Warning for ‘crazy’ number of snakes
A prolonged heatwave followed by a smothering of heavy rain has created perfect conditions for snakes, with catchers in Southeast Queensland scrambling to relocate reptiles from homes and backyards.
Noosa-based catcher Luke Huntley said "wildlife is thriving" compared to last summer, when drier conditions and destructive bushfires provided less water for snakes.
He says he's been run off his feet recently retrieving snakes from various hiding places across the region, even spotting his first ever brown snake - one of the world's most deadly - in the popular beachside town.
"In the suburb of Noosaville, bang in the middle of Noosa," he told NCA NewsWire.
"I thought it was going to be a tree snake and I rocked up and I saw quite a big head and little neck poking out of a fence near a pool and I thought 'wow, that is a big brown snake right in the middle of Noosa'.
"That was a first for me.
"Brown snakes are the second most venomous land animal, so they're definitely one to show respect and keep away from or call a professional."
Mr Huntley said the perfect conditions for snakes had led to him relocating five reptiles by mid-afternoon on Monday as the Sunshine State was battered with heavy rain over four days.
"For the first couple of days of heavy rain, it's quiet," the operator of Snake Catcher Noosa said.
"And the reason for that is all the snakes are sheltering - in holes underground, little caves, sometimes they go into roofs. Basically anywhere that's dry.
"As the water level increases as it rains and rains more, a lot of those underground little places get flooded so then snakes then come out the ground, out of their little holes and that's when they come into houses."
In the same region, Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers posted on Facebook it had been busy rescuing reptiles from homes in the past few days.
"We had a heap of snake call-outs for snakes inside homes last week," it posted.
"We had five or six separate call-outs in one day where snakes entered homes. Crazy."
Mr Huntley warned to keep screens, garages and doors closed to make sure your home isn't inviting for a slithering reptile.
"Having screens and keeping everything closed, is going to absolutely ensure there is a very small chance of anything getting in," he said.
"If you do have it in the house - if it's in a room, close the door and put a towel under the door and call a snake catcher.
"If it's in a big open area, remove any pets or kids and keep an eye on it from a very safe distance, like well over six metres away.
"Same with if it's in the garden - either wait for the snake to go away by itself, take any pets or kids out of the area so there's no risk, and just let it do its thing.
"Or if you don't feel comfortable with that and you want it gone, just call your local snake catcher and they'll come out and relocate it."
Originally published as Warning for 'crazy' number of snakes