THE incidence of snake sightings in Goulburn and the Southern Tablelands region has been on the rise over the past month.
WIRES spokesman Greg Hajek told the Post that personnel had responded to numerous callouts about snake sightings on or adjacent to local properties.
“Tiger snakes have been spotted in Reynolds St, Chiswick St, and a snake was also found under a washing machine at a residence on Tiyces Lane,” Mr Hajek said.
“We have even had sightings of an Eastern brown snake at a residence on Middle Arm Rd and one was also spotted at the Bunnings site in South Goulburn.”
Also, trainee ranger Luke Shaw from Goulburn Mulwaree Council told the Post he had a close call with a 1.1m tiger snake as he stepped out of his car at Belmore Park on Tuesday.
“Luckily I was wearing boots and long pants as it bit into my pants just above my ankle! But more to the point, as part of my training fortunately I know how to handle snakes, so I relocated it elsewhere,” he said.
“My main concern is it could have been a young kid or somebody else not wearing pants and they would have been bitten.”
With the arrival of warmer spring weather and with lots of sites for snakes to hide, Goulburn residents are urged to be vigilant if they come across the reptile in their home.
“Snakes are definitely on the move as can be evidenced by the number of dead ones on roads in and around the district, and with the sightings on properties,” Mr Hajek said.
“Many people believe we are in for a bumper season this year, after the mouse plague last year.”
Mr Hajek has some valuable tips for anyone who comes across a snake and discourages them from entering into your property.
“If you encounter a snake, don’t panic and remain calm and still,” he said.
“Move slowly away, while still facing the snake. In nine out of 10 situations, most snakes will only bite if provoked, when being caught or messed around with, or if accidentally trodden on, which in most cases is very rare.”
He also advises that whatever you do, do not attempt to throw anything at the snake or try and remove it yourself.
“People should not throw stones or anything else at the animals (as was a recent experience), but should leave them alone and call us at WIRES,” Mr Hajek said.
“For catchers, it’s always useful if someone can keep their eye on the snake (from a safe distance), while someone else makes the call to us. That way, when the catcher arrives, they will have a pretty good idea as to where the snake might be. This will also make the re-location more successful.”
He also advised property owners on what to do to keep their home snake-proof.
“Consider closing gaps or holes which may be entry or exit points for snakes. Keep the property neat and tidy with vegetation welltrimmed from the ground up,” he said.
“Also, mow the grass as short as possible, and pick up or remove rubbish, timber, equipment or anything else a snake can hide under. This means giving snakes no places to hide and they will therefore be more likely to avoid those places,” Mr Hajek said.
For more information or to report a snake sighting, call WIRES Southern Tablelands on 4822 3888.