SKILLED HANDS: Steve McEwan with a brown snake he collected recently at Nambucca.
SKILLED HANDS: Steve McEwan with a brown snake he collected recently at Nambucca.

Being vigilant the best medicine during snake season

COFFS Harbour's resident reptile expert prides himself on never being bitten by any of the thousands of snakes he's handled - and he wants residents to be in the same boat.

It's the middle of snake season and Reptile World's Steve McEwan is urging everyone to be on the lookout for our legless neighbours and exercise some commonsense.

He said there weren't more or less snakes than any other year but taking a few precautions would mean nobody needed to be hospitalised.

"We've just got to be vigilant every year. There's not more of them around - they're out there," Steve said.

"It's pretty simple, at night take a torch, wear closed-in shoes and I suggest you have a pressure bandage with you."

He said he'd heard every misconception about snakes in his years of reptile education and shows, everything from people being chased, to identifying a snake as a king brown.

"There's no such thing as a king brown. It's just a brown-coloured member of the black snake family," he said.

He recommends everyone visit the Australian Venom Research Unit website for advice about what to do in case of a bite.

He also supplies snake bite kits and has written a book about the creatures on the mid north coast

But he said avoiding a close encounter with the creatures was the best survival tactic.

"A bit of commonsense goes down really well," he said.

"You'll never get bitten by a snake if you look where you're walking and if you do see one, don't do anything with it."

For relocation of snakes, phone WIRES on 6652 7119.

For information about snakes, phone Steve McEwan on 6651 5244 or visit online.

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