KFC, the car and the loo: Where snakes are ending up
THREE snakes locked in a passionate dual, fighting over a shared lady interest is what snake catcher Andrew Smedley was faced with on the weekend.
The two males and a female, with a combined length of close to 6m, were sheltering in a Forest Hill garage when homeowners alerted the professional.
The wet and windy weather in Ipswich over the past days has pushed snakes out of their natural habitats in search of shelter in homes, gardens and garages.
Mr Smedley said it means homeowners are likely to find more of the creatures if the weather persists, but not all of them are a need for alarm.
"When it's spring, it comes to breeding time so it's not uncommon to have multiple male snakes in the one place," he said.
"I try to encourage people who don't have children or small domestic pets to leave the non-venomous ones alone. They are really doing you a favour because they are great at cleaning up vermin and they are not that much of a threat.
"One in three houses has a python, they are the most common snake. It's something to be aware, not alarmed, of."
He said the rainy weather produced frog-eating species like keelbacks and green tree snakes while eastern brown snakes were more common in hot and dry conditions.
Mr Smedley said snakes could end up anywhere, including in toilets and sinks.
He said one of the male snakes found on the weekend had deep lacerations on its body, most likely from combat with the other male.
"They can be very brutal when engaging in combat," he said.
"Pythons have over 100 sharp teeth so you can imagine the damage that can cause, especially from a big python. The wounds usually heal after a while and they become battle scars.
This poor guy will definitely have a yarn or two to tell with all of his scars."
He said he was called to remove snakes up to five times a day in the spring time, including to rescue a red belly black snake from a wheel arch of a car.
He said the snake got stuck in the wheel at the Yamanto KFC car park.
Snakes not welcome at home
THEY'VE got nowhere else to go so snakes are moving in.
Wet weather can push snakes out of their natural habitat in the wild and into residential homes, gardens and garages.
Home owners can take steps to limit the chance of finding a friendly reptile waiting for them.
Andrew's Snake Removal owner Andrew Smedley said residents should limit water, food and shelter sources to prevent snakes moving in.
"Most snakes are just passing through and they only take up residence because they have three things; water, food and shelter," he said.
"If people can eliminate those three things it can go a long way to deter snakes, nothing else can deter a snake 100%." Residents should cover rubbish and put away food scraps to reduce mice and rates attracting snakes as well as empty out water containers and turn over things that could collect rain water.