What to do if you find a snake in your home

By Ros Burton (Principal – The Real Estate People)

I grew up on a property outside of Chinchilla, so I’ve seen my share of snakes over the years, but I’m yet to come across one here in Toowoomba (and I don’t want to). 

Since I now live near bushland, it’s a very real probability that one day I’ll encounter a slithering little friend – so I wanted to share with you some of my research of what to do when you see one. 

Firstly…don’t panic 

That’s easier said than done of course, but remember that (in most cases), snakes enter homes purely in search of food, warmth, or shelter. 

While the sight of these creatures may be alarming, it’s important to remember that most snakes are not dangerous to humans. Nevertheless, it’s never a good idea to try and handle the snake yourself, especially if you’re uncertain about its species or venomous status – we DO have some nasty ones here in Australia. 

Keep a safe distance from the snake and try to confine it to one area by closing nearby doors if possible. 

Get a professional snake remover 

While it’s tempting to deal with a snake in your home yourself, it’s highly recommended to enlist the help of a professional. 

Many snake species are protected by law, and killing them can result in hefty fines. Moreover, attempting to handle or kill a snake can put you at risk of a snake bite. 

Professionals are equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to safely remove snakes, as they can identify the species of snake, assess the risk level, and use the appropriate method to remove it. They can also provide advice on preventing future snake intrusions. 

Apart from safety concerns, professional snake removers are trained to handle snakes in a way that causes minimal stress to the animal. They understand the snake’s behaviour and needs, ensuring that the removal process is as humane as possible. 

Why did it come into my house/yard to begin with? 

If your home or yard has plenty of rodents or insects, it might attract snakes. 

Moreover, certain landscaping features like rock piles, wood stacks, or thick foliage can provide ideal hiding spots for snakes. 

They may also be attracted to warm, dark spaces in your home, such as crawlspaces, garages or cupboards. 

How do I keep them away? 

  1. Maintain your yard: A tidy, well-maintained yard is less attractive to snakes. Keep the grass short, remove fallen leaves and branches promptly, and regularly trim your plants. 
  1. Eliminate rodents: Rodents are a primary food source for many snake species. By keeping your yard rodent-free, you can make it less enticing for snakes. 
  1. Seal entry points: Inspect your house for cracks, gaps, or holes that snakes might use to get inside. Seal these points to prevent snake entry. 
  1. Plant snake-repelling plants: I can’t vouch for this, but I read that certain plants like marigold, lemongrass, and mother-in-law’s tongue are known to keep snakes at bay. 

I hope that gives you a few ideas of what to do if you encounter a snake this summer; and if you need a hand, here are some local contacts (who were available at time of writing): 

  • Snappy Snake Catcher – 0426 963 373
  • Darling Downs Snake Catchers – 0429 613 324 
  • Southern Downs Snake Catchers – 0478 047 457