Wet summer to bring more snake and pest activity

Max O'Driscoll 13 December 2021 22
Luke Dunn and an Eastern Brown Snake

Luke Dunn with the largest snake Canberra Snake Rescue and Relocation has moved this season, a female Eastern Brown measuring a whopping 1582 mm. Photo: Facebook.

If you have a pathological fear of spiders and snakes, it may not be the summer to head into the great outdoors.

With a wet season ahead, Canberra’s pest experts are warning that creepy crawlies, snakes and rodents could be bigger than ever as the entire ecosystem is enjoying the surplus of food on offer.

Luke Dunn from Canberra Snake Rescue and Relocation says that while it hasn’t been the busiest season for snake callouts so far, the snakes are out there and will have to come out at some point.

“In Canberra, we are mainly dealing with the Eastern Brown Snake. Although we do get a few other species, the Eastern Brown Snake is the most commonly encountered, particularly in a suburban ecosystem here in the ACT,” said Mr Dunn.

“Although they’re very adaptable, they don’t tend to like it when it’s too wet, so they just spend a little bit more time in their holes and in their crevasses.

“When we’re getting consistent wet weather, they’ve got to come out at some point. We still get calls when it’s a little bit wet, but because it is a wetter season, much like it was last season, we’re not expecting to be smashed with calls,” he said.

READ ALSO: Rinse and repeat: is the summer’s weather pattern beginning to take shape?

What it does mean is that when the drier periods do occur, the snakes are more likely to be seen.

“It’s just the snakes taking their opportunity to get out and about, be active, go hunting and do what they’ve got to do,” said Mr Dunn.

“Obviously, they are ectothermic so they can’t control their core temperatures, so they do rely on basking and then sitting in the shady, cool areas to control their core temperature.”

For snakes, there aren’t necessarily any foolproof deterrents. However, short, tidy lawns can help provide a clean line of sight and increase the likelihood of seeing snakes should they make it into your yard.

READ ALSO: Heavy regional rainfall has Lake George as full as its been since 2017

As for pests, Quality One Pest Control owner Michael Devries says that there’s been some peculiar activity from Canberra’s rodents and insects over the last couple of months, with a rise in rodent activity this late in the year central to that.

With the region heading deeper into summer and more rain expected in the extended forecast, Mr Devries believes an increase in termites, ants and big spiders could all become part of the 2021/22 summer.

“I think termites are going to be big because there’s a lot of moisture from all the rain, and obviously, if there’s timber underneath the subfloor, the subfloors are moistured, it’s going to attract a lot of termites,” said Mr Devries.

“Another one is ants. Ants get really active when it’s humid, and there’s been a lot of ants in people’s houses at the moment because there are little ants that like to live in wall cavities.

“The rain just seems to bring everything to life, and there’s been a lot of spiders. I did a house two weeks ago and they reckon they saw the biggest whitetail, and I do believe them because some of the spiders I’ve seen have been huge. There are plenty of good food sources for them, and everything just keeps growing,” he said.

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22 Responses to Wet summer to bring more snake and pest activity
Dan Backhouse Dan Backhouse 9:51 pm 13 Dec 21

Good idea if you spend a lot of time in the bush to wear snakeproof gaiters too.

Kerrie Biilmann Kerrie Biilmann 7:45 am 13 Dec 21

Danni thought you might be interested 🤭

Mairead Parade Mairead Parade 3:24 am 13 Dec 21

James Beattie keep an eye

Susanne Gardiner Susanne Gardiner 10:28 pm 11 Dec 21

I've seen plenty, just not in the last year.

Stepped on a brown snake last year but we just scared the heebeejeebeez out of each other and parted in opposite directions.

I usually carry a snakebite bandage.

Only pests I can think of are mice, House Sparrows and Mynahs.

Bec Jeanes Bec Jeanes 10:10 pm 11 Dec 21

In all my years of walking my dogs, I never came across a snake… but Ive seen 4 brown snakes within the last couple of months!

    Gabrielle Andrew Gabrielle Andrew 11:48 pm 11 Dec 21

    Bec Jeanes correct there are more ... your dogs more likely to be bitten than you are

    Paige Johnson Paige Johnson 4:11 pm 12 Dec 21

    Bec Jeanes whereabouts?

    Bec Jeanes Bec Jeanes 8:05 pm 12 Dec 21

    Paige Johnson in the nature reserve and underpasses between Moncrief and Amaroo, off mirrabei drive.

Peta-Rene Prior Peta-Rene Prior 9:56 pm 11 Dec 21

Yep, if you’re into bush walking and the great outdoors go and ask your local pharmacist about their snake bite bandages and learn how to apply them.. same thing goes for spiders.

Sharyn McKell Sharyn McKell 9:21 pm 11 Dec 21

More pests in Canberra Peter Oliver…how is this possible 🤣

Emma Jane Emma Jane 9:21 pm 11 Dec 21

ACT Government perhaps now you might speed up the mowing schedule or maybe spend some money on additional contractors! The grass in parts of Monash are waist height, I’m sure there’s worse around Canberra. Bike paths are becoming overgrown making it near impossible for bikes and walkers to pass each other without either disappearing into the jungle, along with the dog and kids!!

    Colleen Carruthers Colleen Carruthers 10:52 pm 11 Dec 21

    Emma Jane it’s the same every year!

Melanie Cööper Melanie Cööper 8:46 pm 11 Dec 21

Just respect them and the territory they live in. It's that simple. No need for fear or hate, just mutual understanding.

    Ryan Gerrey Ryan Gerrey 9:10 pm 11 Dec 21

    Melänie Janė could not agree more

    Harley Ward Harley Ward 9:34 pm 11 Dec 21

    Melänie Janė arnt they native?

    Melanie Cööper Melanie Cööper 9:38 pm 11 Dec 21

    Harley Ward Yes. People still kill them.

    Harley Ward Harley Ward 9:39 pm 11 Dec 21

    Melänie Janė 😔 people are stupid.

    Melanie Cööper Melanie Cööper 9:43 pm 11 Dec 21

    Harley Ward Correct. Fear = stupidity these days. It is a chemical used to guide us to safety, but now, whatever goes for humans.

    Harley Ward Harley Ward 9:47 pm 11 Dec 21

    Melänie Janė yeah i agree. it's not rashional at all. The chances of getting injured or killed behind the wheel of a vehicle is much higher.

    Melanie Cööper Melanie Cööper 10:05 pm 11 Dec 21

    Harley Ward Or by a cow.

    Ashley Keaveney Ashley Keaveney 1:04 am 12 Dec 21

    Melänie Janė but cows taste nice🍽🍽🍽

Ryan Gerrey Ryan Gerrey 8:37 pm 11 Dec 21

I never comment on stuff like this but snakes are a part of where we live. I am out in the bush in the height of summer and I see a few of our scaley friends. Just give them them a bit of respect and don't stir them up and you'll be fine 🙂

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