Snakes alive: experts reveal Gympie's slithery hot spots
THINK if you stay close to the city that you will avoid snakes?
Well it seems not, with a canvas of the region's snake handlers revealing Gympie's outskirts are hot spots for the slithering reptiles.
Pie Creek, Deep Creek and Amamoor were named as the three areas in the region you are most likely to encounter a snake, with Chatsworth, Curra, Glenwood, Veteran, Mothar Mountain and Jones Hill also getting an honourable mention.
The Mary Valley, however, is apparently too cold.
Snake handler William Pledger said food, water and temperature played the biggest role in bringing snakes to your yard, and that the reptiles did not stick to bushland as a rule.
In fact it turns out we know a lot less about snakes than we think.
"It's amazing the stories you hear.
"What they think will keep it away, nine times out of 10 they will attract it," he said.
These included leaving a glass of milk out, or simply that keeping the place clean will keep them away.
He said the family barbecue was one of the most overlooked parts of the property when it came to snake control.
"You don't clean the barbecue like you do the oven."
The equation was simple, Mr Pledger said: do not clean the barbecue and mice and rodents start scrounging around.
And snakes follow them in.
Mr Pledger was not the only expert who who heard some interesting rumours.
Codey Rowe said some people's fears were influenced by science fiction.
"Most of the time people think brown snakes are going to mate with your green tree snakes in a hybrid-type deal," Mr Rowe said.
Fortunately this was not a problem, he said, because brown snakes and red-belly black snakes are cannibals and will happily devour any creature of the same size or smaller.
"Unless someone decides to be a scientist, you won't get too different species of snakes (to mate)," he said.
People misidentifying snakes was also a problem.
Especially when these people were out there trying to catch them themselves.
"If you're not entirely sure what type of snake it is, you're just better off leaving it alone," Mr Rowe said.
Snake catcher Edward Smith said it was important people remember snakes are not inherently evil.
"People are really thinking snakes are villains," Mr Smith said.
"They're not half as evil as they think they are."
In fact he said releasing them back into the wild, away from people, was one of the best parts of his job.