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Sydney homes poised for invasion of snakes escaping rain





  • Sydney residents have been warned of an 'unprecedented' invasion of snakes 
  • Red-bellied black snakes are heading inside people's homes to escape the rain 
  • Highly venomous serpents are being found inside houses across the city
  • Snake catcher warns there is nothing people can do to keep the reptiles out 

By Ollie Gillman For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 00:20 EDT, 21 March 2017 | Updated: 00:20 EDT, 21 March 2017

Sydney homes are facing an 'unprecedented' invasion of highly-venomous snakes as serpents charge inside to get out of the rain.

Prolonged downpours are forcing red-bellied black snakes to take refuge indoors, placing residents at risk of being bitten.

Harley Jones, from Snakes in the City, told Daily Mail Australia that he was getting constant call-outs to deal with the dangerous reptiles, adding that there is nothing people can do to stop the creatures getting inside their homes.

Sydney homes are facing an 'unprecedented' invasion of highly-venomous red-bellied black snakes (file picture) as serpents charge inside to get out of the rain Sydney homes are facing an 'unprecedented' invasion of highly-venomous red-bellied black snakes (file picture) as serpents charge inside to get out of the rain

Sydney homes are facing an 'unprecedented' invasion of highly-venomous red-bellied black snakes (file picture) as serpents charge inside to get out of the rain

'We haven't seen rain like the last couple of weeks before - and on rainy nights we tend to find snakes inside,' he said.

'Where we would usually be called out to deal with one snake inside a home every two weeks, we're now finding that every other snake is inside a house or business.'

Mr Jones said most of the snakes he has found inside people's homes in the last two weeks have been baby red-bellied black snakes. 

'You get groups of snakes appearing in yards usually, not inside, but now the little babies are just wandering in.

'The juvenile snakes don't have a home yet so they split off and they just wander. A lot get eaten by kookaburras, foxes and cats but some are getting out of the wet and heading indoors.

'There's nothing you can do it. You could spend millions of dollars snake-proofing a house but they'd still get in. You're better off just calling a professional snake catcher.'

Prolonged downpours are forcing red-bellied black snakes (file picture) to take refuge indoors, placing residents at risk of being bitten Prolonged downpours are forcing red-bellied black snakes (file picture) to take refuge indoors, placing residents at risk of being bitten

Prolonged downpours are forcing red-bellied black snakes (file picture) to take refuge indoors, placing residents at risk of being bitten

While they may be small, baby red-bellies are still highly venomous.

'They're highly venomous and are seriously dangerous for young children or older adults. If you get bitten, you're looking at serious swelling, possibly gangrene, and loss of smell and taste for a month,' the snake catcher said.

He added that nowhere in Sydney is safe from the serpents. 

'We've found them everywhere in Sydney; north, south, east, west. They've adapted really well. We even find them in the CBD,' Mr Jones said.

'We've already been called out to four this morning and we'll get another four or five this afternoon and in the evening.'

Experts have also warned people to be wary of red-bellies and deadly eastern brown snakes once the weather clears up.

Stephen Mahony, a reptile and amphibians expert at the Australian Museum, told the Sydney Morning Herald: '[Snakes] are generally less active in overcast, rainy and colder conditions.

'Red-bellies do hunt a lot of frogs, so may be seen hunting somewhat more after rain periods once it warms somewhat.

'Some snakes, for example pythons - such as the diamond python - and some tree snakes such as the brown tree snake do seem to increase in activity when it is wet. Though the reason is not clear.'

Sydney has so far endured an unusually wet March this year, with 17 days of at least 0.2mm rainfall in 20 days. The average is 13.6 days throughout the whole month.

So far 223mm has fallen in total - up from the March average of 129.6mm. 

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