Snakes have started slithering out from their winter hibernation thanks to a bout of warm spring weather in Victoria.
September signals the start of snake season, as the reptiles leave hibernation in search of food, a mate and to bask in the sun.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is warning Victorians to pay close attention to their pets at this time of year.
“Most snake bites occur when people try to capture or kill a snake,” senior wildlife management officer Therese Davis said.
“Snakes can be known to bite animals, such as dogs, if they feel threatened.
“If your dog or cat encounters a snake, the best course of action is to remove your pet from the area or tie it up while the snake passes and if you suspect your pet has been bitten take it to a vet immediately.”
Snakes are more common around the urban fringe or in rural parts of Victoria, but can also be found close to cities and towns, particularly around watercourses and parkland.
Just passing through
Ms Davis said snakes were “generally very shy” and liked to keep away from people.
“Often when a snake is found in a backyard it’s because it’s moving through the area to other habitat,” she said.
The most common species in the state includes tiger snakes, red-bellied black snakes, eastern brown snakes and copperheads.
Anyone who encounters a snake should leave it alone, keep calm and move away from the area.
Maintaining gardens, lawns and around the house can help ensure snakes are kept away from the area.
If someone is bitten they should call triple zero immediately.