Common Brown Snake Pseudonaja textilis

Snakes of Victoria series


Adult Common (or Eastern) Brown Snakes, Pseudonaja textiles, are uniformly brown. Juveniles have a black head, with a lighter bar behind, a black nape, and numerous red-brown spots on the belly. Occasionally they have dark cross-bands. The Common Brown has 17 rows of mid-body scales, a divided anal scale and 45–75 divided subcaudal scales. In some specimens a few anterior subcaudal scales are single. It is a relatively slender species and can grow to just over 2 m long.

Photo of Adult Common Brown Snake

Adult Common Brown Snake
Photographer: Peter Robertson / Source: Wildlife Profiles Pty Ltd

Distribution and habitat

This species is widespread over most of Victoria except for the Otways and most of Gippsland. In the Melbourne region it is restricted mostly to the western and northern suburbs. It prefers dry, open habitats.

Biology and bite

The Common Brown Snake is active both day and night. It will eat a wide variety of vertebrates but prefers lizards up to the size of the Stumpy-tailed Lizard. Females lay up to 35 eggs in cracks in the soil.

This is a fast-moving snake and is extremely dangerous. Even subadults have caused fatalities. If bitten on a limb, apply a pressure bandage, immobilise the limb and seek medical advice immediately. If bitten elsewhere, apply continuous direct pressure to the bite site. Do not wash the wound, as the venom on the skin can be used to identify the appropriate antivenom.

Photo of Juvenile Common Brown Snake

Juvenile Common Brown Snake
Photographer: Peter Robertson / Source: Wildlife Profiles Pty Ltd

Further Reading

Coventry, A. J. and Robertson, P. 1991. The Snakes of Victoria – A Guide to their Identification. Department of Conservation & Environment/Museum of Victoria.

Cogger, H. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Reed Books.

Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2003. Reptiles of Australia. Princeton University Press.

Comments (185)

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Liam 28 February, 2010 14:21
today I caught a baby Juvenile snake, are they poisons if they are luckey I killed it. and Im 12:)
Emily 8 March, 2016 11:06
Hello Im Emily, And I have a big shed and there is a 6 or 7 or 8 Foot Brown snake in it and Iv layed snake net around the doors so it cant get out! And we put some milk in there off milk and it got cort but got away! But Im not too sure how to get rid of it cause we killed Its mate a few weeks or days before and that one was a 5foot one so i think the male is in the shed Any help Please reply Cause it is very scary and we cant go in there cause there are a lot of stuff in there (Motorbikes tools ect) and Yeah
Carmel 23 January, 2017 13:16
How did you go with your conundrum Emily???
Discovery Centre 2 March, 2010 10:01

Hi Liam -

A juvenile brown snake is highly venomous. And the best thing is to leave them alone – you are more likely to get bitten trying to kill them, so it is not a good idea to try to kill a snake. If you see a snake move away from it slowly and tell an adult immediately.

Snakes are protected wildlife in Victoria, so it is illegal to kill a snake. However, if the snake is in a place that it could be a problem for people or pets (e.g., near a house), residents can arrange for a licensed commercial snake catcher to remove them. Snake catcher contacts are available through Department of Sustainability and Environment on Ph. 136 186 and local councils.

