Spring and summer have always been synonymous with the increased activity of snakes. From the minute the temperatures rise, most Australians know to keep out of the long grass and be mindful that snakes may be in unexpected places. As we are currently experiencing a record-breaking summer, it is probably a good idea to know that snakes are not as big a fan of the heat as we may think. Spring through to summer though is in fact their mating season and this season, snakes have been more active than everso it is important to be mindful that you may come across them in, even in the built-up city areas. Just like with most aspects of preparing for the Australian summer, being educated and having a plan if you do find yourself face to face with a snake is important. This includes knowing how to treat snakebites, how to avoid being bitten and knowing how to contact a snake catcher if one does make their way into your home. Snakes are trying to escape the heat therefore they will be looking for a shelter, food and water source to survive which is why in the hot weather you may come across them, especially if they decide that your house is the ideal place to find all three things (note – they are not looking for you or your pet and they will avoid you at all costs). Being educated about snakes is important as living in Australia we have some of the most venomous snakes in the world, so it is important that if you do come across them, it is best to leave them alone and admire them from a safe distance and if they are in your house, contact a snake catcher and not try and handle them yourself.
Where to Look Out For Snakes
Depending on the weather, temperature and time of day will determine where a snake would like to hang out. As they are on that search for food, shelter and water, you may come across them in either hiding out or looking for them in a place that they can find those three things. Since it is still mating season in the early summer, they are seeking each other and their eggs hatch in the late summer so you may notice an increase in baby snakes; it is good to know just where to look out for then. Tall grass, cool rocks, shady shrubs, decks and porches are a popular spot for them to escape the sun and on the overcast, cooler days they may be out seeking sun. If you find them in your home, they will most commonly be hiding out in cool, dark places to escape the heat and places that have a lot more moisture in the air so they can stay hydrated. Since they are more active in the cooler parts of the day, during the hottest summer days they may be hiding in places like under the refrigerator, behind air-conditioning units and in wall crevices and under concrete slabs. If you do come across a snake in one of these places, then definitely seek out a professional. A licensed snake catcher has the professional experience and the equipment to capture and relocate them therefore they are not a danger to anybody in your household. It is the job of a professional snake catcher to be able to handle them so it is safer for everybody to leave it their hands.
If You Are Bitten…
In any Australian first aid course, you are taught how to handle a snake bite but in the heat of the moment or if you have not completed a course, getting bitten can be a scary experience so knowing exactly what to do in that situation can save the life of you or a loved one. A reminder, if you do come across and snake and need it removed, please contact a professional snake catcher but if you are caught unexpectedly by a snake, the first thing to do if you come across a snake is to remain calm and back away slowly. If you do get bitten though ringing an ambulance is always the first action to take. If you forget anything else, the operator will be able to guide you. The next thing is to stay calm and still then immobilise the limb with a bandage and a splint. It is important to keep the area as still as possible, as increased movement in the lymphatic system will help the venom to spread quicker. Get assistance as quickly as you can. If you do see a snake in your home, contact a professional snake catcher or handler because the last thing you want is for you or your loved one to get bitten.