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Snakes

Snakes

Snakes are protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and it is an offence to kill, injure or take snakes from the wild.

Snakes play an important role in maintaining the natural environment. Along with other reptiles, they make up a significant proportion of the middle-order predators that keep natural ecosystems working. Without them, the numbers of prey species would increase to unnatural levels and the predators that eat snakes would struggle to find food.

Snakes usually prefer to retreat when encountered but, if they feel threatened, they can become defensive. Most snake bites are received by people who try to capture or kill a snake.

If you encounter a snake, don't panic. Back away to a safe distance and allow the snake to move away. Snakes often want to escape when disturbed.

When left alone, snakes present little or no danger to people.

Find local help

If there is a chance that a snake could find its way into your home, you should keep the number of a licensed snake catcher on hand. You can obtain the details of a local snake catcher by searching the Yellow Pages.

Backyards

Photo: Queensland Government

Photo: Queensland Government

Make your backyard unsuitable for snakes by having garden beds away from the house. Keep the lawn well maintained and low in height. This is an example of a snake-safe yard.

Homes

Photo: Queensland Government

Photo: Queensland Government

Stop snakes entering your home by screening doors and windows, and blocking all potential entry points.

If a snake finds its way into your home, close your internal doors, open your external doors and give the snake a chance to leave.

Never interfere with snakes. They will defend themselves. A high proportion of snakebites have resulted from people trying to handle, interfere with or kill snakes.

Timber piles and compost

Always ensure that timber piles are neatly stacked preventing shelter for rodents and snakes. Tidy up your yard during the colder months when snakes are less active.

Place food scraps in closed compost bins to make sure that rodents aren't attracted to your home.

Nurseries and aviaries

A raised nursery - nowhere for a snake to hide  Photo: Queensland Government

A raised nursery - nowhere for a snake to hide Photo: Queensland Government

Keep your nursery and greenhouse tidy. The warm environment can attract snakes.

Notice that this nursery has elevated trays to ensure visibility, and a clean and tidy working environment.

Rats and birds attract snakes. Make your bird aviaries rat and snake-proof. Talk to your pet shop about ways to prevent snakes entering aviaries. Store bird seed in rodent-proof containers.

Gardening and yard work

Photo: Queensland Government

Photo: Queensland Government

When gardening, wear gloves, long pants and covered shoes.

Always lift objects so that they face away from you. This reduces the likelihood of putting yourself in a dangerous situation if a snake is sheltering underneath.

The outdoors

When hiking:

  • always stay on formed paths or tracks so that you can see and avoid snakes,
  • carry a first aid kit that contains pressure bandages with you,
  • always wear protective clothing such as covered shoes and trousers, and
  • carry a torch at night so that you can see where you are going.
Last updated
17 May 2019