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Watch out! Snakes about

Now that the warmer weather is upon us, reptiles including snakes are on the move in our backyards and in our parks and reserves.
Snakes have been reported and captured near Mosman Beach, and in early December a Dugite (like the one pictured below) gave a near-deadly bite to a small dog in Mosman Park near Buckland Hill in a backyard garden.

While most snake species are harmless, it is worthwhile taking precautions to protect yourself, your children and pets.

Common snakes around Perth

Dangerously venomous dugites and tiger snakes are common in the metropolitan area. Both species hunt small mammals, frogs and lizards, and are active during the day and at night in warm weather.

Tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus) are most common in vegetation around wetland areas, but may be found well away from water. They are seen throughout the year sunning themselves in open areas.

Dugites (Pseudonaja affinis) are most common in the drier bushland areas around Perth, especially grasslands. These fast-moving snakes are attracted to aviaries and other locations where mice can be found.

Precautions

  • Take care in bushland and grassy areas.
  • Walk and/or cycle in cleared areas only, where you can see the ground.
  • When bushwalking, wear long trousers and boots or other enclosed footwear that preferably cover the ankles.
  • Keep a watchful eye on the ground about a metre ahead of where you are walking, and avoid entering areas of long grass, rushes and undergrowth.
  • Around your home remove long grass and items lying on the ground such as corrugated iron, which may provide cover for snakes.
  • Reduce mice numbers around the house.
  • Learn the correct treatment for snakebite. (First aid information from St John.)

If you find a snake

Do not approach or aggravate it in any way. Most bites occur when people accidentally step on snakes, or while attempting to kill them. As the warmer days of spring approach, snakes become more active as they leave their winter retreats in search of a mate and food.

If you find a snake in a garden or a house, contact Wildcare Helpline (08) 9474 9055 to be referred to a reptile remover. Advice can be provided by phoning Parks and Wildlife on (08) 9219 9840.

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