Snake whisperer's guide to surviving snake season

SNAKE catcher Andrew Smedley is urging residents "not to be a hero" this spring as snakes make their way into homes to beat the heat.

He's noticed an uptick in business lately with an average of five to six calls per day to rid residents of unwelcome guests.

"It's mainly been pythons, quite a few eastern brown snakes and the harmless tree snakes," he said.

Mr Smedley said this surge in snake sightings didn't mean there were more snakes than usual, nor did he believe it was a "snake invasion" like others have said.

"Basically, it comes down to climate which brings changes every year on the basis of how the weather moves," he said.

"Development's the biggest thing. It knocks down bush and pushes snakes inside."

All these things add up to a more active snake population in the region, said Mr Smedley, but there was another reason they were out.

"We're definitely in peak season at the moment. They've all got one thing on their mind and that's mating," he said.

"That's why you'll see a lot more going through yards and it's not uncommon to find more than one snake in one spot."

If residents did encounter a snake - or three - in their homes, the experienced snake wrangler advised to bring pets indoors, keep the creature in sight and phone a snake catcher.

"Don't try anything stupid like catching and trying to kill it because that's when bites happen," he said.

"Definitely don't try to identify the snake yourself, especially by colour because they can vary a hell of a lot.

"Take the eastern brown for example, I've caught black ones, orangey ones, ones with bands.

"It could be a near-fatal mistake."

These measures aside, Mr Smedly admitted there was little residents could do to keep the snakes away.

"If you can eliminate the things they like, so food, water and shelter, that will help," he said.

"Keep your grass as short as possible and keep the door shut, especially in hot weather. If you've got things like bird aviaries or chooks, the seeds will attract rodents and the rodents then attract snakes, so be aware of that."

Ultimately, the snake whisperer said surviving the snake season was a matter of attitude.

"They were here long before us and people have to respect them a bit better and learn just to overcome it."

Topics:  general-seniors-news snake catcher snakes snake season

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