OAK PARK (CBSLA.com) — It was a terrifying scene for an Oak Park woman who came home to find a large rattlesnake taking up residence in her living room.

The uninvited guest stretching more than four-feet was perched on a windowsill and is the latest example of a growing Southland snake problem possibly fueled by California’s ongoing drought.

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“I was shaking, sweating. I was scared,” says Debbie Wittlin, who yelled to her husband immediately after seeing the snake lying next to a window.

They think it slithered through the front door left open for several minutes while they had been loading their cars.

“He took up the width of this windowsill and his little head. He was all the way down here and then he raised his head and his tongue came out,” she said.

Firefighters soon arrived at the Oak Park home and quickly removed the snake, which was rattling its tail. They say it’s one of the biggest rattlesnakes they’ve ever encountered especially inside a home.

“The size of this snake was very surprising to us. It actually was able to get inside,” said Capt. Robert Wellsbie of the Ventura County Fire Department.

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Firefighters in Oak Park are used to dealing with snakes, which is even part of their emblem. But, they say, the drought has made this snake season one of the busiest ever.

“This year, we’re up at about 100 calls for snakes just in the summertime alone,” Wellsbie said.

Wittlin says she’s lived in her home for 24 years and never encountered any snake, let alone one that slithered its way inside.

But now, she’s scared to open the front door.

“I may never go out the front door again,” said Wittlin jokingly.

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Firefighters say if you encounter a snake, especially one inside a home, call 911 but try not to take your eyes off of it.