snake in the attic

Snakes in the attic!

Picture the scene… You and the family are sitting one Sunday evening watching a film on the television. You hear rustling and a dragging sound and no, it isn’t part of the movie! Mum sends Dad up into the attic and he emerges two minutes later ashen white and trembling ever so slightly!

What could have caused such a reaction? He came face to face with a 3-metre Carpet Python who until then was quite content and minding his own business!

Luckily carpet pythons are harmless to people. In fact, scientists are saying that people who find pythons living in their attics should be really quite happy about it.

Go on check your calendar, it isn’t April 1st, this really is the latest thinking!

Carpet pythons eat rodents and other invasive species like rabbits. Generally, rabbits aren’t found in attics, but mice most certainly are.

We humans have been steadily taking the more traditional carpet python homes. Ideal residences for these snakes include tree hollows in forested areas and woodland or overgrown areas. As we have built more homes and commercial spaces, we have encroached on their habitat. Is it really any wonder they have now started to take it back! Maybe we should cut them some slack, what do you think?

Researchers tracked 17 carpet pythons for more than a year. They tracked them in national parks as well as farms and suburbs bordering them. They found that in areas where tree hollows were scarce due to human impacts, pythons preferred to live inside buildings. They favoured sheds, and particularly, attics.

They found that the pythons were flexible in terms of places they could live happily with enough resources to support themselves.

It was no surprise to discover that they particularly like to live in tree hollows. Attics make a reasonable substitute, as long as they are close to naturally vegetated areas. Forests, woodlands, pastures all make excellent abodes!

The research was recently published in Austral Ecology by the University of Canberra and the Department of Parks and Wildlife WA. They found three-quarters of the diet of pythons consists of pests such as rabbits and rodents. So, if you have a problem with mice in your attic space having a carpet python as an occasional visitor really isn’t such a bad thing!

If you want to help conserve these harmless snakes, then we recommend that you preserve naturally occurring woodland. Keep outside sheds a bit overgrown and don’t worry about the weeds in the pasture getting a bit out of hand!

At this time of year, you may find the snakes slow down a bit. This happens as the weather gets cooler. Carpet Pythons are no exception and in fact, they go into a state of semi-hibernation. This tends to be the time of year when the snakes will look for refuge in warm spots. They will seek out roof cavities and attics to snuggle down in.  You may find them out basking on warmer days but generally speaking, you see little activity between May and August.

If you do hear noises in your roof space and it makes you uncomfortable, it may be time to call a professional snake catcher. They will remove and relocate the snake to somewhere less intrusive! There are lots of natural woodland and overgrown areas that would make an ideal home.

The snake relocator will ensure that no harm comes to the snake whilst of course ensuring you and your family are safe.

You should never attempt to remove a snake yourself! It is difficult to identify a snake without professional training. Many of our snakes are hard to identify as they come in so many different sizes, shapes and colours. Please, don’t ever assume that what you have in front of you is not a dangerous reptile. Did you know that from a legal standpoint, only Government licensed snake catchers have the approval to remove snakes?

If you need help, give Pat a call on 0407 129 260. He is happy to help identify a snake and will come and relocate if needed.

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