ALONG with the warmer weather, snakes are emerging from months of inactivity to search for food and a mate.
Many snakes stop eating over winter and conserve energy by not moving around as much, although they may come out and bask on a warm sunny day in the middle of winter.
The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) last week said snakes were more visible during warmer months but were rarely a threat.
“Snakes prefer to keep away from people. They rely on external sources like the sun to give them energy,” senior wildlife projects officer, Katherine Whittaker said.
“Most snake bites occur when people try to capture or kill them. Leave them alone and keep your pets away.
“Snakes are known to bite animals if they feel threatened. If your dog or cat encounters a snake, move your pet away or keep it on a lead while the snake is in the area. If you suspect your pet has been bitten take it to a vet immediately.”
Whittaker said anyone seeing a snake should “keep calm and move yourself and anyone with you away from the area”.
Precautions for bush walking included wearing long pants and proper shoes, taking a mobile phone and snake bandages.
“Maintain lawns and clean up around your house, as snakes are attracted to shelter such as piles of rocks and timber, sheets of metal, and building materials,” she said.
“Keep pests under control. Rodents are an excellent food source for snakes.”
Residents should call a licensed snake catcher or DEECA on 136 186 instead of trying to capture or harm snakes which are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975.
Crimes against wildlife can be reported to Crime Stoppers Victoria on 1800 333 000.
If someone is bitten by a snake call 000.