Whilst customers of Suncoast Outdoor Living love our beautiful Queensland outdoors, there are some aspects they (and we) don’t love. Snakes are slithering across Queensland as temperatures heat up ahead of summer. With nearly 700 people already bitten this year, many more are expected as we head into the festive season. Queensland Health statistics obtained by The Courier-Mail show to date that of all the sites this year, 62 of the bites are from a venomous snake. Latest Queensland Ambulance Service figures also suggest the state could be on track for a bumper year for bites, prompting warnings from authorities to take care.
QAS Clinical Director Tony Hucker stated: “Snakes won’t deliberately bite us; they only bite if they’re provoked or feel threatened; so if you see one just stay away from it.” Unfortunately children and animals don’t always understand this instruction (or abide by it).
Gold Coast professional snake catcher Tony Harrison and Sunshine Coast catcher Stuart McKenzie both said they have caught more than 300 snakes each since mating season in September, and could be called out to as many as 15 jobs a day. “September was a very, very busy month and October too; a quiet day was six or eight call-outs and some days up to 14 at least,” Mr Harrison said.
He said the number of call-outs will pick up in December which is a crazy time for catchers in Queensland.
The most common non-venomous snakes caught in southeast Queensland were carpet pythons, tree snakes, keel backs and the most common venomous species were eastern browns, yellow-faced whip snakes and red belly snakes.
“I think over the whole year the carpet pythons are easily the most common snake that we catch, lately though I’ve been catching a lot of brown snakes, they are probably 50 per cent of our work at the moment,” Mr McKenzie said.
Snake catchers believe 90 per cent of the time snakes slither inside homes is when people leave doors, windows and garages open all day. Brisbane snake catcher Stewy Lalor said carpet pythons were the most common catch in his patch as people were worried about their small pets or have a general phobia of the snake.
“I find Eagleby is pretty good (for call-outs), we get a lot of browns and red bellies there, so that’s one of my favourite suburbs to head to,” he said.
“We catch a lot of pythons around Manly and bayside suburbs, and in around the airport as well we get a few eastern browns and red bellies.”
Mr Lalor said any suburb around the Brisbane River and Logan River was prone to eastern brown snakes and red bellies.
QAS REPORTED SNAKE BITE JOBS (JAN-DEC)
2015: 658 2016: 739 2017: 769 2018 (up to Oct 31): 626
MOST COMMON SNAKES CAUGHT
1. Eastern Brown snake
2. Yellow-faced whip snake
3. Red belly snake
1. Carpet python
2. Common tree snake
3. Keelback snake
So here are our tips on how to avoid snakes and help keep them out of your homes and away from you, your children and pets:
· Snakes love to hide in quiet cool places, so be sure to block access to your garage, roof and under your house.
· Seal any holes in walls or gaps in your home. Inspect all seals and use whether strips to seal below doors. Ensure there are no cracks in the foundations of your home.
· Keep your sheds tidy, clean and organised and avoid clutter.
· Avoid having wood stockpiles near your home or main buildings.
· Keep gardens neat and well pruned; long grass mowed and generally your yard neat, trimmed and tidy.
· Avoid composts or piles of rubbish or trash piles.
· Reduce the amount of rodents you have around your home; if you don’t have their food; they are less likely to hang around for dinner.
· Keep your bins clean and tidy and lids firming in place.
· It is a fallacy that mothballs will work to deter snakes.
· Finally, we can’t help but share our wonderful outdoor enclosure products which are just perfect for keeping out unwanted pests – mozzies, midges, leaves, rubbish and yes, snakes. We keep the nasties out, and young children and pets inside. Our pet enclosures are perfect for cats (and dogs too). They (like you) can enjoy the lovey outdoors, but are kept home safe and away from danger – whether that be your neighbours dogs, snakes or cars on the road.
Take care this summer to keep your family and pets safe from snakes. If you’d like an obligation free quote, give us a call today on 1300 137 081 – our very experienced and friendly team would love to share with you the possibilities of what can be done at your home, to make the outdoors more liveable, increase value to your property and keep your children and pets safe – this summer and beyond.