tom 23 February, 2015 20:29
Hi, We found a baby brown in our kitchen today, we let it go in the bush. Just wondering if we should be worried about more babies or he mum being inside? cheers tom
nafet 2 June, 2010 13:32
We do a lot of bush walking in Alpine and sub-alpine areas in Victoria (around Dargo High Plains, Dinner Plain etc.) We have come across Alpine Copperheads mainly in reas of open tussocks nearby creeks in 1000m + altitudes. Lately some feedback from these areas is that brown snakes are also being spotted. We haven't seen any ourselves but were wondering whether their distribution would now include these sorts of habitats (ie., 1000m+)
Tom 16 October, 2010 01:24
why is a common brown snake dangerous? and how does it reproduce? Thanks
Discovery Centre 18 October, 2010 11:47
Hi Tom - As you'll see above, the Eastern Brown is an egg-laying snake. For more information on why the Eastern Brown is considered one of the world's most dangerous snakes, and information on how the venom works, try this information sheet from the Australian Venom Research Unit.
Steve 4 January, 2013 22:18
Came across what I believe to be a brown snake between Mt Beauty and Falls Creek. Have seen many Copperheads and Tigers and am fairly sure it is a brown. Usually don't see much as they are very flighty but this was anything but. Happy to provide photo to anyone to confirm. I was extremely nervous around it.
kylie 27 October, 2010 11:17
Hi tom, i live in victoria and my dog was bitten by a brown snake we couldn't catch the snake and couldn't find will a snake stay within the area it attacked in or will it move on? i'm worried as this happened in my backyard.
Discovery Centre 29 October, 2010 14:49
Hi Kylie - Our snake expert wasn't certain about brown snakes, but knows of a recent study that found that Tiger snakes maintain definite territories in urban areas – even when they were moved they were found to return to their territory – in this study they radio-tracked the snakes. So, best that you just keep a good eye out, in case!
Tammy 18 November, 2010 08:20
We recently had a 3 foot brown snake in our backyard, we live in a town, not rurally and have 3 children under 5 years of age. When we spotted this snake it was quite agitated as some birds were having a go at it. I noted that in a previous question that you suggested calling the appropriate authority to come and remove it. My question is how exactly should we have contained it until that authority arrived to remove it? Needless to say, with 3 kids here we didn't hesitate in "removing" it ourselves.
Discovery Centre 22 November, 2010 15:50

Hi Tammy,

My advice would be to leave the snake alone, as you are more likely to get bitten if trying to move or contain it. Make sure kids and pets are kept well away from the snake – the best bet would be to stay indoors – until a registered snake catcher can come to remove the snake.

Aileen 22 February, 2013 12:03
what happens if the snake is in your bathroom and just bitten your cat, surely you can remove them then, i think that its wrong to have the 2nd most venomous snakes protected when they kill and my cat is on a drip in hospital as im writing this so im outraged that we can get fined for killing something that may well possibly kill us and our pets how is this fair?
Discovery Centre 1 December, 2010 15:45

Hi Nafet,

Here is some information from the DSE;

 Whilst the Eastern Brown Snake occurs throughout much of Victoria, including the north-east of the state, there are few reliable records above 1000 m, and it is not considered to be a resident species in the alpine and sub-alpine parts of the state.  Snakes that occur in the alps include the small White-lipped Snake (Drysdalia coronoides), Highland Copperhead (Austrelaps ramsayi) and the Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus).  The first two species are very common in the alps.  Tiger Snakes are less common, but have been observed in recent years around Dinner Plain and on the Dargo High Plains Road.  It is always possible that snakes can be inadvertently transported around the landscape, so it is not out of the question for Brown Snakes to appear in the alps.  However their breeding biology (they lay eggs, whereas the other 2 species give birth to live young) is not well suited to a cold and unpredictable environment, where eggs left to the mercy of the prevailing conditions would be likely to fail.  All 3 of the snake species that reliably occur in these areas can be variable in colour.  Although most Tiger Snakes are banded, unbanded forms do occur, and their uniform brown colour often leads people to believe that they are Brown Snakes.  Similarly, the White-lipped Snake can vary from greyish to brick-red.  The Highland Copperhead is usually a dark charcoal colour, but lighter variations do occur.

Geoff 2 December, 2010 07:13
Re your habitat notes "In the Melbourne region it is restricted mostly to the western and northern suburbs" as a Mornington Peninsula resident you may be interested to know that they prevalent in this area, particularly dry sandy areas on Westernport Bay - similar to the Western Brown snake or dugite that are plentiful in Perth metropolitan beach areas.
Brittany 6 December, 2010 16:48
I've found a Snake at the end of our decking at home under some wood, on our small property in the Macedon Ranges. I'm pretty sure it's a common brown snake, but who knows I don't plan on trying to work out which exact species it is. I'm just wondering if you can give me any advice on what to do? Whether to just leave it and wait for it to leave? Or to call someone to get rid of the snake?
Discovery Centre 17 December, 2010 16:04

Hi Brittany, it could be that the snake you found on your property was trying to find a resting place and under wood is a perfect spot. If it is still resting under there you may want to have the individual removed from your property as it sounds like it has taken up residence on the balcony. If it has moved on already maybe it was just using it as a resting place as it was moving through the area. To stop it happening on the balcony or other places close to the house the best thing you can do is remove the hiding places that they want to stay in. By providing habitat away from your residence will help keep the snakes away from where you are.

