Snake awareness

Eastern Brown snake

Snakes are an important part of our natural environment. If you see them, keeping a safe distance will ensure your safety and theirs.

When and where would I likely see a snake?

You would usually see snakes in the warmer seasons when they are actively looking for food and lying in the sun.

During winter, they spend most of their time resting under rocks, logs, and in holes, but can still come out on really warm days.

In urban areas, snakes like to look for warm surfaces like footpaths and building materials.

How can I minimise contact with snakes?

When outside during the warmer months you should:

  • Wear long pants and boots that cover your ankles when walking near wetlands and long grass.
  • Avoid walking or putting your hands into thick bushes/plants and rock/empty logs.
  • Be careful when cleaning up food scraps as they attract rats and mice which are the favourite food of snakes.
  • Keep your backyard clear of any rubbish so snakes don’t make their home there.

What to do if I see a snake?

  • Stay calm and still, keep a safe distance, and don’t approach them.
  • Wait for it to move on, they want to avoid you too.
  • If the snake is lying in the sun, slowly move away and find another path.
  • Let others in the area know that there is a snake close by.

All snakes in Victoria are protected, so it is illegal to kill or try to catch them without the correct permit. Bites usually happen when people try to harm or handle the snake.

Remember, we are entering their homes, and we should respect their space.

What to do if a snake bites me?

  • Don’t move the bitten limb.
  • Move to a safe location.
  • Call 000 as quickly as possible.
  • Apply a compression bandage if you have it and look for help from trained first aid staff.
  • When visiting places with snakes, always carry a well-stocked first aid kit.

Tips for Dog Owners:

Dogs are inquisitive animals and will tend to sniff or nudge snakes without realising the danger.

Dog owners need to be particularly cautious:

  • Keep your dog away from bushy areas, particularly along the creek corridors.
  • Even when you are in an off-lead area, during hot weather it is safer to keep dogs on the lead.

By remembering this information, you can keep yourself safe when you come across snakes.