by Kristen Booth
MATING season has begun and Central Highlands will have more frequent snake sightings.
Local snake catcher Shane Bailey says snakes will be a lot more active in the coming months as they come out of winter.
"Spring time is mating season for snakes and that's what makes this the busy season,” he said.
"They will be on the move, particularly males who will be following the scent of females.”
The most common snake found in Emerald is the Eastern Brown, although Shane said they won't defend themselves unless they feel threatened.
"Snakes are naturally extremely nervous, although they won't attack you unless you attack them,” he said.
As the heat rises, Shane warns that snakes could also venture inside to escape the heat and there are simple steps that can be taken to avoid danger.
"If it's found in a room, close the door and put a wet towel under the door to keep it secure,” he said.
"Remove your pets from the area and call a snake catcher.
"Knowledge is power, the more you educate yourself, the more you can deal with a snake situation.”
It is important to be aware of snakes, especially if pets are in the yard.
An Australian survey estimated that over 6200 cases of snakebite are presented to veterinarians every year.
Maraboon Vetinary Surgery's Dr Angela Sutherland said that pets are most commonly bitten by snakes because they are curious.
"The sooner your pet is treated for snake bite, the better their chances of survival,” she said.
"Common signs of snake bite are dilated pupils, weakness in the back legs, paralysis, collapsing, salivation and vomiting.
"Your pets reaction to a snake bite will vary depending on the type of snake, the amount of venom injected and the site of the bite.
"If you suspect your pet has been bitten by a snake keep them as quiet as possible and get them to the vet immediately.”