Meryl 23 December, 2010 22:58
Living in South Australia, brown snakes are the common snake of the area I live. I would like information - how long are the baby snakes when they hatch from their egg, and how long do they grow each year? - how old would a 5ft brown be? Having had a handful of juveniles here over the past few years, do the juveniles move far from where they hatch? If one snake is in the area, does that automatically mean there are more in the same area?
Robynne 5 January, 2011 10:08
I encountered a snake that I think was a brown snake. I was riding my bike along a track in sparse bush land (around 12pm) near a reservoir in Bendigo. This reservoir / bush land is surrounded by houses in a subruban area of Bendigo. I saw a snake slither across the path into some grass. I presume that it was startled by me and wanted to hide. It was a light brown color and was evenly colored, with no other markings. It was about 1.2m long. Is it likely to have been an Easter Brown snake or could it have been another species?
Discovery Centre 5 January, 2011 13:17
Hi Robynne, unfortunately our Herpetologist would need an image of the snake to tell you what species it may have been. Identifications can be difficult as for example you can get Tiger Snakes with varying degrees of banding, and juvenile Brown Snakes can have some banding. Alternately have you had a look at the Museum's Bioinformatics website which has images of the species of snake found in Victoria? You may be able to identify it from these images.
Discovery Centre 23 January, 2011 15:55

Hi Meryl, apologies for the delay in getting back to you. Brown Snakes are about 27cm in length upon hatching from the egg. A Brown Snake 5 feet in length is likely to be an adult.

A female Brown Snake is capable of laying anywhere from 10-35 eggs. Females remain in the nesting burrow for up to 5 weeks after laying their eggs, possibly defending them against predators such as lizards or mice. Several females may lay their eggs in the same nest site, and return year after year to use the same location. If conditions are favourable, the female may lay a second clutch of eggs later on in the summer.

Brown Snakes are more common in dry country and as these snakes are attracted to things like mice, rats and birds can be common around farms and barns.  

Jody Thomas 24 February, 2011 18:01
hi im just wondering if you could describe what the eggs look like as i found a few empty shells today that seem to be to large for a bird
Richard Snape 16 March, 2011 14:49
Regardign your comemnt on the Otways, not so. Saw a 1.5m brown snake yesterday. Deans Marsh Rd.
Discovery Centre 19 March, 2011 14:50
Hi Jody, it is likely if the egg shells you found are somewhat soft, flexible and have a rubbery feel that they will be from a reptile. If it is brittle and hard it is a bird's egg. Snake eggs are often more oblong in shape than a bird's egg. If you found a fresh nest of hatched brown snake eggs there would normally be a lot of shells together as they lay many eggs at once.
Micah 14 April, 2011 20:52
Richard i bet u that wat u though was a brown snake was actually a lowland copperhead they can be a variety of colours such as light brown,copper brown,yellowish, greyish,reddish and a dark colour. relying on colour will not identify a snake and other methods would simply be to dangerous nevertheless they are both dangerously venomous snakes that should be left alone. Brown snakes would not do well around lorne principally due to the cool climate where there eggs would not survive.
nafet 27 April, 2011 00:02
Hi, Many thanks for the response re: brown snakes in Alpine habitats. Was in the area over easter and spotted a small (young?) snake very brown in colour. I got some decent photos of it - is there any chance I could send in - would love to get an ID on it if possible. May've been a lightly coloured Alpine Copperhead, though all the Copperheads I've seen in a similar area before have been quite dark.
Discovery Centre 27 April, 2011 15:26
Hi Nafet; yes, the best way to go is to send us some photos, you can add them as an attachments if you send us an email via the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of this page. We look forward to seeing them.
Robyn 13 August, 2011 20:31
Hi, I'd like to know at roughly what ages the colourings change, at what stage is it considered an adult, and to what age these snakes live? Found one in central QLD today, must have been about 5ft 8ish in length, light brown on top, with a cream belly sprinkled with pink/red blotches. Do full adults have red blotchy bellies as well as youngsters? Approximately how old would this one be, given the details? How likely is it that one this size and description, has a mate, and family? Do the juveniles live in the same areas as the adults? Regards,
Discovery Centre 21 August, 2011 11:48

Hi Robyn - it appears that the snake reaches maturity at about 3 years of age; as the size of an adult Eastern Brown Snake is about 2 metres and you mentioned that your snake was about 1.5 metres, we would say that  your snake would be close to fully grown. As to whether it has a mate, this is difficult to be certain; we advise you take care walking in that area, treat the area as if it has a mate close at hand. Females lay 10 to 35 eggs , and when hatched the young would certainly spend some time in the immediate vicinity

