AS the weather warms, snakes are on the move and Bendigo’s snake catcher is getting busy.
George Moore, who has been catching snakes in the district for 12 years, said he had had 10 phone calls in the past three weeks, four in the last few days.
“They’re definitely out of hibernation now,” he said.
“When you see the skinks and the blue tongues out, the snakes are not far behind.
”They’ve just woken up, they’re looking around for a feed and water and they’re moving about.”
People calling on his services in recent days came from Castlemaine, North Bendigo, and Flora Hill.
Depending on the circumstances and position of the snake, Mr Moore usually uses a grip, like the devices used to pick up rubbish, to pick up a snake and deposit it safely and humanely in a bag.
Other times, like his call-out to catch the biggest snake he has ever seen - a two-metre brown snake underneath a car in Eaglehawk - he picks it up by the tail.
In this position the snake has no traction and can’t strike, he said, but he warned people against doing it themselves.
In general he advised people if they saw a snake to leave it alone and let it pass unless there was a child or pet in danger.
“They are more scared of us than we are of them,” he said. “It’s best just to let it go on its way… but if you are concerned, call us.”
He said snakes needed water and they would come into backyards to drink from water bowls. If people wanted the snake to leave quickly they could throw something at it from a distance.
Mr Moore admits to liking his slippery customers, mostly tiger snakes and brown snakes.
Snakes were a critical part of the ecosystem, he said. “If we had no snakes, we would be overrun with rodents."