Rep­tiles on snake and en­ter mis­sion

Gatton Star - - NEWS - Me­lanie Keyte me­lanie.keyte@gat­ton­

SNAKE catcher An­drew Smed­ley is urg­ing Lock­yer and Bris­bane Val­ley res­i­dents “not to be a hero” this spring as snakes make their way into homes to beat the heat.

He’s no­ticed an uptick in busi­ness lately with an av­er­age of five to six calls per day to rid res­i­dents of an un­wel­come guest.

“It’s mainly been pythons, quite a few east­ern brown snakes and the harm­less tree snakes,” he said.

Mr Smed­ley said this surge in snake sight­ings doesn’t mean there are more snakes than usual, nor does he believe it’s a “snake in­va­sion” like oth­ers have said.

“Ba­si­cally, it comes down to cli­mate which brings changes every year on the ba­sis of how the weather moves,” he said.

“De­vel­op­ment’s the big­gest thing. It knocks down bush and pushes snakes in­side.”

All these things add up to a more ac­tive snake pop­u­la­tion in the re­gion, said Mr Smed­ley, but there’s an­other rea­son they’re out.

“We’re def­i­nitely in peak sea­son at the mo­ment. They’ve all got one thing on their mind and that’s mat­ing,” he said.

“That’s why you’ll see a lot more go­ing through yards and it’s not un­com­mon to find more than one snake in one spot.”

If res­i­dents do en­counter a snake, or more, in their homes, the ex­pe­ri­enced snake wran­gler ad­vised res­i­dents to bring pets in­doors, keep the crea­ture in sight and phone a snake catcher.

“Don’t try any­thing stupid like catch­ing and try­ing to kill it be­cause that’s when bites hap­pen,” he said.

“Def­i­nitely don’t try to iden­tify the snake your­self, es­pe­cially by colour be­cause they can vary a hell of a lot.

“Take the east­ern brown for ex­am­ple, I’ve caught black ones, or­angey ones, ones with bands. It could be a near-fatal mis­take.”

These mea­sures aside, Mr Smedly ad­mit­ted there was lit­tle res­i­dents could do to keep the snakes away.

“If you can elim­i­nate the things they like, so food, water and shel­ter, that will help,” he said.

“Keep your grass as short as pos­si­ble and keep the door shut, es­pe­cially in hot weather.

“If you’ve got things like bird aviaries or chooks, the seeds will at­tract ro­dents and the ro­dents then at­tract snakes, so be aware of that.”

Ul­ti­mately, the snake whisperer said sur­viv­ing the snake sea­son is a mat­ter of at­ti­tude.

“They were here long be­fore us and peo­ple have to re­spect them a bit bet­ter and learn just to over­come it.”


PEEK-A-BOO: An­drew Smed­ley said the strangest place he had ever found a snake was in the sink over­flow at a Lowood prop­erty ear­lier this year.

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