Snakes are a natural part of living in Australia and it’s very important to be snake aware and take relevant precautions so that we can enjoy the outdoors safely.
Snakes are ectothermic. This means they maintain their body heat by absorbing heat from external sources. A snake’s body temperature and activity levels are controlled by the surrounding air and ground temperature.
Snakes become inactive during winter when their metabolism slows down and they lie dormant, using almost no energy. In early spring, they emerge and bask in the sun to warm up. They also gain body heat by lying on warm surfaces (eg asphalt, concrete and rocks which absorb heat) or under warm surfaces (eg building materials, such as corrugated roofing iron).
Snakes are often inactive when it is very hot and will seek refuge to avoid overheating. Spring is the time when snakes become more active and less wary as they go about feeding to build up body reserves after winter and breeding. All snakes are an important part of the natural environment as they reduce populations of some of their prey species, such as rats and mice.
The below fact sheet contains some simple tips you can use to discourage snakes from your property. It also gives you some safety tips for avoiding, and dealing with snakes.