Be careful out there! As weather warms, deadly snakes already out in force

Published: November 17, 2023

With the weather warming up, grey nomads will have to remain ever vigilant for the potential presence of snakes.

The ABC reports that some of the most deadly reptiles are out in force in the Red Centre this year after a busy breeding season.

Alice Springs snake catcher, Rex Neindorf, said western brown snakes had been able to ‘double clutch’, meaning they were laying more eggs than usual.

“We’ve had three years of fairly good weather, as in moist and wet,” he told the ABC. “So the snakes have had a really good year with lots of mice around.”

Mr Neindorf said they had even been making their way into people’s houses to look for food, and he said it was important for people to check all the seals on the bottom of doors.

“If they don’t have a rubber strip under the bottom of the door, we need to put a rubber strip on the bottom of the door,” he said. “And you’ve got to check that strip as well to make sure it’s completely sealed from one side of the door to the other.”

Mr Neindorf said mulga snakes were coming out at night time and behaving in a similar fashion to western browns by following scent trails.

“That is because the night time temperatures have gone up,” he said. “They’re now quite active around town.”

And it is not just on bushwalks, and around the campsite that grey nomads need to be on alert. Earlier this year, Steven Brown from the Brisbane North Snake Catchers & Relocation company was called out to remove a Coastal Carpet Python from the engine bay of a campervan.

While it was a non-venomous species, it must have given the travellers quite a start when they spotted it.

“It can be a good practice to check engine bay for any wildlife or snakes if you are camping out in the bush,” Mr Brown told the grey nomads. “And, if you’re setting up a swag or tent, it’s a priority to keep everything zipped up so no snakes can enter these areas, along with sleeping bags.”

Mr Brown says that, depending on where they are travelling, grey nomads can run into a range of snakes including Eastern Browns, Red Belly Blacks, Western Browns and Carpet Pythons.

“If you sight a snake out on a bushwalk and are within five or six metres of the snake, it’s best to stand still and wait until the snake retreats and goes on its way,” said Mr Brown. “Movement can make the snake feel threatened and can result in a bite … if you’re able though, it’s best to give the snake a wide berth and continue on.”

  • Have you ever had a too-close encounter with a snake? Comment below.

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We live near bushland and I came home to find my cat had brought lunch – a red belly black snake that she was guarding at the back door.



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