A seasoned snake catcher got more than he bargained this week when he entered a home's roof for what he believed was a routine check.
Brandon Gifford from Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 was called to a property north of Brisbane with the owner fearing a carpet python had made its way into her roof following a sighting from an electrician. Little did they know it was far more than just one intruder.
"I found a brown tree snake after about 15 minutes up there," Brandon recalled to Yahoo News Australia.
"But then it just kept going, it was endless." All up, he came down from the roof with five brown tree snakes.
For Brandon, it was a personal record in what he said was a very rare situation. "As far as five goes, that's pretty uncommon," he revealed. Brandon said in his eight years as a snake catcher, his previous record haul in a roof for brown tree snakes was "three or four".
He said for the homeowners it was 'quite a shock", particularly because they're afraid of snakes. Brandon discovered snake skins strewn across the roof's floor, including those from a carpet python. However he said there was no sign of the carpet python he'd been called out for.
Brown tree snakes are mildly venomous but rarely pose a risk to humans.
Roofs a hotbed for snake activity
Brandon revealed there's rarely respite for Aussies when it comes to snakes in roofs as conditions during bothwinter and summer are desirable for them.
"It's a tough one because in winter it's perfect for them if they're bunkering down and conditions are cold but then in summer they can go in there to cool off," he explained.
Brandon said once the roof starts to heat up during the day, snakes navigate their way down into the home through the walls for cooler settings.
He said August to October was an "intense" period for carpet pythons in roofs.
Posting video of his rescue in the roof and photos of the subsequent release, Brandon triggered a response all too familiar. "That's my worst nightmare!" one person claimed. "Sell the house," another instructed, while one described the discovery as "insane".
Australians have previously been told to be on alert earlier this year, with the warmer spring meaning snakes are for more active.
Earlier this month, Brisbane Airport caused panic among tourists after alerting arrivals snakes had been spotted in the vicinity. One person familiar with the area said it was "absolutely crawling" with snakes.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.