When floodwaters finally recede, those displaced across NSW will understandably be eager to return home – but they may find a scaly or scuttling surprise waiting for them.

While a half-submerged house isn’t suitable for humans, it can provide a welcome refuge for animals driven out of their natural homes, from rodents to – unfortunately – snakes and spiders.

Sydney-based snake catcher and Snakes In The City director Harley Jones told nine.com.au it was “difficult to predict” how heavy any infestation of flood-affected homes would be.
Brown snake generic
Brown snakes are among the dangers that could confront people returning home after a flood. (Anna Warr)

“We’re coming to the end of the snake season, the temperatures have dropped and it doesn’t look like they’ll be coming back up,” Mr Jones said.

“But it’s a very unique sort of event we’re seeing, so it’s yet to be seen.”

Red-bellied black snakes and brown snakes are the most common reasons for call-outs in Sydney’s west, Mr Jones said.

“Obviously nobody wants a brown snake in their home, it’s about the worst possible thing you can find when you get back after a flood,” he said.

The NSW SES cautions that snakes and spiders can be among the dangers of a flood-hit home, along with structural damage, sewage, and damaged electrical outlets.

Floods have forced mass evacuations in parts of western Sydney. (9News)

People are urged to be careful when they return, and dress in sturdy work boots and gloves when clearing debris.

Anybody who finds a snake in their home is urged to not approach it.

“The only dangerous snake is a snake somebody’s interfered with,” Mr Jones said.

People are instead advised to call a professional snake catcher – and, if at all possible, to take a photo.

“Even if it heads somewhere else, if we know what kind of snake it is, we’ll know where to look,” Mr Jones said.

This content first appear on 9news

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