Regarding the red blotches are concerned, snakes in general often have variable colour patterns even in similar species, so the markings you describemay not be an indication of age. The following websites may be of interest: and

Hope this is of some help

Sue 20 February, 2016 18:40
Hi, just fished out a baby brown from our pool (northern rivers NSW) was wondering if nest would be close by, or how far would they wander from nest,?? just really don't want the rest of the clutch to come swimming or their mum out looking for them ( have heard they are pretty cranky where babies are involved)
felicity 7 September, 2011 16:16
my dog was nearly bitten by a snake i live in portland vic and didnt think their wouldbe any snakes in portland because of the cold,what sought of snake do u think this would be? it looked greyish
michael s 15 September, 2011 08:18
I found one of these snakes in the office I work at in Florida. It was about 4 inches long and I was able to identify it from this website. Is it common to find them in the USA? I was talking with a co-worker and found out someone close by moved from Australia about a month ago.
Stuart Cameron 16 September, 2011 23:48
We have at least 2 brown snakes on our farm in south gippsland near Korumburra - the last one I saw was very agitated as i stepped too close before seeing it. mostly we have copperheads(docile) and a few tigersnakes so was surprised to read that the brown snakes are not supposed to be in our area - we also had a very large one on our farm in foster.
Hamish 6 May, 2013 20:14
We are just out of Toora and have had 3 in the same amount of years out the back of our house, last one our fox terrier pulled out of the laundry to my wife's horror. There are heaps around the most southern parts of Victoria.
Petr Reimer 21 October, 2011 10:35
It is coman knowledge that Red Bellied Black Snakes will actively persue Brown Snakes and kill them. How can they achieve this given the speed, toxicity and ferocity of King Browns?
Discovery Centre 27 October, 2011 12:17
Hi Petr, regarding your query on Common Brown and Red Bellied Black Snakes our staff hadn't heard of this being a common occurrence. They suggested you may want to contact the Melbourne Zoo who may have more experience researching live snakes and might be able to assist you.
MIRELLE CURTIS 28 October, 2011 12:13
I found 2 white elongated eggs in my garden about 2 inches from the surface as I dug - there were little 'snakes' and they were a bright blue. Can you identify please and what to do?
Sandie 15 November, 2012 16:38
Was intrigued by Mirelle's question (28 Oct 2011) about bright blue "little snakes" - I found some under a potplant and thought they must be strange earthworms. What are they? Hopefully NOT "little snakes"!
Discovery Centre 12 November, 2011 14:52
Hi Jack, if you have concerns that your dog may have been bitten by a brown snake you could try ringing your vet for advice or if they are not open on a Saturday or you don't have a regular vet, try to Google 'emergency vet Melbourne' or something similar. You will find a number of 24 hour clinics some of which will hopefully be close to you that you can contact. All the best.   
Michelle s 25 November, 2011 13:10
I have little dogs and am on acreage. Yesterday there was a brown snake approx 1 meter in length in the back yard. Crawled under a bush near the vegie patch and lost it. Question is how long would I have to get a little dog to the vet if bitten. Would they have early warning signs or symptoms (ie yelping, lethargy). Also would the brown leave a cool damp garden to find dry ground. Thought I could soak the area.
Discovery Centre 28 November, 2011 10:38

Hi Michelle - we have checked with our expert keepers from the Museum's Live Exhibits crew, who have the following reply for you:

A little dog will succumb to the effects of a brown snake bite very quickly and the chances of survival are fairly small.  One of the Museum’s staff members had a Jack Russell that was bitten by a Brown Snake and it died in less than ten minutes. Larger dogs have a better chance but the difference tends to be marginal. Even in humans the death rate from Brown Snake envenomation can be quite high. Early symptoms are usually vomiting and frothing at the mouth.

Brown Snakes generally prefer drier areas but it’s unlikely that soaking the area would have much effect. If the snake is no longer around it has more than likely moved on by its own accord.

