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Sean Cade from Australian Snake Catchers. Sean Cade from Australian Snake Catchers. Featured
28 October 2017 Posted by 


Surging development stirs snakes 
SURGING development across Western Sydney is being blamed for driving snakes from their habitat and into suburban backyards.
Recent warm weather has stirred snakes from their winter hibernation but a veteran snake catcher has warned increased housing developments and road construction has also prompted the large number of recent snake sightings.
Sean Cade from Australian Snake Catchers said with their habitat being destroyed, the displaced snakes were increasingly winding up in and around homes.
Mr Cade said he had been inundated with calls from terrified homeowners who had spotted a snake lurking in their yard – and even inside their home.
“We have gone from receiving one to two calls a day to now receiving up to 10 calls a day,” said Mr Cade, a licenced reptile handler.
“Vibrations associated with excavating roads coupled with construction of all these new housing estates disturbs snakes and they go into areas where there are people and houses.
“Once this development is finished, they gravitate back to where they originated which is now inhabited.”
Oran Park, in Sydney’s south west, was an ideal example of development bring people and reptiles closer, he said. What was until a few years ago a bush race track, and prime habitat for snakes, had become a booming housing estate.
Mr Cade said snake sightings were more prevalent in the warmer weather and Sydney’s current daily average temperature of mid to high 20s was optimum for red bellies and brown snakes.
Residents in Erskine Park, Rouse Hill and Orchard Hills have called on Mr Cade after sightings of red bellied black snakes while Eastern brown snakes have been spotted in Mount Druitt, Richmond, Quakers Hill and South Windsor, Mr Cade said.
But calls have also come from areas he least expected to see snakes – suburbs like inner western Sydney’s Ashfield, Burwood and Concord.
“But again, these are areas where there is heightened activity with underground works and borers digging tunnels. This creates so much vibration that it alerts the snakes.”
So what has been the oddest place Mr Cade has had to rescue a snake? “We do find a lot of them at theme parks like Wet n Wild and there was one at Narellan Town Centre recently in a Jaguar,” he said.
“There was one in the roof of a house at Werrington; that was unusual for a venomous snake because they don’t often go off the ground.
“The most difficult situations are when you have to get into a tight spot like in cars or under homes. You’re crawling on your hands and knees or tummy most of the time inhibiting your dexterity.”
Australian Snake Catchers is a family affair. Mr Cade shares the workload with his wife Freya, a veterinarian nurse who once couldn’t even bring herself to look at a snake on TV.
“Now she’s more than comfortable to catch them with me,” he said. “The simple fact is people fear what they don’t understand.
“If given an exit, a snake will take that exit. But a brown snake does have a short fuse so if it feels threatened, it will stand up as though to warn don’t come near me. People misunderstand that to mean it wants to give chase but the truth of it is it just wants to get away.”
All snakes are protected in NSW and killing one is an offence. Wildlife organisations will not catch snakes unless they are injured or there is a serious threat so snake catchers like Mr Cade are in high demand.
To locate a snake catcher in your area, contact Environment Line on 131 555 or visit
How to deter snakes
Keep shrubs trimmed, lawns mowed and the garden tidy. Remove piles of rubbish, wood or leaf clippings where snakes can shelter.
Food sources like rodents and birds encourage snakes to stay so snake-proof any rubbish bins, ponds and aviaries with fine mesh.
If snakes reside under your home, block their access after they have been removed.


Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
Mobile: 0407 783 413
Email: info@wsba.com.au
Mail: PO Box 186, Kurrajong NSW 2758
Office phone: 61 2 4572 2336

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