How To Discourage Death Adders From Your Property

As urbanisation encroaches on the natural habitat of wildlife, many wild creatures are adapting to human beings' presence and even capitalising on it.  Unfortunately, snakes are now often found in and around people's homes, including the highly venomous Death Adder.  Here's how to deter this extremely dangerous snake from becoming an unwelcome guest on your property.

How to recognise a Death Adder

Death Adders are short, fat snakes measuring up to 70-100cm in length, and come in banded colours of primarily red or grey.  They are primarily nocturnal, but can also be encountered during the daytime in warm weather when they are most active.

How to deter Death Adders from your property

  1. Snakes will set up home where there is a ready food source.  If you keep aviary birds, or encourage wild birds by putting out food for them, always clear away uneaten bird seed at the end of the day.  Death Adders will be attracted to the birds themselves and the small rodents that feed on the spilled seed.  
  2. Snakes need a source of water, so always remove pet water bowls at night, and make sure bird baths are sited well off the ground.  
  3. Keep your garden uninviting for snakes by clearing up fallen leaves, cutting grass and pruning shrubs regularly.  Remove fallen logs and always store firewood up off ground level so that snakes can't hide underneath it.  
  4. Although snakes need warmth to remain active, they will also seek cooler areas during spells of very hot weather, and your lovely air conditioned house makes an ideal cool-down zone for an overheating Death Adder.  Keep your doors or windows closed, check insect screens for potential snake access holes, and secure pet doors if you've seen signs of snake activity in your garden.  You should also fit a good quality weather strip to the bottom of your external doors so that a snake can't flatten itself to squeeze underneath the door.  
  5. If you have a carport, a shed, or a garage, use shelving for storage rather than leaving items piled up on the floor where snakes could hide.  
  6. Put your boots and shoes on a shoe rack to dry, not outside the back door on the ground.  Even a relatively large snake can cram itself into a boot, and that's not the kind of surprise you want to find!  
  7. If you see a snake in your garden or come across one hiding in your house, never try to catch or kill it.  Like all native Australian wildlife, snakes are protected by law, and Death Adders are actually endangered in some areas.  Secondly, Death Adders are highly venomous and strike with lightning speed, so you could finish up sustaining a potentially fatal bite. 

In conclusion

Death Adders do not chase or wantonly attack people.  Most snake bites occur when humans and reptiles interact accidentally, and the snake tries to defend itself.  If you find a snake on your property, call out your local pest control contractor to come and remove it.  If the snake is in your garden, keep pets and children inside, and if it's in your home, close all internal and external doors and windows to contain the snake until the pest controller arrives.