While the much-loved summer months are so eagerly anticipated every year, it also brings with it those dreadful pests we hate to find creeping around in our homes and gardens.
Suburban residents have seen a spate of snakes being found in gardens and homes, Radio Islam’s Mufti Yusuf Moosagie spoke to Herpetologist Michael Adams about some of the reasons why snakes are showing up and what to do when you come across them.
Adams says snakes are endothermic and become more mobile in the warmer months for mating purposes as well as for hunting. During the rainy season frogs also tend to surface and this Adams says is prime prey for the reptile.
According to a recent study by Wits University, snake repellents in most forms have been deemed ineffective, this includes snake repelling plants, diesel or petrol being thrown around the house and even commercial repellents.
Johannesburg’s Northern suburbs have had a number of snake invasions and Adams says the most common types that can be found are the rinkhals also known as the ring-necked spitting adder a highly venomous breed which can spit venom up to three metres away, the night adder which preys on amphibians may also wander into homes.
Adams has advised not to kill the snake in the event of it being discovered on private property and warned not to get to close, “In that situation where maybe the snake is feeling cornered in the house or the garden and is being killed with a broom or a rake, then the snake gets very defensive, obviously gets upset and there’s much more of a chance of a snake bite occurring.”
What residents can do instead is call a licensed snake handler to remove the snake, there are hundreds of handlers in Gauteng, some of who may charge a fee for the removal.
Once the snake has been captured and removed, it is released more than 10 kilometers from the location it was found, where they can then find their way back to the closest nature reserve.
By Naadiya Adams