Brisbane’s outer suburbs are facing a snake invasion this winter, as the reptiles attempt to slither into the warmth of your home to hibernate.

Local ecologist and snake handler Bryan Robinson says venomous snakes are very common in the outer suburbs near Ipswich, Wacol and Warner.

“The venomous red bellied black snake and eastern brown snake are quite common in a great percentage of Brisbane suburbs,” says Robinson.

“There’s also a lot of smaller species to look out for like the white-crowned snake and golden-crowned snake. They’re found around suburban homes and often the cat might drag one in or the kids will come across it.”

A common myth is that red bellied black snakes specifically eat the eastern brown variety, however both species prefer alternative habitats and eat anything, including their own kind.

Bryan says the biggest mistake that people make when they find a snake is leave the room.

“The most important thing to do is to not take your eyes off it and watch its movements,” continues Robinson.

“It’s like having the kids in the shopping centre, if you turn around they’ve run off and you can’t find them for half an hour.

“If you find one outside, you can leave them alone and they’ll eventually move away. However you would understandably want to catch it if it’s a venomous species.”

Check out the deadly eastern brown snake getting cornered in a Brisbane home:

The ones to watch out for…

Red Bellied Black Snake

How to identify: Glossy black with a light brown snout. The outer sides and belly are a distinct, bright red colour.

Danger: Highly venomous. 

Commonly found: Around homes close to wetlands, streams, rivers, creeks and waterways.

Behaviour: Will hiss, flatten its neck and sometimes thrash violently when threatened. May bite if injured or attacked.

Eastern Brown Snake

How to identify: Light to tan brown colouring, sometimes blackish or reddish. Belly usually dotted with orange or black spots.

Danger: Highly venomous.

Commonly found: In rural areas, grasslands and dry locations.

Behaviour: Highly nervous, swift movements and quick to flee when spotted or threatened. If attacked it will inflict swift, multiple bites.

Eastern small-eyed snake

How to identify: Identical to red bellied black snakes, but with smaller eyes and bodies. Around 50cm in length.

Danger: Highly venomous.

Commonly found: Sheltered under rocks, sheets of bark or in garden beds during the day.

Behaviour: Will bite readily and thrash if threatened.

White-crowned snake

How to identify: Gun-metal grey with cream stripe around the snout and neck.

Danger: Venomous.

Commonly found: In suburban gardens, woodlands and forests.

Behaviour: Raises body vertically and makes striking motions when threatened.

Golden-crowned snake

How to identify: Grayish brown to dark brown with orange belly and black spots. Commonly mistaken for red bellied black snake.

Danger: Venomous.

Commonly found: In moist areas, creek lines and forests.

Behaviour: Will rear up and may ‘mock strike’ with mouth closed. They are reluctant biters but will attack if highly provoked.

How to protect your family & pets

Local snake catcher Matt Harley says some of these snakes can definitely cause significant injuries to humans and pets, but there are measures you can take to reduce snakes appearing on your property.

“Limit the amount of snakes around your house by keeping a tidy yard and reducing rubbish that would offer somewhere for them to hide. Anything from an old couch or tarp can provide shelter for snakes,” says Harley.

“Snakes generally don’t like to be out in the open too much so with nowhere to hide, they’ll spend less time on your property.”

To catch or not to catch?

Harley stresses that it’s not wise to take things into your own hands as it can potentially be very dangerous.

“If you’re worried you can take a photo of the snake, send it to a snake catcher and we can advise you what the snake is and what to do.

“We operate 24 hours, seven days a week, so you can get in contact with snake catchers at any time.”

Have you found a snake in your home? Share your story with us by commenting below or on our Facebook page!