Benalla residents are warned to be on the lookout for snakes as the weather warms up.
With the onset of summer comes the presence of snakes.
That was the case for patrons at Benalla’s Farmers Arms Hotel recently when they had a slithery friend slide in for a visit.
But as Benalla Rural City does not having a designated snake handler, those who see snakes are being directed to other registered authorities.
Benalla Rural City’s development and environment general manager Veronica Schilling said council had received numerous calls for help.
‘‘Council has no licensed snake removalists, with all inquiries currently referred to registered handlers,’’ Ms Schilling said.
‘‘We are receiving regular calls for help to remove snakes — with three recently received over the one weekend — and are investigating the possibility of some council staff undertaking training to become licensed snake removalists.’’
Mick Liddington and Sandy Miskin are two local snake handlers who do not currently have the equipment required.
‘‘We don’t have the proper snake-handling kits at the moment, we have them at work but it’s very hard to go in and get them after hours when we have a call-out,’’ Mr Liddington said.
They would like to see council fund the $375 kits for them to successfully keep the Benalla community safe.
‘‘We just want to do this area, but we don’t have the kits at the moment,’’ he said.
Mr Liddington said 90 per cent of snake bites were the result of residents trying to kill a snake.
‘‘It’s actually illegal to a kill a snake; they won’t attack if they are not threatened,’’ Mr Liddington said.
To reduce the likelihood of snakes around homes, grass should be kept short, and rubbish — such as piles of wood or sheets of iron which provide cover — should be removed.
Both Mick and Sandy can be contacted if snakes are found on your property; however there is a small travelling fee.
‘‘If people see a snake, they should keep watch of it, if it takes us 15 or 20 minutes to get there, we want to know exactly where the snake is,’’ he said.
Mick can be contacted on 0419
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