Snake catchers prepare for breeding season influx
Sunshine Coast suburbia will soon to be overrun with randy, hungry snakes.
They are a couple of the take-out lessons for Luke Huntley of Snake Catcher Noosa as he gears up for a busy call out season wrangling red belly blacks, eastern browns and the odd coastal python.
One of Luke's recent call outs was to Eerwah Vale where a large ginger tabby was made a meal of by peckish python on a patio.
Mr Huntley hopes the footage will encourage homeowners to make sure their cats stay inside now that the warmer weather is set to return along with a rather frenetic snake mating season.
While the coastal pythons are likely to be the most active in the weeks ahead, the deadly eastern browns will not be far behind.
Mr Huntley said his favourite, the red belly black snakes, would come into their own during the summer wet season.
He recently shared a picture of the biggest red belly he had caught.
The 2m "monster" was picked up near his home town of Doonan.
He's also been called out to Lake Weyba, to disturb and relocate a python soaking up the winter sun on a family's deck.
But there's often a more deadly menace that's more used to the cold which a Noosaville couple encountered late one night.
"I do get call outs in winter for a snake called an eastern small-eyed, they're highly venomous," Mr Huntley said.
"This couple had just got back from being out and there was one in their garage.
"They'd gone to open the garage door and he'd walked in and gone, 'oh wow there's a snake hanging down'.
"An eastern small-eyed can kill you."
Unlike most other snakes on the Coast which slow down in winter as part of a process called brumation, Mr Huntley said the eastern small-eyed tended to stay active for all of the year.
They are soon to be joined by plenty of others as the winter wet ensures Luke is "going to be a busy boy".
"In the next week approaching September things are going to start to get busier and all the male snakes are going to be going out looking for females," he said.
"They start putting out pheromones that says they're ready for breeding and often the boys will all converge on the female at the same time and that's when you see video of carpet pythons having a fight.
"A female python in your roof over winter will bring the boys in … you will here like banging in the roof, which will be two males having a fight."
Those wanting to minimise the amount of snakes on their property should keep everything clear and open and free of piles of rubbish.
"Anywhere that snakes can hide and stay warm and dry is obviously something good for them.
"If you don't want snakes in your house keep your doors and windows closed."
His best snake advice?
"Usually if you leave snakes alone you have zero chance of getting bitten."
Luke said any suspected bites should be taken as possible life and death, so always put a snake bandage on and call an ambulance.
Top five snakes active likely to make spring calls on homeowners:
1. Coastal python
2. Eastern brown
3. Yellow faced whip snake (mildly enormous and incredibly common in people's gardens and go around eating skinks. Their bite hurts a lot)
4 Keelback freshwater snake (not venomous and are great to have around - the only snake that can eat a cane toad)
5. Red belly black snake