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What to do if you find a snake in your home

It’s not an uncommon occurrence for snakes of various species to find their way into people’s homes. Here’s what to do should you find one.
If you see a snake in your home, it’s extremely important to follow a few steps immediately:
  • Keep any children, pets and other family members away from the area.
  • Ensure you keep watch on the snake, as it could easily move to hard-to-find places.
  • Call a licensed snake catcher.
Once you’ve followed these steps, sit tight and keep an eye on the snake until the snake catcher arrives – this way you can easily point out to them where the snake is.
“It’s illegal to kill them or do anything else with them,” says Dr Josh Llinas of Greencross Vets Jindalee. “You’re not allowed to catch and relocate them yourself, so you’ll need to get someone to come and get it and move it along.”
There are no specific times of the year when snakes may enter homes more often than other times, and those who live in cities may be just as likely to find a reptilian intruder. 
“It can happen all year round,” says Dr Josh. “In winter snakes look for heat and before summer they will be in their breeding season. “And there are lots of snakes in cities,” says Dr Josh, whose Jindalee practice is located in western Brisbane. “I get four or five brought in every day from snake catchers.”
Snakes are something that should be avoided, and your pets should be kept away from snakes, regardless of whether they are venomous or not. 
“As soon as you see a snake, put your pets in another room,” says Josh. “That’s the only recommendation.”
To help prevent snakes from getting inside your home, Josh suggests the following:
  • Keep windows and doors closed
  • Be careful about pet doors as snakes can enter them
  • Clear clutter from garages and backyards, such as wood or scrap metal, as this makes great shelter for snakes
  • Minimise feeding opportunities: clean up feed from pets like birds or guinea pigs that could attract other birds or rodent – these animals are food for snakes
  • Make sure birds and small animals like rabbits are in fine-mesh enclosures, as snakes can slither through small openings.
If you think your pet has been bitten by a snake, it’s vital to take your pet to see a vet. 
“It’s best to get them in so we can test them and see what snake they’ve been bitten by,” says Dr Josh – then the vet can start treatment. “There’s also the risk of infection, even if the snake is not venomous.”
If you’re worried about your pet and snakes, ask your local Greencross Vets  for more information. 

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