Snakes and your car

“What on earth would snakes have to do with your car?”, you may ask. Well, earlier this year a Sydney motorist had to deal with a venomous red-bellied black snake that had slithered into the engine of his car. This particular snake is a native of eastern Australia, and can grow up to 2.5 meters – one of Australia’s largest venomous snakes. Snakes are found all over Australia – not only in the outback – so you would do well to be prepared for the scenario that our Sydney motorist faced.

Snakes are cold-blooded reptiles; they require external heat to keep warm. Snakes in the wild enjoy sunbathing on rocks under direct sunlight; snakes living in human-occupied areas are attracted to cars that are easily heated by the sun. Snakes use heated cars to sunbathe like they do in the wild. Removing snakes from a car is dangerous, especially if they are poisonous.

So, firstly – prevention is better than cure, right? How do you keep snakes out of your car? Be sure to keep your doors and windows of your car closed when your car is parked – and try not to park your car near long grass or heavily wooded or swampy areas. If a snake is going to set up home in your car, it is most likely that it will head for the engine area which is nice and warm, rather than the inside of the car. As long as your doors and windows are closed, when you return to your car a quick check under the bonnet will reveal whether you have any uninvited guests of the slithering variety, or not.

What are you to do if, as was the case for our Sydney motorist, you lift the bonnet and low and behold – a coiled up snake is warming itself in your engine? The answer is to leave the snake alone, and call a snake catcher. Removing a snake may seem to be a simple operation – but, given that Australia is home to more venomous species of snakes that non-venomous snakes, if you haven’t removed a snake before, you could get killed very quickly.

So – along with contact details for your insurance, roadside assistance etc, add the number for your local snake catcher to your phone.