October 20, 2022

La Niña is sending snakes into suburbs. Here's how to protect the gang!

La Niña is sending snakes into suburbs. Here's how to protect the gang!
Dr. Chris Brown

All the rain doesn’t just play havoc with those park plans. It’s also causing snakes to appear in previously non-snakey areas.

Here’s how you can help avoid unwanted encounters…

Months of rain might have been frustrating for us. But for rats, mice and frogs it’s been a boom time with food and water everywhere.
But when these little critters just happen to be the favourite meal for snakes, it means their numbers are also spiking.

Then, cue spring rains. Snakes are being flushed out of their normal spots by the rain right at the time it’s their breeding season. They then need to search out new territories to find a mate and call their own. And with snake crowding now a thing in their usual spots, they’re exploring new urban areas knowing that at least they’ll have plentiful food there.

So here’s what you can do to prevent problems.

Tip: Be especially careful if you have a high risk dog like a terrier or working dog breed or a little mate who’s inclined to defend your yard at all costs. I’d be moving them inside or into a snake proof area for the next month at least if they're left home unsupervised.

For everyone else, keeping lawns well mown and removing any hiding spots like logs or overgrown garden furniture will help keep snakes away from your yard. However, a surprisingly important tip centres around their food and water bowls. While it’s well known that leaving food out can attract rodents and then snakes, a water bowl is also a big snake drawcard.

You see, as the wind blows off the water in the bowl, it sends tiny droplets through the air that the snake is able to taste. And to a snake, water means food (like frogs and other small creatures) are nearby. So the recommendation? Move their food inside and get water bowls up off the ground to the highest point where dogs and cats can still access them. It might ultimately save their life...

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