Snakes on hunt for water
SNAKE catcher Drew Godfrey is preparing for a huge summer as the drought sends serpents slithering to houses in search of water.
It has been a quiet start to spring, which the Southern Downs snake catcher thinks may be caused by the bushfires and a drop in temperatures.
But Mr Godfrey said dry dams, empty creeks and less prey would cause mass movement of snakes in the impending summer heat.
"Snakes can smell food from at least a kilometre away and they will be able to smell water from houses," he said.
"Evidence shows that when it is dry they will come to your house because it's the only thing around with water.
"The drought has thinned out prey, meaning just like for water they have to venture further than usual for food."
Mr Godfrey said he had relocated snakes from nearly every nook and cranny including a red-bellied black snake from a child's toy box.
He was called to St Joseph's School when a student found an eastern brown snake sliding across the floor.
The energetic snake man said he had found reptiles in laundries and kitchens, under lounge suites and in children's bedrooms.
Although the Southern Downs region has about 27 species, Mr Godfrey said most were confined to national parks.
Residents were most likely to encounter two key species - red-bellied black snakes and eastern brown snakes - both of which he said were not aggressive if unprovoked.
To prevent snakes visiting your property this summer, Mr Godfrey suggested leaving containers of water along the perimeter or fence line.
People on rural blocks with dry dams may also consider leaving water sources where snakes and other animals could drink without having to enter the home.
If you spot a snake in a room, Mr Godfrey said close the door and place a towel in the gap.
If the snake cannot be confined to a room, stand still at a safe distance of about 4m and keep watch of its movements until the catcher arrives.
The same goes for snakes outdoors.
"It's better if you can tell me where the snake is or where it went, otherwise I will have to search the whole area," he said.