Hope this info helps

marianne bradley 4 December, 2011 13:58
Hi - we just killed what looked like two very small brownish red snakes in the garden, they were hiding under a blanket that had been left on the lawn. My hubby kind of hacked they up and they were in long grass so we can't find the pieces to identify them. Are there likely to be more - I am worried about the earlier post that says the snakes guard there nest for 5 weeks. Should I get someone in to check the garden an if so who? We live in East Brighton. Thanks for your help
Discovery Centre 4 December, 2011 14:24

Marianne - All snakes are protected wildlife in Victoria; it is illegal to kill a snake. If the snake is in a place that it could be a problem for people or pets you should arrange for a licensed commercial snake catcher to remove them; apart from it being illegal to kill a snake, it is also potentially very dangerous as the animals naturally would behave in an aggressive defensive manner. Snake catcher contacts are available through Department of Sustainability and Environment on Ph. 136 186 and local councils.

We are not able to suggest an identification on the basis of what you have described here; in the absence of a specimen (hacked up or otherwise), it is impossible to suggest if there are likely to be more.

Shelly 4 December, 2011 17:51
Hey there, We live in Bauhinia Downs (Central Highlands) in the time we have been here we have had Eastern Browns on a daily basis not little ones either, today I found a near on 3 meter one in my front garden, yes I know sounds big hey, he lay accross our drive way and his body was still on the other side once he left i measured it, 2.95 meters hooly crap he was a cranky bugger 2, didnt know they got this big i sure hope he dont come back, we live close 2 a wheat and grain farm so i am guessing that he has had a lot of food around him most he life!!( being the size he is) some one told me that you can plant differnt things in yur garden 2 stop any sake being in them bit over all these snakes got young kids!!
bugs 15 September, 2012 10:37
hello ive just moved to qld and already seen a snake. is there any methods i can do around the grounds of my house to prevent them from coming that actually work??
Karen 7 December, 2011 13:21
Hi We've has a number of snakes around the property so my partner has fenced off an area that we use as a backyard. The fence is dug into the ground so that snakes can't get under it and we've tried to ensure that there are no holes or gaps for them to crawl through. Over the last few years, some smaller brownies have somehow been able to access the back yard but the dogs have made short work of them. That was up until recently when one of the dogs was killed by a snake. Do brown snakes have any natural predators that I can encourage into the backyard? Is there a possiblity that a female snake is returning to a place somewhere in the backyard to lay eggs? If so, how do I find the nesting site? Are there any other measures I can take to ensure the safety of my family and pets? Regards Karen
kerryn 16 December, 2011 13:10
Hello, how do I identify a snake skin? We have just found a baby snake skin in our shed wrapped around our lawn mower wheel. We think it may be a whip snake or baby brown as they r in the area
Michelle Kenyon 27 December, 2011 19:05
Hello, I am just wondering how good a brown snakes eye sight is. I have read most snakes dont actually see very well but others do. We have common brown snakes in our area. So just wondering if they have good eye sight. Thanks :)
Liz 1 March, 2012 07:58
I found what i believe to be a baby brown snake in the skimmer box of my pool ~30cm long and thick as a pencil. It has a very dark head and a conspicuous second dark band behind - similar to the image of a juvenile brown snake above, but the scale pattern looks more like a curl snake. Is there any definitive way to determine which species it is? I still have the specimen in a ziplock bag in the freezer - it was a bit waterlogged, and may have been bleached a little by the chlorine in the pool.
Discovery Centre 1 March, 2012 13:07
Hi Liz, please feel free to send any images you have of the snake to us at and our Herpetologist may be able to confirm the identity for you. 
maia 14 March, 2012 20:05
umm how does their venom work ???
Discovery Centre 15 March, 2012 16:04

Hi Maia,
The Australian Venom Research Centre has a great website with information about Brown Snakes and their venom.  

Rohan 15 March, 2012 16:45
My family owned a small property in Somerville with mostly open paddocks, a few drains and a small area of scrub. In the thirty years we lived there we had more encounters with Red Bellied Black snakes than any other, and they were mostly juveniles. Most snake catchers I have talked too since have been surprised by this as apparently they are uncommon to this area, preferring other habitat types. In thirty years we never saw a tiger or brown (that we recognised atleast) and only a few copperheads. RBB's outscored all others by 5 to 1 I reckon. A very localised population? Or just copperheads in drag??
Tania 2 April, 2012 20:42
Hi last couple of days found 2 x baby commen brown snakes in our feed shed/stable area would there be a chance there will be a mum around or do they leave there young. we have quite a clear property and not realy sure where they are hidding any info would be great thank you Tania
danny 9 April, 2012 03:04
i found two snakes they were brown on top with a yellow ring on his neck andred and orange on bottom
Cody 12 May, 2012 15:54
I found a small brown snake with bluey eyes. Can babies have blue eyes? Please write back.
Discovery Centre 16 May, 2012 15:25

Hi Cody - we've posed this to our Live Exhibits team, who have the following reply for you:

Snakes, like other animals, sometimes give rise to a range of unusual forms. This may be a one-off, or a genetic variation such as leucism, which often gives an animal blue eyes. However, in leucistic animals the rest of the body tends to be white or at least paler than usual.

