WITH the warm start to Spring, snakes are waking up early for their winter hibernations and we’re all being warned to be on the look out.
Freya Cade, from Australian Snake Catchers, says we’re now at peak snake time.
“We’re now at the start of snake season, Spring is their breeding season, so you can expect to see a few more snakes about,” Ms Kade said.
“The weather has been helping, with all the rain followed by drier weather making the snakes more active,” she said.
Ms Kade said on average she and her husband are being called out to about five snake catches a day.
Right now is the best time to start preparing your yard for any snakes, Ms Cade said.
“Snakes eat mice and rats, so make sure you keep your yard clean and clear of anywhere that mice, rats or snakes could hide,” she said. “Keep your pet’s food in a container up high, make sure you have mowed lawns and keep wood piles away from your house.”
With the very active start to the snake breeding season, vets are putting out warnings about the dangers of snakes to pets.
Australia’s peak veterinary body, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) says animal owners should take precautions to prevent deadly encounters with snakes.
AVA President, Dr Robert Johnson said snakes tend to be at their most active towards the end of a hot, sunny day.
“Snake bites tend to occur in the late afternoon or early evening, however, when on the alert for snakes it’s important for people to remain vigilant throughout the day,” Dr Johnson said.
He said the best way to keep your pets safe is by keeping them away from areas which are prone to snakes.
“They tend to be attracted to areas where there’s a good supply of rats and mice, wood piles and piles of rubbish,” Dr Johnson said.
“Outside, keep a close eye for snakes in bushy areas or near water. it’s best to try to keep horses, cattle and sheep away from bushy areas if possible.”
Outside dogs and cats are particularly prone to snake bites, but Dr Johnson had some suggestions for people with pooches.
“Dog owners should avoid snake- prone areas, particularly if they are walking their dog at the end of the day. Snakes can also venture into backyards, and over the spring and summer months even city dogs and cats can be at risk,” he said.
One of the surefire ways to tell if an animal has been bitten is if they’re irritated and agitated, if they’re vomiting or shaking or if they’re bleeding from any puncture wounds. You should take your pet to the vet if your animal is bitten by a snake.
You can find out more about Australian Snake Catchers and get regular updates from them by liking their facebook page.