Increase of snake sightings during warmer months

Be aware of an increase of snakes around during the summer. Photo: NSW Health
Be aware of an increase of snakes around during the summer. Photo: NSW Health

With an increase in the number of snake and spider sightings, Queanbeyan residents are reminded to take care as summer continues.

The official snake season has been underway in the region since October with the warmer bringing the reptiles into closer contact with humans.

The season where snakes are out and about more often is expected to continue until autumn next year, according to a spokesman for the ACT City Services Directorate.

“Snakes are most active in Canberra and Queanbeyan from October to March when they sun themselves or when they move in search of food or water," he said.

"If you encounter one the best advice is to leave it alone until it moves away.”

NSW Health has provided some first aid tips if a person does suffer a snake or spider bite.

Fast administration of first aid is crucial in the event of a snake bite. They most commonly occur on a victim’s arm or leg.

NSW Health advises that a bite should never be interfered with by trying to either cut or suck out the venom. Apply a firm bandage beginning from the bite site and covering the area, if on a limb cover all the way to the fingers or toes and up to the hip or shoulder.

Keep the limb still and splint splint an arm to the body or one leg to the other if possible. Do not let the victim walk or run and seek medical assistance immediately.

If a person has a suspected funnel web spider bite a pressure immobilisation bandage should be applied.

If bitten on a limb keep it down and immobilise it. Seek medical assistance immediately.

For all other spider bites a cold compress or ice pack should be applied directly over the bite and medical assistance should be sought if symptoms such as nausea, sweating, muscular weakness or infection develop.

Residents in Queanbeyan and the region have also been asked to look out for American Corn Snakes.

American Corn Snakes have been spotted in the region. Photo: NSW Department of Primary Industries

American Corn Snakes have been spotted in the region. Photo: NSW Department of Primary Industries

There were six confirmed specimens of the snake found in South-Eastern NSW in 2017.

While the American Corn Snake is not venomous it is a introduced species and poses a threat to native animals and domestic pets.

The snake can carry a tick spread bacteria, Cowdria ruminantium, which can kill grazing animals.

It can be identified by red or orange blotches edged in black on a grey or orange background.

Residents are advised never to handle snakes but if you suspect you have seen an American Corn Snake take a photo if safe to do so and contact the South East Local Land Service on 02 4842 2594 or email enquiry.southeast@lls.nsw.gov.au.