Snakes in the city: Mosman squirms as snakes come out of winter slumber for breeding season.

 Lower north shore snake catcher Harley Jones. Image credit:  Fairfax.

Lower north shore snake catcher Harley Jones. Image credit: Fairfax.

 

By ANNA USHER.

Sydney’s warm weather has snakes emerging from their winter slumber – and a number of sightings in Mosman this week has sparked warnings from experts. 

Snake catcher Harley Jones

Snake catcher Harley Jones has been called out to 67 jobs on the north shore since October 1st, telling Mosman Collective that the breeding season is “much busier than usual”.

Mr Jones is one of a handful of professional snake catchers, who covers the Chatswood to Mosman area, and says Sydney’s recent wet spell has driven big numbers of reptiles into houses and yards.

“I’ve found snakes in bedrooms, bathrooms, showers, bedside drawers, garages – you name it,” he said. 

“Now that the rain has gone, they all seem out enjoying the sun.

“Our phone hasn’t stopped ringing all week.”

The most common breed Mr Jones removes from properties is a tree snake, but this October he’s captured Golden Crowned snakes, Marsh snakes, Red Belly Black snakes, Diamond Pythons and Brown Tree snakes on the north shore.

Worryingly, he’s also been called out to catch a Tiger snake.

 A Diamond Python captured in a north shore house recently.

A Diamond Python captured in a north shore house recently.

“But Mosman residents shouldn’t be alarmed, because that one was in Terry Hills,” Mr Jones said.

“Breeding season means they are highly active – but snakes usually won’t pose a threat if they are left alone.

“Unless you pick it up, you are very unlikely to be bitten.”

 Red Belly Black snakes are found in Mosman.

Red Belly Black snakes are found in Mosman.

 Red Belly Black snakes are venomous.

Red Belly Black snakes are venomous.

To discourage snakes from your property, Mr. Jones suggests keeping the yard clear of debris and if you do see one, walk slowly away.

 These tree snakes were caught in Seaforth this month.

These tree snakes were caught in Seaforth this month.

“Then if you are in the right frame of mind, take a photo of the snake and send it to us straight away, so we can identify the species and then remove it as soon as possible,” he said.

The veteran snake catcher says for every snake you see – there are another 10 in hiding.

“People on the lower north shore have a lot of natural bushland surrounding them, and to assume that there are not snakes around at the moment would be foolish,” he said.

“Fortunately, most of our call outs in Mosman are for tree snakes, which are harmless – but there are Red Belly Black snakes and Golden Crowned snakes in the area too.

“In the coming months, there will be larger numbers of snake sightings – in fact we expect it to be busy until the end of April 2019. 

“But all snakes we catch are released into their native habitat.”

 A Red Belly Black snake caught by Mr. Jones on the north shore recently.

A Red Belly Black snake caught by Mr. Jones on the north shore recently.

If you are walking in local bushland, where snakes may be present, the best advice is to wear sturdy boots and long trousers.

“And if you are bitten by a snake – use a firm bandage instead of a tourniquet, minimise movement and call Triple zero,” Mr Jones said.

If you find a snake in your home or yard, contact Harley Jones at snakesinthecity.com.au or on 0411 103 488.