Overtime for snake catchers as breeding season starts early
IT'S heating up in Ipswich and snakes are coming out to play.
Spring and summer months are the most common for snake sightings in both residential and rural suburbs but unseasonable warm conditions early in September have Ipswich snake catchers working overtime.
Ipswich Snake Catchers 24/7 owner Brandon Wilkinson was called to Ipswich homes nine times in the past two days and 12 times in three weeks.
He said it was snake breeding season and males were particularly active.
"During the winter, you don't get as many, as it's a lot colder but they will come out if it's warm and if it's extremely warm they'll come out and have a feed. In the winter it's fairly uncommon but we do still get call outs," he said.
"It is breeding season in the spring so males are out looking for females and it's not uncommon to find more than one snake in one location.
"We have come into warmer weather and as it warms up it's more common."
He rescued snakes from homes at Plainland, Laidley, Collingwood Park, Lowood and Brassall this month.
Mr Wilkinson said it was important the community understood what to when they saw a snake and not to cut it in half with a shovel.
"It is illegal to even touch a snake without a permit and there are massive fines from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection," he said.
"95% of snake bites happen when people try to catch or kill it. Snake catchers put our lives at risk so you don't have to.
"Here we get a variety of different calls, so coastal carpet pythons, red belly blacks, keelbacks which are non-venomous, and the eastern brown.
"We had a jet black eastern brown snake and we were told we were called out for a black snake. Colouration is a big thing when we're brought out, people often ask why is a brown snake black but you can never go on colour to ID a snake. You can get black snakes that are green or brown, brown snakes can be black, people can mistake common tree snakes for eastern browns."
Mr Wilkinson said new housing development was responsible for destroying snake habitat and pushing them into other residential suburbs.
"If you are worried, call a snake catcher to remove them, especially if you have pets of children.
"Dogs often source the snakes first and attack it and pass away because the snake is that quick, even the smallest of bites can kill a dog," he said.
"All the new estates, with grassland and tress being cut down, a lot of habitat is being destroyed and snakes are the same as birds and koalas, they are getting disturbed so they have to move away.
"Snakes will move into areas where houses have already been built and that is quite a concern because a lot of those areas they aren't used to seeing snakes in.
"Keep an eye on it from a safe distance and we can remove it.
"It will be caught and released in bushland away from you and away from people where you're not going to harm it and it's not going to harm you.
"Red bellies like water because they feed primarily on amphibians and eastern browns like grassland so we take it to the closest suitable habitat as far away as where its caught and as far away from people as we can."
"They are on the move, especially males looking for a breeding partner."