Snake Season Has Started Early And They're Coming Inside For The Air Con!
Snake catchers run off their feet
Pics: Julia Baker, 1300 CATCH IT
Time to do a sweep of the yard and house, and make sure everything's as snake proof as possible 'cos Aussie snake catchers are telling us they're hectic at the moment.
"It's been NUTS!! The reason is because it's mating season so people are not just seeing one snake, they're seeing multiple", says 1300 CATCH IT's Julia Baker.
The reptiles are struggling with the Eastern States' mini-Spring heatwave just as much as us, so they're going to pretty great lengths to cool off.
"We're finding them in swimming pools really early. Normally, it's about January when you start getting people calling up and they've been swimming and next minute there's an Eastern Brown swimming next to them but we're actually getting that now already, which is quite unusual"
Julia says pool owners, especially, should be keeping an eye on their pools for colour changes and checking the skimmer boxes.
"Actually, any kind of water source... they do need to drink, so if you've got any kind of ponds, or swimming pools, or even a water bowl for your dog outside could attract a snake or a lizard to come and get a drink"
The worst bit, though, is that they're not even afraid of humans at the moment.
"When it's mating season, there's little that you can do. They're so focused on finding that mate. If you've got a female snake on your property anywhere, she's going to lay down a scent and draw in the males. They really don't care if there's going to be humans around or pets around so this is the time of the year when they kind of lose their fear of humans"
Okay, so what exactly can we do to avoid them?
Hate to say it, but it's bad news... until at least the end of October, when mating season is likely to wrap up.
"There's not a lot that you can do."
- Keep your garden neat and tidy - "Don't have anywhere for them to hide"
- If you're going outside, in long grass - "Wear your boots and wear jeans"
- Check for any gaps under your doors - "You'd be really surprised how small or how flat a snake can make itself. If you've got gaps, you can find things to block that off"
- Check for holes in your fly screens on windows now - "Check them now, get them fixed. It can be quite traumatic for people if they find a snake indoors"
- Check your pool skimmer boxes and check the pool before you jump in - "It's really not unusual to find a snake in the water so maybe if you have something in the pool that they can climb onto, that would help, because they can drown"
Now, we're not going as far as to say you should suffer all Summer without the air con BUT Julia tells us it's something to consider -
"If people are going to put their air conditioners on, then you're gonna get the snakes coming indoors just to get a bit of relief from the hot weather. They're often coming in simply because it's cooler indoor than what it is outside"
"I imagine that would be every residents' worst nightmare.. waking up with a snake next to them in bed.. but it can happen, so just be aware of that"
If you do spot one, the advice is simple.
"Obviously don't approach it or make sudden movements. Don't try to scare it away cos that won't work.. if anything, they'll feel more threatened."
"Back off, watch it, keep still and let them move through"
"One thing we always encourage people to do... if you see a snake and you're worried about it, take a picture. Every single snake catcher I know will happily give you a free ID and tell you what is and that gives you a great peace of mind because you might have just seen a tree snake which disappears but then you walk about thinking 'ahh it could have been an Eastern Brown'"
"We don't want people worried. The majority of encounters are harmless snakes so we don't need people panicking."
Julia also offers free ID via Facebook.