Protection for your Home & Business.


Gippsland Pest Management is not Licensed to deal with reptiles (snakes), however the local reptile removalist specialist in Gippsland is Geoff Lockwood, who has been kind enough to provide some information about the local species of snakes in Gippsland. 


About your Local Snakes

Snakes have an important role in the natural environment being a predator whilst also being prey for other animals. They are a fascinating group of animals that have evolved over 360 million years to become efficient predators and assist in maintaining a balance within the local ecosystems. Equally, snakes and other reptiles are prey for a range of other animals including birds, native mammal species, larger frogs, and other reptile species. 


The local snake species commonly encountered in West and Central Gippsland include.

  • Lowland Copperhead
  • Eastern Tiger Snake
  • Lesser extent Eastern Brown Snake 
  • Red-bellied Black Snake

Other species that are less likely to be encountered include.

  • Small- eyed Snake
  • White-lipped Snake
  • Alpine Copperhead in mountain areas.

These species are venomous front fanged snakes, (Elapids), and with the exception of the Eastern Brown Snake, give birth to live young.

The females may produce up to forty juveniles per clutch; only two of these juvenile snakes may survive to become adults. They are highly vulnerable to being preyed upon by other animals and can even be consumed by adult snakes of the same species. Juvenile snakes of the local species possess a fully functioning venom delivery system and as they do not receive any support from their parents, are completely independent from birth. 

Health Risks & Myths:

The snake species commonly encountered in the local area are all highly venomous and have the potential to inflict fatal bites to humans. However, snakes have an unwarranted reputation that is mostly derived from myths and folk-lore.

Most snakes attempt to avoid contact with humans, and are reluctant to bite a person. The development of venom in snakes is for two distinct purposes - prey acquisition and self defence. Humans do not form part of the diet for any Australian snake species; so snakes will only attempt to bite a person if they feel threatened. Snakes are defensive rather than aggressive and in most circumstances will attempt to escape.


Contrary to popular beliefs, snakes are sensitive to high temperatures as they are not able to self-regulate their body temperature by sweating or panting. Once temperatures increase above 25 degrees they will seek cooler areas; this may be near a door where cool air from an air-conditioned building is able to escape under the door; or if possible, within an air-conditioned building. 


Up to 70% of snake bite casualties were the result of attempting to catch or kill a snake.

Australia has a well deserved reputation for possessing a diverse variety of the world’s most venomous snake species. Nationally, less than ten people per year die as a result of being bitten by a snake. 




Native and Protected

(“Self defence” does not legitimise the killing of snakes.)

As native fauna; all of the local reptile species are protected and it is illegal to kill any snake or be in possession of any reptile without the appropriate licence. “Self defence” does not legitimise the killing of snakes. Blue-tongue lizards or even a wandering pet python are often killed when mistaken for a venomous snake. A group of rare and threatened lizard species are the “legless” lizards; they appear to be very similar to snakes and are also likely to be killed when mistaken for a snake. 




Strategies to Reduce the chance a snakes will move in.

Many human activities attract snakes and a few precautions will reduce the chances of snakes wanting to reside in people’s properties. The strategies recommended by the CFA for making your property “bushfire ready” will also limit the potential for the property being attractive to snakes. The three basic requirements for snakes are food, shelter, and water; by eliminating some of these requirements around your property, it is unlikely that the area will be attractive to a snake.

  1. Removing lower limbs on shrubs and restricting the spread of ground cover plants reduces the shelter for snakes and they feel more exposed.

  2. Rockeries and retaining walls provide cavities that can shelter either snakes or their prey such as lizards, mice or frogs.

  3. Raise bird baths off the ground and reduce shelter around fountains or fish ponds.

  4. Avoid attracting rats and mice around buildings and bird aviaries; compost heaps and bins can attract rats and mice while also providing shelter for snakes.

  5. Prevent access to the sub-floor space of buildings as this area can provide a stable climate for snakes. 

  6. Use a rake or a stick to disturb the area underneath shrubs before gardening.

Should you encounter a snake; stand completely still or slowly move backwards; the snake will eventually move away. If a snake is disturbed, it is possible that it will adopt a defensive position while it assesses the threat. Much of this behaviour is bluff tactics and can include raising the head, flattening the neck and retracting to an “S” shape. If the threat to the snake is not significant, such as a person standing still, the snake will retreat to it’s refuge. The shelter site may be behind a person, so the snake may appear to be “attacking” or aggressive as it moves towards the person. Snakes will be active on warm nights so wear solid footwear and use a torch. Always have compression bandages available and contact 000 should a snake-bite be suspected. Many dogs and cats will instinctively attack a snake and have a high risk of being bitten and envenomated; veterinary assistance should be sought if a pet is suspected of being bitten by a snake. 

For further information, or should you require a snake to be removed from your property, please contact: Geoff Lockwood 0428 352 203 

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