Hastings residents may start to see more snake activity as the weather warms towards Christmas

Snakes are on the move: Snake handler Stuart Johnston.
Snakes are on the move: Snake handler Stuart Johnston.

SNAKES are awake and Hastings residents should be keeping an eye out for the reptiles as they emerge from their winter slumber.

Reptile Solutions professional reptile handler Stuart Johnston said there are 23 species of snakes in the region as their activity increases from August to March.

Red-bellied black snakes, green tree snakes and carpet pythons account for the majority of call outs around Port Macquarie and the Camden Haven, Mr Johnston said.

"Reptile activity is starting to pick up," he said.

"Typically the start of September and in spring is an active time for us. Although snake activity never fully stops and just slows down through other parts of the year.

"Between this time of year and Christmas we see the males are racing around trying to mate with the female snakes, and then we get call outs about their offspring in March and April."


A MID NORTH COAST LOCAL: Carpet python. Photo: Supplied.

A MID NORTH COAST LOCAL: Carpet python. Photo: Supplied.

Mr Johnston said members of the public can be safest by remaining calm and quiet if they disturb a snake.

"Snakes may have taken refuge in the roof cavity during the cooler months and are now preparing to move on to find a potential mate," he said.

"If a snake is disturbed outdoors people should stop, remain quiet and still to draw less attention to yourself. Then back away from the snake, to not upset the snake where it feels it needs to protect itself.

"Snakes chasing after people or attacking them is not their natural behaviour so I encourage people not to block their path of his escape and just allow the animal to quickly vacate.

"People should not try to capture, handle or harm the animal because that action is where most bites occur."

 A COMMON SIGHT: Green tree snake. Photo: Supplied.

A COMMON SIGHT: Green tree snake. Photo: Supplied.

Mr Johnston said members of the public should immobilise the wound and seek medical attention if bitten by a snake.

"If first aid is required remain still and calm. Wrap the affected limb in a heavy bandage using pressure to immobilise and slow venom moving into the lymph nodes, but not enough pressure to cut off blood flow," he said.

"Don't wash or wipe the affected area because emergency staff can test any leftover venom on the surface of the bite site. If possible ask someone to drive you to hospital and not drive yourself."

"Remember that snakes will often give a 'dry-bite' which doesn't contain venom or where the bite wasn't able to penetrate clothing."

MISTAKEN FOR AN EASTERN BROWN: An eastern small eyed snake. Photo: Supplied.

MISTAKEN FOR AN EASTERN BROWN: An eastern small eyed snake. Photo: Supplied.