Four ways you can avoid hassles with snakes this summer
It is the season when snakes are noticeably active. Being aware of these facts may help you if you encounter a snake.
1. Keep out of their way
Snakes are more defensive and territorial during the spring so giving them a wider berth is a good idea. Many people pass close to snakes every day but because snakes are so afraid of us and prefer to stay out of our way, we never notice.
Snakes know where to find the food, water and shelter in their territory and learn the daily movements of the resident humans.
In reality, it is only occasionally that snakes and humans come into conflict -- generally because the snake cannot make a quick exit. Never try to catch or kill a snake. Snakes are not normally aggressive; however, they will defend themselves if threatened and this is when most snakebites occur.
2. Better the snake you know
Snakes are protected by law and play an important role in the environment. Relocating snakes out of their territory puts them at risk of not finding water and food, and they may die trying to get back home.
Also, when you remove your resident snake, a stranger snake that does not know your movements may then move into your territory and increase the risk to you. Remember that a resident carpet python can be a benefit: it will easily keep rodents in check!
3. Minimise hiding spots in the yard
It is possible to discourage snakes by keeping your lawn neat and disposing of excessive leaf litter and other garden waste. Do not leave building materials, woodpiles or compost near the house.
Snake-proof your aviaries, pet enclosures and chicken pens with 1cm square mesh wire. Check that windows and doors have secure insect screens and weather strips to close gaps at ground level.
Try to train all family members to keep screen doors closed. Keep garage doors closed. Place water at your fence line to minimise the need for snakes to come near the house. Call WIRES if you have questions.
4. Sometimes you have to call for help
WIRES will come to the rescue if a snake is inside a house. If possible leave the snake an avenue of escape: close the room off and leave outer doors and windows open so the snake can leave when it no longer feels threatened.
Call the Hotline for support. If you have a snake caught in netting, or if a snake has been in the same position for a number of days, please give us a call for advice.
WIRES is a state-wide organisation with branches all over New South Wales.
There is a 1300 rescue line and a wildlife rescue mobile phone app that connect you with Sydney, great tools if you are travelling around the state and away from the Northern Rivers.
However, if you live in the Northern Rivers, or are travelling in the region, please use the local number. It connects you to your local WIRES volunteers immediately and ensures the most rapid response they can muster.
Call 6628 1898. Any time. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. For rescues and much more. Our full name is Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service.
Need additional information or educational help about wildlife? Whatever your concern, our Hotline is for all calls to WIRES in the Northern Rivers.
Take a few moments to put our Hotline number 6628 1898 into your mobile phone. Next time you are out and about and spot wildlife in need, it will be that much easier to reach WIRES.
WIRES is a registered charity, not a government service, and relies heavily on donations from the general public.
Your all-volunteer Northern Rivers branch needs various types of assistance -- as not all members do animal rescues. Call our local 24-hour Hotline on 6628 1898 or go to http://wiresnr.org/Helping.html to find out how you can help.