Snakes are starting to slither from hibernation in search of warmer temperatures, leading to two sightings around Canberra at the weekend, and plenty more to come.
A brown snake was spotted by a visitor to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve on Sunday on one of the more popular walks, and another was seen at Red Hill.
Canberra Nature Park Ranger in Charge Kristy Gould said the optimum temperature for snakes was 25 degrees, which meant they would emerge towards the middle of the day during Spring, and in the mornings and evenings during Winter.
“Yes, this time of year they are starting to emerge again,” she said.
The brown snake and red belly black snake are the two most common types seen in the ACT, and both are highly venomous.
But Ms Gould said that was no reason to harm the snakes. Shy by nature, they will move away at signs of movement. They will, however, react to sudden movement.
“Snakes will emerge right through the suburban areas of Canberra,” Ms Gould said. “But if you see one, do not attempt to catch or kill it. They will move away.”
With temperatures on the rise, it was now time to tidy household yards. Snakes like warm places, such as piles of wood, and long grass. They are less likely to slither into well-maintained yards.
Ms Gould said rangers often received phone calls from people who sighted snakes. But they would only attend if a snake was found inside the house or garage.
She said cats liked to bring home their prey. And while snakes don’t like dogs or other larger animals, they do like dog food and water bowls.
They also liked anything which might attract mice – exposed food, compost heaps and bird aviaries.
If bitten by a snake, basic first-aid is to apply firm pressure with a bandage, avoid washing the wound, stay still, and call 000.