While parts of Australia are shivering through the final weeks of winter, experts are warning that snake breeding season has officially begun.
An increased number of the reptiles have started slithering out of seclusion and hibernation and into open headlines in search of a mate. With days warming up and spring just around the corner, Australians are being warned that there’s a very real possibility they’ll come across a snake in their neighbourhood or even in their home.
Snake catcher Luke Huntley told Noosa News in Queensland that the next three months are usually the busiest for snakes, with catchers in the Noosa area alone receiving up to 10 calls a day relating to snakes. Worryingly, it appears snakes are setting up shop in homes during their breeding season.
“Seventy per cent of the calls I get are when snakes are inside the house,” he told the publication.
He also said that snakes can become more aggressive at this time of year. “It also marks the beginning of breeding season and snakes go absolutely crazy,” he explained.
7 News also reported that snakes are on the loose, airing footage of a curious snake attempting to enter a Gold Coast resident’s home through the window in search of a mate. Other footage showed a snake slithering near a set of swings in a backyard. Another snake catcher who was interviewed by the network said business “explodes” at this time of year.
“It’s like someone flicked a switch. As soon as the weather gets above 23 degrees, the snakes go crazy,” snake catcher Tony Harrison said. “During this time of year, the males, their common sense goes out the window and they will cross peoples’ backyards, schools, shopping centres and whatnot and therefore humans and dogs interact with the snakes and that’s when the problems happen.”
And if the thought of one snake was bad enough, Aussies are being warned that one snake usually means there are more in the area.
“In the world of snakes, the biggest, fattest snake wins the right to mate with the female,” Harrison explained. “So a lot of males will turn up and wrestle and whoever’s the strongest will get to stay with her and the rest of the younger boys will continue hanging around wishing.”
If a snake is spotted, it’s important not to approach it and keep dogs, cats and small children away. Instead, keep an eye on the snake from a distance and call a professional catcher. In the event that a snake does bite, always contact 000 immediately.
Read more: Tips for keeping snakes away from your home
Earlier this month, footage of a giant python scaling the side of a suburban house on the Gold Coast went viral. In footage uploaded online, the snake could be seen making its way high above the ground and to the roof of the two-storey house.
The man who filmed that footage said the snake had been living in the rafters of his shed for six months, before venturing out in search of food.