Like residents, snakes can become displaced during a flood. As a result, they may seek shelter and food inside houses, storage sheds and other buildings.
Damaged structures and debris are more accessible to snakes.
- Wear sturdy work boots and gloves, and long trousers to protect your legs.
- Watch where you place your hands and feet when removing or cleaning up debris.
- If you see a snake, step back from it slowly and allow it to proceed on its way – do not touch it.
- Remove debris from around your home as soon as practically possible as it can attract rodents, lizards and insects on which snakes feed.
Be aware of snakes that may be swimming in the water trying to get to higher ground.
They may also swim towards a boat and attempt to gain entry.
They should be warded off with an oar or other long stake.
If you find a snake in your house do not panic:
- seek advice from someone who knows how to safely remove the snake
- contact the Department of Environment and Conservation for names of the nearest licensed snake catcher.
If you are bitten by a snake you should seek medical treatment immediately.
If bitten by a red back spider:
- Wash the affected area well and soothe the pain with ice packs or clean iced water.
- Do not apply pressure – this is not recommended for red back spider bites and often worsens the pain.
- Seek immediate medical help.
For other spider bites:
- Wash the area with soap and water.
- Apply a cold pack if the bite is painful.
For most spider bites, no other first aid is necessary. Contact your doctor if symptoms develop or persist
If possible and safe to do so, the spider should be caught for positive identification.
Read more on first aid for bites and stings.
Rodents carry disease and are a nuisance.
To discourage rodents:
- Remove food sources and items that can provide shelter for rodents.
- Wash dishes and cooking utensils immediately after use.
- Dispose of garbage and debris as soon as practically possible.
- Lay rodent baits or traps.
Flies also carry disease and are a nuisance. To discourage flies:
- Do not let food and garbage build up as this becomes a breeding ground for flies.
- Clean up food wastes as soon as possible.