A bumper summer for snakes

SNAKE catcher Peter Doherty says this summer could be one of the worst for the reptiles.

He has found snakes in beds, under toilet seats and, three days ago, in a classroom.

Mr Doherty, from West Albury, works as a security guard at night and said he has had up to 80 calls since September to catch snakes.

Given he had 190 calls from September last year to April this year, this snake season is heating up.

“It’s been a bumper year for breeding,” he said.

“The numbers are up.”

Rain and flooding has boosted snakes’ food stocks. There’s more plant life, more insects, more mice and therefore more snakes.

“There’s a lot more food and the conditions are fairly good — nice, warm conditions,” he said.

He’s mostly seen red-bellied black snakes (21st most venomous snake in the world), brown snakes (second most) and one tiger snake (the fourth most deadliest) on the Thurgoona golf course.

Mr Doherty said the most important thing was to leave snakes alone.

“As long as they leave the snake alone it will go on its merry way but the problem is most people are scared of them so they have a tendency to hit the panic button,” he said.

If bitten, he said people should wrap a pressure bandage above the bite and remain calm.

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