Sighting a snake can be a rare occurrence. However, when a snake is spotted in a workplace, at home or in your neighbourhood, it can be an immediate cause of alarm for most people.
In Australia, there are about 3,000 snake bites per year, of which 200 to 500 receive anti-venom; on average one or two will prove fatal. About half the deaths are due to bites from the brown snake; the rest mostly from tiger snake, taipan, and death adder.
Common dangerous snakes:
The most common venomous snakes in Australia are the Eastern Brown Snake, Western Brown Snake, Mainland Tiger Snake, Inland Taipan, Coastal Taipan, Mulga Snake, Lowlands Copper Head, Small-eyed Snake, Common Death adder and the red-bellied black snake.
Snake behaviour varies depending on the species. Snakes can see, but not particularly well and it is definitely not the strongest of their senses, however, most do see very well over short distances. Snakes hear with their inner ear by picking up vibrations from the ground; this is why loud stomping can alarm a snake. Snakes also use their sense of smell with their forked tongue, rather than smelling an odour, a snake will taste the odour in the air.
Most snakes breed by laying eggs and their young hatch from these eggs, however, there are some species of snakes that carry and give birth to their young.
Where do snakes live?
There are many different types of snakes throughout Australia, while some snakes are harmless; there are many others that are also venomous.
When are snakes most active?
Snake sightings are less frequent during the winter months due to the fact that snakes are cold-blooded reptiles and need the heat to regulate their body temperatures. Meaning that they will become more inactive in the cooler months and why most sightings occur during the warmer months.
Are snakes pests?
Snakes do not cause damage to your property and are not intentionally looking to harm you. Some people have the impression that a snake sighting will mean that the snake will immediately attack them, however, this is rarely the case. Snakes camouflage themselves and most people that are bitten don’t see the snake as they are camouflaged. The snake then is usually stepped on or grabbed by accident. Due to the scare, their instant reaction is to bite/attack whatever or whoever is in their vicinity.
Do I need professional snake control?
For the safety of you and your family, removing and relocation services are necessary. Depending on your local branch, we will work together with a qualified snake sub-contractor who will safely and efficiently remove the offending snake from your premises. If a qualified snake sub-contractor is not available, we will contact the relevant wildlife department from your state or territory.
Tips when you encounter a snake
If you encounter a snake inside your home or workplace, it is important to remember the following points:
- Open all external doors, and keep internal doors closed so the snake cannot venture into any other room. If the snake is small enough to fit through the gap beneath the door, roll up some towels or other fabric and block the gap.
- Ensure the snake can reach windows by placing furniture (i.e. chairs) underneath.
- If the snake is found outdoors, use a gentle stream of water from the garden hose to direct it away from the home or workplace.
- Do not approach or aggravate the snake in any way. Do not attempt to pick up or catch the snake or keep it as a pet. Do not stomp your foot near the snake as this can cause the snake to attack.
- If bitten, stay calm and seek medical attention.
If you would like to snake-proof your home, please consider the following:
- Keep garden beds away from the home's exterior and keep your lawn trimmed at all times.
- Ensure all doors and windows are properly fitted with fly screens.
- Rodents attract snakes to your home; ensure that you have proper rodent control measures in place.
- Minimise shelters for snakes to rest in, like untidy timber piles or beneath large discarded items in your yard.