Snake catcher warns Scenic Rim residents

As the weather warms up snakes are becoming increasingly active around the Scenic Rim.

Local snake catcher and experienced herpetologist Scott Eipper of Nature 4 You said snakes were a part of life in Queensland, so people needed to learn to live with them.

“Every second house in south-east Queensland has had a snake in it at some time over the last 12 months,” he said.

“But they are good at hiding and not often seen by homeowners.”

Mr Eipper said if a snake was encountered, the best practice was to back up slowly and call an expert.

“Don’t pick them up,” he said.

“Don’t whack them and don’t try to kill them.

“We are much bigger than they are and snakes will only harm someone if they feel threatened.

“Keep an eye on the snake and ring a snake catcher.”

Many snake catchers, including Mr Eipper, offer a free identification service and may ask you to take a photo of the reptile if it is possible to do so safely.

“It might be harmless or it may be dangerous but an informed assessment can be made, and if necessary, they can remove the animal for a fee without hurting it or getting bitten," he said.

“Do not put yourself at risk.”

If the decision is made to remove the snake, there are legislative requirements with which catchers must comply and they will find a suitable reserve nearby to release the snake.

Mr Eipper said snakes didn’t like open environments, so to make yards less inviting homeowners should keep gardens tidy, mow lawns short and remove any rubbish or corrugated iron from around the house.

He said chickens and birds should be kept away from the house because they attracted snakes and systems which used vibrations to repel snakes did not work.

“When I see them, they upset me because I don’t like seeing people get fleeced,” he said.

“A vibrating solar powered stick in the ground is not going to deter snakes.

“There is no evidence to support the claim that snakes are repelled by vibrations.

“If they were, you would never see a dead snake on the road.” 

In 20 years working in the industry, the six snakes most commonly sighted by Mr Eipper in the area were carpet pythons, green tree snakes, eastern browns, yellow faced whip snakes, red-bellied black snakes and cane toad eating keelbacks. 

He said the reptiles would remain active until May next year.

If you come across a snake, Nature for You can be reached on 0419 328 251.