Sensabaugh joked. Hawkins' trap "is a lot safer than chasing down a snake with a hoe. That's what I've done
in the past." With a patent pending, Hawkins hopes to take the world of creepy crawlies by storm in the coming
"I have the best
job in the world, but other people would probably say no," Hawkins said. "The people make it the best job.
I don't care if I'm just killing roaches, I'm helping a family."