It is always advisable to be on the lookout for snakes in and around your home. Snakes usually don’t bother people unless they feel threatened. Unfortunately, they are not very good judges of character. Since they are good at hiding, you may not realize it when you are threatening a snake. It is not uncommon to mistakenly step on a snake in hiding.
Australian Snake Plague
Australia is home to a wide variety of dangerous snakes, in fact, the top three most deadly venomous snakes in the world are found down under. The ‘snake plague’ is a term that has been making rounds down under for quite a while. It refers to a spike in snake sightings over the past few summers.
2018 was the worst year for snake related incidents in Australia with Melbourne, Victoria and Queensland reporting a significant increase in snake sightings towards the end of the year. Queensland reported a record high number of snake bites in 2018 with paramedics responding to more than 800 calls to treat snake wounds.
Climatic conditions are a major factor contributing t the rise in snake sightings in most parts of the country. Snakes are ectothermic or ‘cold-blooded' creatures which means they depend on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature.
Incidentally, the optimal temperatures for snakes’ activity are between 25C and 35C. The increase in snake sightings in residential areas is probably because a lot of the snakes came out of the bushes when the weather became warmer and opted to seek refuge in people homes when it got too hot. The Australian summer is a pest control nightmare.
How To Manage Snakes In Residential Areas
Since there is no guarantee that you will go through the entire summer without encountering a snake or two, here are a few tips on how to reduce the risk of becoming a snake bite victim.
- Trim the bushes in your garden; snakes love shade and cool places in summer nest.
- Keep your home clean and free of rodents like mice and chipmunks which snakes love to eat.
- Clear away clutter like heaps of leaves and rocks and cover your compost pit.
- Fill in any holes, cracks or gaps in your walls and around your house.
- Use a suitable snake repellent spray, powder or device.
- Take a snake bite First Aid class.
- Remove water puddles and fix any leaking garden pipes.
Snakes generally avoid people and rarely attack. If you see a snake, stay at least 6 meters away from it and call in the exterminators. You may not be able to avoid snakes, so it is advisable to have a number of the paramedics and pest control services handy.