As the weather warms up in spring and summer, snakes come out of hibernation to bask in the sunlight, find food and find a mate. This causes potential risks for people and their pets. People and snakes can live peacefully side by side if they are careful and take precautions to reduce the possibility of encountering a snake.
If you encounter a snake it is important not to approach or aggravate it in any way. If you find a snake in your garden or home move away slowly and contact the Department of Parks and Wildlife Wildcare Hotline on 08 9474 9055.
What attracts snakes into my backyard or home?
Snakes are often attracted to backyards and houses because food, water and shelter may be available. To reduce the risk of snakes taking up residence around your house, you can:
- Remove accessible food sources
- Keep your garden well maintained. Long grass, stacks of timber or fence sheeting provide shelter for snakes
- Ensure that all screen doors are kept shut at all times and flyscreens are in good repair. If there is a gap under an external screen or solid door, install a door sweep or weather strip
- Empty out or limit pools of water (e.g. run off from air conditioning units, dripping outdoor taps, ponds, pools or faulty reticulation). Snakes are more likely to frequent areas that have an available source of water.
How do I avoid a snake encounter when out enjoying our natural environment?
- Exercise your dog on a leash at all times
- Stick to paths, trails and walkways.
What should I do if I see a snake?
- Remain calm: slowly back away to a safe distance and allow the snake to move away
- Leave the snake alone: it is illegal to kill any native animal and it places you at a higher risk of being bitten if you force the snake to defend itself.
What should I do if I find a snake in my home?
Call the Wildcare Helpline on 08 9474 9055. This a 24/7 volunteer service which will provide you with advice on how to respond. If necessary, they will put you in contact with a volunteer reptile remover or a licensed pest controller.
First aid for snake bites
1. Remain calm and apply a firm compression bandage over the entire limb that has been bitten
2. Call 000 immediately, even if you do not feel ill. It is vital that you seek medical attention as quickly as possible.
Snakes as pets
It is illegal to take and keep snakes from the wild. Fines and penalties may apply. If you wish to keep a snake as a pet you need to contact the Department of Parks and Wildlife who can guide you through the application process and legal requirements.
More information and contact
The City sponsors regular workshops on reptile awareness. Contact Environmental Services on 08 9411 3444 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on snakes.