SAFE HANDS: Gladstone snake catcher Mike Boen with an eastern brown caught in Calliope.
SAFE HANDS: Gladstone snake catcher Mike Boen with an eastern brown caught in Calliope. Contributed

Deadly brown snakes found in bedrooms

MIKE Boen has caught 12 deadly eastern brown snakes in Gladstone homes in recent weeks and the season hasn't even started.

He reckons if you follow the cane toads, you'll find the eastern browns.

"Nine times out of 10, if I find a hole with cane toads living in there that's where the brown will be," he said.

"The red belly blacks eat the toads and die, but eastern browns seem to cohabitate with them."

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Mr Boen is originally from Texas and started learning about snakes when his daughter wanted one.

"There was no-one in Gladstone doing it, and I thought, if she wants one, I'm going to learn," he said.

Fast forward 16 years and he is now one of a handful of snake catchers in Gladstone.

He said as the weather heated up and bushfires kept snakes on the move, they would look for cool, dry places to hang out.

Four of the 12 snakes he found recently were in bedrooms.

"They really like bedrooms and I normally have to go through everything to find them," he said.

"I turned three rooms upside down in one house last week and we finally found him under the TV cabinet."

Mr Boen said the easiest way to avoid contact was to snake proof your house.

"You don't want someone like me going through your things," he said.

"Use plastic door flaps to seal under doors, especially the internal door between the garage and house.

"Keeping any food source like pet food away from doors helps, and so does clearing rubbish from around the house.

"And most importantly, just leave them alone and call me."


  • Call 000 immediately
  • Stay still to stop the venom spreading
  • Roller bandage the limb entirely
  • Splint the limb but do not raise legs
  • Don't elevate, wipe or cut the wound
  • Don't suck out the venom

- Source: Paramedic Ron Gibson from Queensland Ambulance