Spring has sprung but so has snake season and locals are being encouraged to prepare their yards to prevent unwanted visitors.
Sean Cade, from Australian Snake Catchers, has already had a busy start to the season, but predicts it will only increase as the weather starts to warm up.
Red Belly and Eastern Black snakes are the most common to be seen around the Penrith area, as the reptiles come out of brumation looking for food and a new mate.
Mr Cade said he predicts there will be an “explosion” of reptiles this season.
“The last few years it really hasn’t been that cold so they haven’t stopped, it’s only this year that it’s really cooled down over winter so they’ve had a couple of months to chill out,” he said.
“They are all going to be looking for food and mates so there is going to be a lot of activity, especially with all the urban development going on.
“With development the snakes disperse outwards but when they finish the development they try to go back but there’s houses there.
“I imagine there’s going to be an influx of home encounters over the next month.”
Mr Cade said residents should remain vigilant on walking trails, especially those near water.
Walking tracks around Glenmore Park, Nepean River and Waterside are common local spots for snake sightings.
If you find yourself face to face with a snake, Mr Cade suggests you do three things: don’t approach it, keep an eye on where it goes and call a professional.
“Their eyesight is only good for a few metres, so if you give it enough distance it won’t be worried about you,” he said.
“85 per cent of people are bitten trying to catch it or kill it.
“The other 15 per cent is people gardening or reaching into things and getting bitten.”
Keeping a tidy yard can greatly reduce the risk of a snake sticking around on your property, so it could be time to get into the spring cleaning this weekend.
If in the event you are bitten, call Triple Zero and apply a pressure immobilisation bandage.
For more information, visit www.healthdirect.gov.au/snake-bites.
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Nicola Barton is a news journalist with the Western Weekender, primarily covering crime and politics.