Craig Eddie holding a carpet python found in a bird aviary on a property in Roma.
Craig Eddie holding a carpet python found in a bird aviary on a property in Roma.

Venomous snakes found escaping the heat in aircon

THE drought has impacted nearly every aspect of life in the southwest, including the habits of snakes as they search in more places for something to eat.

Principal ecologist Craig Eddie from Boobook Ecotours Outback Queensland has been called out more than a dozen times to relocate snakes from homes and properties during summer.

"These numbers are down in comparison to this time last year due to the dry conditions," Mr Eddie said.

"During the drought, there's not much for the snakes to eat.

"The drought impacts on everything, particularly snakes pray - mice. The mice numbers have been down, but they will start to breed out soon so when there is a bit of grass for the mice to eat, more mice mean more snakes."

The animal expert said there's a few places where snakes are commonly being found around the Maranoa.

"It's common on really hot days for the eastern brown snake to look for the aircon, so they will go under doors, hide in shoe boxes, cupboards, go anywhere they can really," Mr Eddie said.

"We have seen snakes in all sorts of places... inside cars, bird aviary's, shoe cupboards, behind fridges - you name it, we've had it."

The ecologist said people have to be particularly careful of the eastern brown snake as they are highly venomous and are in the top 20 deadliest snakes in the world.

"Certainly not a snake to muck around with," he said.

A snake's body temperature is the same as the outside temperature and can feel the cold air from airconditioning units if they are slithering around homes, enticing them inside so they don't overheat and die.

He said the two common snakes in Roma are carpet snakes and the eastern brown snake. Residents should expect an increase in sightings ahead of winter.

"In March and early April, snakes will be looking to have a big feed up before they go to sleep over the winter," he said.

"Our busiest time is the start of spring as snakes are looking for food."

Mr Eddie urged residents to treat all snakes as dangerous and don't try kill or handle them.



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