Spring is the time that snakes come out of brumation (a hibernation-like state) and they become more active looking further afield for mates and food.
The warmer weather is when male snakes spend more time in the open looking for females and can travel up to 1220m in a day.
You can make your property less attractive to snakes by keeping shrubs trimmed, lawns mowed and the garden tidy. Get rid of any piles of rubble, wood or metal sheeting where snakes can shelter. If you find a snake on your property, stay calm and don’t make any sudden movements.
Keep an eye on it and make sure kids and pets stay away. Call a professional snake catcher or local wildlife organisation. Remember killing a snake is illegal in NSW – leave the removal to professional catchers. Treat any snake you see as potentially venomous.
Sean Cade from Australian Snake Catchers, who has been busy in the Hills to Hawkesbury area, said: “Snakes are not aggressive. They will just defend themselves.”
His advice is: “Look down when you are walking, just be aware of the potential for snakes and leave them alone.
“People who found them in their yard or home should keep children and pets away and call for professional help. 90% of snake bites happen because someone tries to catch a snake or kill it.”
He said if a pet had a snake the best way to deal with it was to hose down the dog and snake rather than try and remove the dog.
“If you put your hand down, the snake doesn’t know you are trying to rescue the dog.”
With so many people enjoying the outdoors and sharing space with the wildlife it makes sense to have a snake bite kit in the home or in the car – just to be on the safe side.
The Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre at Richmond stocks an excellent Snake Bite Kit by the Australian company Equip.
The kit costs $23 and includes an emergency action card, two heavy compression bandages including one with compression indicators, two triangle bandages and detailed snake bite first aid instructions.
To buy the Snake Bite Kit drop into the Visitor Information Centre (opposite the RAAF base), 328 Hawkesbury Valley Way, Richmond. Open 7 days a week or call 02 4560 4621 (have your credit card handy) and the kit can be posted to you.