With Queensland’s long stretches of hot weather, and the risk of sudden storms, finding snakes in urban communities and back yards is a common occurrence. However, knowing which backyard snakes Brisbane residents should be concerned about can be confusing. While some snakes are friendly, others can be extremely venomous so it’s important to know what to do if you come across one in your home or yard. Brisbane’s own snake catcher recommends a few simple tips to make your house and yard less snake friendly.
Snakes Seek Shelter in Brisbane’s Heat
All snakes need three things – food, shelter and water. Managing these temptations in your yard will reduce the risk of having a scaly visitor. These reptiles are very temperature sensitive and will often seek out cool places to hide during the heat of the day, only venturing out to become more visible in early morning and in the evening. Although the type of shelter a snake will look for depends on the type of snake it is (for example, Red Bellied Black Snakes are notorious for seeking shelter in fallen leaves and branches), it’s good practice to keep your lawn mowed short and clean up tree trimmings right away. This will reduce the chance of attracting an unwanted friend, and allow you to see it from a distance if one does happen to stop by.
Eliminating Food Sources is your Best Deterrent
The easiest way to prevent snakes from coming into your home is to keep doors and windows shut at all times – however, in Brisbane, this isn’t always practical. Although snakes don’t love being indoors, they will occasionally find their way in – especially if there’s food. As venomous snake varieties feast on rodents, lizards (like geckos) and insects, keeping these creatures at bay in and around your property and ensuring that rubbish is correctly disposed of, will help to reduce your risk of finding a snake where it’s not welcome. Also, if you have an outdoor cat, be aware of the gifts he brings back home after a night out on the town. As cats aren’t fans of snakes, they are often the culprits for catching them and bringing them indoors.
Water is a happy place for a backyard snake!
There’s nothing like a dip in a pool to cool off from the Brisbane sun, however, backyard pools provide a water source for local reptiles as well. In addition to pools, water bowls for pets can also attract backyard snakes so it’s advised to limit these to just one in your yard. Occasionally, snakes have also found their way into homes through pipes connected to the home’s drainage system. Although rare, it does happen.
When purchasing a home, it’s vital that your pest inspector thoroughly checks for any signs of life. From the tiniest roach to a HUGE snake – you need to know what you’re getting into! Andrew Mackintosh, Action Property Inspections
Be alert, not alarmed
Although pythons and tree snakes are the most common varieties found in backyards, Brisbane is often home to Eastern Browns and red belly black snakes as well. While adults and children alike should remain calm and stand still if you encounter any snake at close range, a good practice to teach children is the 7 S’s to stay safe: Stand Still like a Statue and Shout Snake Snake Snake! Children should never be asked to identify a snake and if the snake is over two metres away, then it’s usually safe to back away slowly. However, if you’re any closer than that, it’s best to stand still and wait for it to get on it’s merry way. If you or anyone you’re with gets bitten by a snake, call 000 immediately and follow these treatment guidelines.
Friend of Foe? Leave it to the experts to decide!
Although an outside snake will generally move along in time, it’s still a good idea to call a snake catcher to help move the snake to safety and give you peace of mind. As identifying snakes can be tricky, never assume that it’s a non-venomous variety. Snake catchers are highly trained and have specific equipment and insurance to handle them safely. The snake catcher will relocate the snake to a suitable alternative habitat. It is illegal for anyone without a license to catch and relocate a snake and of course illegal to kill them. It’s also very dangerous to try to harm a snake as that’s when most bites occur.