Snake sightings tipped to rise

Stewart 'Stewy the snake catcher' Gatt. Photo: Damjan Janevski

Goya Dmytryshchak

Snake season is just around the corner and this year’s will be a little different due to COVID-19.

Stewart Gatt aka Stewy the Snake Catcher expects more snake reports with more people staying at home.

“In previous years, most people are at work or at school during the day, which means most snakes go about their business undetected around the homes, but this year we are expecting a lot more calls during the day,” he says.

“In the last two weeks, we have already attended to more than 15 call-outs, with catches including eastern brown snakes, copperheads, tiger snakes and blue tongue lizards.”

Snakes don’t hibernate but do something called brumation, Stewy says.

“This Is a type of hibernation but the difference is that snakes will emerge from their slumber on certain days to sit in the sun.”

Snakes are ectothermic.

“This means they can’t regulate their body temperature,” Stewy says.

“So, when you see a snake or lizard laying in the sun, they are merely absorbing energy to be able to get them through the day.

“Snakes are more scared of us than we are of them.

“Although snakes have a bad reputation and are feared by most people, they will only bite you if you accidentally step on them or if you provoke them.”

Stewy says harming a snake is illegal, adding there is no need to kill a snake.

“If you have time to go and get a shovel, you have time to call a snake catcher to come and remove it safely.

“Snakes are nature’s pest control. One adult snake could potentially control around 10,000 rats or mice a year.”

If you see a snake in your yard, Stewy’s advice is to slowly move away, remove any children or pets and call a snake catcher.

“If you are walking in the park and you come across a snake, you need to simply give it a wide berth,” Stewy says.

If you are bitten, make yourself safe, move as little as possible and call triple-0.

For more details, visit or call 1300REPTILE (1300 737 845).