Snakes

Snakes, and the risk of snake bites, are a real threat to people living in Mozambique; even though relatively few species in Mozambique are venomous. Of the 96 snakes found in this country, only 21 are venomous. Most snakes are timid creatures and are only likely to attack if cornered or provoked as attack is, in most instances, simply a form of defense.

Call Rentokil Pest Control on +258 840 549 348 or +258 21 084 736 or email us for advice on snake control, or to arrange a visit from your local technician.

How to identify the signs of snakes

If you do spot a snake, it is usually in the warmer season when they are at their most active. Only gardens with considerable secluded wildlife areas will have snakes. In most residential gardens if snakes are seen, they are most likely just passing through.

There are a few 'hard to spot' signs that you can look out for if you have concerns about snakes. These include:

  • Shed skins; snakes tend to shed their skins soon after emerging from hibernation
  • Winding trails on light dirt or sandy surfaces.

Snakes are usually found in grassed areas, around compost heaps and ponds, sunny areas with lots of vegetation, as well as garden features such as wood, rock or rubble piles, rockeries and shrubs.

Snake The Dangers of Snake bites

  • Snakes are not aggressive by nature and will attack in most cases only if threatened or provoked.
  • Puff Adders and Gaboon Adders all have cytotoxic venom which destroys tissue. The Night Adder also has cytotoxic venom, although this is relative low in toxicity. Adders are rarely found in gardens and only occur if you live close to their preferred habitats. Bites from adders are very rare, and most occur when a snake is picked up or provoked.
  • Green Snake The venomous Cape Cobra, Snouted Cobra and Green Mamba snakes have neurotoxic effects – attacking the central nervous system and affecting cardio pulmonary action.
  • The Boomslang and the Vine snake’s venom are haemotoxic, meaning that it disables the clotting process, causing internal and external bleeding. Unfortunately, no anti-venom exists for a bite from the vine snake.

Herald Snake The most common snake found in Mozambique is the Red lipped snake (also called the “Herald Snake”). This snake has black fangs, with mild venom that does not result in any significant medical symptoms for humans. This snake can be recognised by its red or orange markings around its mouth,its olive green body colour and short tail.

The required treatment for snake bites varies from species to species and being able to identify the species of snake that has bitten someone is an important part of the procedure.

Symptoms usually manifest soon after a snake bite, so observing the victim is extremely important. If no symptoms have occurred within half an hour of the bite then it is safe to assume that either it was not a venomous snake, it failed to inject any venom or the snake was very old and had little or no venom left.

If you have however been bitten by a snake, please seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Precautions you to reduce the risk of snake bites

Snake bites are often caused by accidentally stepping on to a snake, especially if you are out walking in grassland or the bush, and are therefore nearly impossible to predict or prevent.  By taking a few simple but sensible precautions you can however reduce the risk of snake bites:

  • When walking make plenty of noise to advertise your presence as this will most likely keep snakes away.
  • Wear strong boots or shoes and long trousers when walking in grassland.
  • Never walk about barefoot, especially at night! Avoid long grass and stick to paths and tracks as much as possible to avoid snake bites, and walk in single file through long grass or bushes.
  • Use a long stick to ‘probe’ the ground ahead of you; be aware that snakes can ‘play dead’ so do not attempt to touch a snake that appears dead.
  • Climb onto large rocks or logs in the pathway and step off them on to clear ground; these are favourite haunts for snakes
  • Watch where you put your hands and never put them down a hole, as this can lead to snake bites, perhaps even venomous snake bites.
  • Do not attempt to catch, corner or kill a snake.
  • Use a mosquito net at night and tuck it in tightly.
  • Never sleep on the ground, unless you have a tent with an attached and built in groundsheet.
  • Always use a torch to light the ground ahead of you at night to keep snakes away to avoid snake bites.
  • If you see a snake stand absolutely still and then slowly back away; remember that many snakes can strike up to half their length.
  • When entering garages, sheds, storerooms and other outbuildings, open the door, light the internal area and visually check for snakes remembering that you will, in all likelihood, be blocking their exit and that this is when they can attack in defense.

Minimise the Risks of snakes living in your garden

  • Long grass is a favoured habitat of snakes so keep yours well mown.
  • Keep shrubs trimmed round their base and away from the house to ensure you keep snakes away.
  • Ensure that tree branches do not overhang your house or seating areas in your garden.
  • Stack your wood on a suitable platform – such as a pallet – off the ground.
  • Regularly sweep up leaves and other garden debris.
  • Fill gaps, cracks and crevices in brick and stone walls to keep snakes away.
  • Wooden decking in seating areas should be solid, rather than slatted, to prevent snakes slithering through it.
  • Be aware that play areas such as wendy houses, tree houses, sandpits etc are potential harbourages for snakes.
  • Compost heaps could potentially attract many different species of wildlife which, in turn, may become the prey of a snake. Ensure that your compost is sealed in a solid structure, preferably raised off the ground, and can be securely sealed against any wildlife, particularly rodents.

How to ‘Proof’ Your Property against Snakes

Snake Proofing Are you aware that snakes, particularly the thinner ones, can get into your home through a gap the size of a pencil? Snakes can swim and climb, so make sure to carefully inspect your property and all outbuildings to keep snakes away. Be sure to seal any obvious entry points where snakes can gain access to your property.


Snake repellent methods: What to look for when inspecting your property

  • Do you have screens on your windows and doors? Are there gaps around the frame or holes in the actual screening?
  • Do you have gaps under doors in and out of the house, garage doors, shed doors? If so, bristle or sealing strip can be an effective way to seal these and keep snakes away.
  • Are there are holes, cracks or crevices in the brick or plaster work of your house?
  • Are there any holes, cracks and crevices between patio areas or pathways and your house? Drainage areas in patios are a perfect point of entry.
  • Is the gauge size of any grates covering your drains small enough to stop snakes going down it?
  • Make sure that there are no holes in your roof that snakes can get through - particularly if trees overhang your house.
  • Ensure skirting boards do not have gaps under or behind them.
  • To keep snakes away, seal all holes where wiring, plumbing or gas enters your home.
  • Cover gutters and drain pipes with fine gauge mesh.
  • If your home has wooden floorboards, ensure that access to the floor space beneath them is sealed and that gaps between the boards themselves are filled.

Steps for Professional Snake Control - Trust the experts to remove snakes from your property

  • Do not attempt to take action by removing the snake. If they are provoked, they can bite. For your own safety and that of the snake, you should never touch them and when possible, try not to panic.
  • Call the Rentokil pest control experts on +258 840 549 348 or +258 21 084 736 to remove snakes from your property.
  • Our technicians are trained on how to handle snakes and will humanely remove the snake from your premises and relocate it to to a natural setting, away from the city.
  • Rentokil will survey your premises and advise you on proofing to prevent any further entry by snakes. Also be sure to follow the prevention and proofing advice supplied above to keep snakes away.

If you are concerned by the presence of a snakes, leave it to the experts to relocate them safely and efficiently.

Call us now on
+258 840 549 348
+258 21 084 736

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