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Woongarah based licenced snake handler Jaimie Devere-Bertles. Woongarah based licenced snake handler Jaimie Devere-Bertles. Featured
14 November 2017 Posted by 


Recent sightings across the Coast
THE warmer weather has stirred snakes from their winter hibernation, prompting a number of recent sightings across the Central Coast.
Woongarah based licenced snake handler Jaimie Devere-Bertles said he was receiving up to 12 calls a week from terrified homeowners who had spotted a snake lurking in their yard.
He said snake sightings were more prevalent in the warmer weather as snakes went in search of food.
But unlike snake catchers in the western suburbs of Sydney where surging development has been blamed for driving snakes from their habitat and into suburban backyards, Mr Devere-Bertles said he was experiencing a “quiet” year.
“We are seeing a lot of housing development here and land clearing but the recent snake sightings has more to do with climate,” he said. “We haven’t had much rain which brings the snakes into the residential areas looking for food.”
The 12 calls a week he is currently receiving is a far cry from the 15 calls he typically received each day around this time of year in 2014, said Mr Devere-Bertles who has been working as a snake handler for about 20 years.
“The following year and even this season are quiet by comparison. It’s starting to pick up now but I would say that’s because of the lack of water,” he said.
It’s a different story in Western Sydney where Australian Snake Catchers founder Sean Cade said he was receiving up to 10 calls a day for assistance.
“Vibrations associated with excavating roads coupled with construction of all these new housing estates disturbs snakes and they go into areas where there are people and houses,” he said.
“Once this development is finished, they gravitate back to where they originated which is now inhabited.”
Mr Cade said people were generally terrified of snakes because they “fear what they don’t understand.”
“If given an exit, a snake will take that exit,” he said. “But a brown snake does have a short fuse so if it feels threatened, it will stand up as though to warn don’t come near me.
People misunderstand that to mean it wants to give chase but the truth of it is it just wants to get away.”
All snakes are protected in NSW and killing one is an offence. Wildlife organisations will not catch snakes unless they are injured or there is a serious threat so snake catchers are in high demand.
To locate a snake catcher in your area, contact Environment Line on 131 555 or visit www.environment.nsw.gov.au/questRecentons/snake-removal
How to deter snakes
Keep shrubs trimmed, lawns mowed and the garden tidy. Remove piles of rubbish, wood or leaf clippings where snakes can shelter.
Food sources like rodents and birds encourage snakes to stay so snake-proof any rubbish bins, ponds and aviaries with fine mesh.
If snakes reside under your home, block their access after they have been removed.


Michael Walls
P: 0407 783 413
E: Michael@accessnews.com.au

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