Snake season, does it ever end for Gladstone?
IT MIGHT have been the last day of summer yesterday but Gladstone snakes aren't heading to ground just yet.
Gladstone's long summer has become extended even further thanks to climate change, according to local snake catcher Mike Boen.
"We have not had a serious frost in Gladstone for a long time," Mr Boen, a Gladstone resident since 1976, said.
"Our winter is not like it used to be, the tiger snakes are moving further south.
"During the winter (the number of snakes) used to really slow down a bit. It doesn't now, the season's extended. (Summer) starts earlier and ends later."
And what that means is more work for Mr Boen.
He said so far it had been "an average season" for snakes.
"It's not over the top, I haven't had a single taipan this season," he said.
However, he cautioned it was important that people took measures to avoid run-ins with snakes.
Following are Mr Boen's top tips to protect yourself from unwanted encounters of the serpent kind.
- Turn a light on at night, don't rely on your mobile light. Get a good flash light.
- Clear away shoes/brooms/pots from external doors so you will immediately notice any object, like a snake, in the empty space.
- If you find yourself close to a snake, stand as still as you can. Scream. "Snakes have no external ears so you would have to scream very loudly and at a very low frequency (for them) to pick up a vibration."
- Don't leave pet food bowls near external doors. Water bowls attract thirsty snakes and food bowls attract snakes because they attract mice and frogs.
- Keep a first aid kit on top of the fridge containing at least three compression bandages, Mr Boen recommends Setopress bandages. They come with a rectangle design which changes to squares when the tension is just right.