Snake season slithers around again

Two things have snake catcher Sean Cade anticipating a busier than usual snake season this year.

September signals the start of snake season, as the reptiles leave their brumation period in search of food, a mate and to bask in the sun.

Mr Cade, from Australian Snake Catchers, said unlike the previous four years snakes have had an "intense brumation period" because of the cold weather.

"In previous years it really never got super cold, so we had four years in a row where snakes didn't stop coming out," he said.

"But now that it is starting to warm up the snakes need food and then you add in the COVID-19 lockdown and where people would traditionally be at work they are at home and going out for walks so people are likely going to see more snakes.

"There are not any more snakes but people will be encountering them more often because of the circumstances. Previously, if a snake went through a backyard, people didn't see it because they were at work - it doesn't mean they didn't have one."

Mr Cade, who has been catching and releasing snakes for almost 20 years, said snakes are "purely defensive creatures" who will always take an exit when presented with one.

He said as a general rule if you encounter a snake in your yard, they are there for two reasons: for food or shelter.

Anyone who encounters a snake should leave it alone, keep calm and move away from the area slowly.

"No one should approach any snake. That is critical because a lot of people don't know what they are dealing with," said Mr Cade, who also debunked the theory that the hotter it is, the more you see snakes with the red-bellied black snake most comfortable between 24 and 28 degrees.

"If you're within a couple of metres of a snake, we tell people to move as little as possible and back away slowly."

To minimise the chance of a snake encounter, Mr Cade said there were some things residents could do around their homes to make it less attractive for snakes.

These include:

  • Keeping the yard tidy
  • Maintain a clean and tidy lawn. An overgrown lawn attracts mice.
  • Eliminate debris/ rubbish.
  • Keep wood piles on pallets.

If someone is bitten they should call triple zero immediately.

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