Quite often people think that snakes hibernate during winter, but they aren’t like bears.
because we don’t often see snakes in winter, doesn’t mean that they’re not around. The misconception that they hibernate often leads to unexpected run-ins and at Austates we are all too familiar with seeing them. We stock a wide range of pest control equipment and we’ve put together a ‘need to know’ list to find where snakes hide and what to do once you find them!
If snakes don’t hibernate, what do they do?
Hibernation is a very deep state of sleep in which animals or plants will stay dormant to conserve energy until the temperature rises again. Bears are known for eating mammoth amounts of food before they hibernate to build up fat cells, which allows them to eat very little while they wait the winter out. They’re also able to lower their body temperature, heart rate and breathing, to exert very little energy. Their fat cells are burnt while they sleep, keeping them alive. Snakes don’t go into a full hibernation; they enter a state called brumation.
How does brumation differ to hibernation?
Since snakes are cold-blooded animals, their activity levels start to drop when the weather cools down. They’re unable to move as quickly as they would during the warmer months, so to protect themselves from other prey, they utilise brumation. Brumation still requires sleep, but snakes will wake and look for food and water, then return to a state of brumation once fed. Once the temperature has increased, snakes will leave their den to return to the sun to warm their bodies.
Where do they hide during brumation?
So when they do disappear during the winter, where do they go? Well, when snakes brumate in the wild, they’ll likely steal a den made by another animal. Rodents dens are often a favourite, but they’ll also use anywhere that they feel protected from rain or wind. This means that places such as crawl spaces, basements, garages, storage spaces and underneath houses are often favourites, and if there is one, there will likely be more. During brumation, snakes will not discriminate. Survival is the number one priority.
What equipment do you need to get rid of them?
Austates is a premier brand that stocks only the best equipment when it comes to pest control, but as snakes are actually protected by the Nature Conservation Act 1992, it is illegal to harm, injure or kill any snake from the wild. You probably wouldn’t guess it, but snakes are actually great at vermin control. As long as you’re not afraid of them, or going to disturb them, snakes are generally best left alone as they’ll clean out your rats, possums and other pests that are lurking around. It’s wise to try and identify the snake and if you can’t, call in a snake handler to safely remove it.