AS SNAKES become more active in the warmer weather, people are being encouraged to make sure they understand what to do if they see or are bitten by a snake.
A Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) spokesperson said spring was typically when snake sightings became more frequent.
“As temperatures warm up and the days become sunnier, snakes will begin to emerge from their winter hibernation to bask in the sun and search for food and a mate.”
Snakes are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975, meaning it is illegal to kill or harm them.
DELWP encourages people who need a snake moved to instead contact a licensed snake catcher.
Jay Barnes is a licensed snake catcher who responds to call-outs both in Geelong and the Surf Coast.
He said different species tend to emerge at different times.
“Usually tiger snakes and copperheads are the first to come out, especially around the Surf Coast as they can tolerate the cooler climates,” he said.
“Myself and the other snake catchers in the region are already starting to get busy.”
Mr Barnes also noted COVID-19 had changed the nature of many of their call-outs.
“We’re not getting reports of people out hiking and seeing them, we’re seeing a lot more of them around the homes and especially anywhere that’s particularly close to dams, streams, and creeks.”
DELWP advises there are various steps people can do to ensure their safety from snakes:
If you see a snake, keep calm and move yourself and anyone with you, including your pets, away from the area.
Undertake first aid training and ensure your first aid kit contains several compression bandages.
If someone is bitten, call 000 immediately.
Maintain lawns and keep areas around your house tidy.
Call the DELWP Customer Service Centre on 136 186 for advice on the nearest licensed snake catcher.