Although this is possible, the more likely explanation is that the snake is sloughing. As the skin of the eye starts to separate, it can become cloudy and give the appearance of a bluish sheen.

Hope this helps

meredith 31 August, 2012 09:11
hi there, was thinking of buying a property (bush block) in Dereel, near Ballarat Vic, there is a small house on it, if i was to only use the house as a weekender, what are the chances of there being snakes in the house everytime i come back? which snakes are more likely to be there, the area the house is on is cleared but then there are 12 acres of bush. i am not from the bush i am from the coast and the only brwon i ever saw was at my grandads farm which was near colac, some 20 years ago, (i spotted it and he killed it). would riding a motor bike around scare them off, and haveing my dogs about? thanks for any information. cheers Meredith.
Discovery Centre 5 September, 2012 11:01

Hi Meredith, thanks for the question.  We have contacted the Live Exhibits Team for their advice, and they have provided the following information for you. 

Brown Snakes feed on rats and mice and prefer relatively open, grassy areas. They are most likely to stay out of the house, but if the rodent population is high indoors, they may venture in. Brown Snakes tend to shelter in long grass or under sheets of tin, or even under the house, but are less likely to come inside. They are no more common in inland areas than they are at the coast, but are more common in rural and remote areas (and particularly in wheat-growing areas due to the high rodent population).

Brown Snakes prefer to stay in sheltered areas and are more comfortable in long grass than in areas of short grass and exposed territory, where they are vulnerable to predators such as birds of prey. Motorbikes and dogs don't tend to keep snakes away, but if you keep the grass around the house very short and keep the rodent population down, your house will be less attractive to them.

Also, wear thick boots when outside the house and make sure your presence is felt when moving about. Remember too that snakes are protected wildlife in Victoria, so it is illegal to one. However, if the snake is in a place that it could be a problem for people or pets (e.g., near a house), residents can arrange for a licensed commercial snake catcher to remove them. Snake catcher contacts are available through Department of Sustainability and Environment on Ph. 136 186 and local councils.

We certainly hope this helps!

matthew 16 January, 2016 03:20
Why do you keep saying its illegel to kill a brown snake without saying unless it presents a danger to people??? Which is the law!! Any snake in or around my house i percieve as a danger to me and my family, so i have a right to kill it without prosicution, is that correct according to the law???
Brad Edwards 17 September, 2012 18:37
hello, i was hoping you could help. The other day my neighbour came and told me that she had found some baby snakes in her yard,she has long grass in areas and has mice around her yard. She contacted snake poeple and they said to watch out beacuse the mum and dad will be hanging around, she could not get the snake people in because of the cost. We found a large blackish snake in our front lawn today and i have guinea pigs and dogs and am quite worried. What are your suggestions of what to do and what type of snake could it be. I live 30 minutes from Geelong, on the coast. thank you
Discovery Centre 23 September, 2012 14:04

Hi Brad

A large blackish snake is most likely to be a red-bellied black snake, but it may also be an eastern brown snake or tiger snake (the latter species can sometimes appear dark at first glance). Snakes start to appear around this time every year, and for the last few years the abundant rainfall and warm summers have produced a higher than usual number of snakes, causing concern for many residents in the greater Geelong region.

There is not much that can be done to prevent a snake entering your property, other than removing anything that may be attracting them. Snakes are generally attracted by food, water or shelter. Therefore the most productive means of deterring snakes is to eliminate rodents which serve as a major source of food, remove any standing bodies of water on your property, and get rid of wood piles or sheets of iron on the ground that may be used as shelter. It also helps to keep grass around the house cut very short - snakes tend to stay within undisturbed habitats and don't like to venture into open ground
Katie 30 September, 2012 20:12
This week we had 3brown snakes in 2 dayscome to the same spot at the back door, we live on a large farm the grass and garden is kept very tidy and we have nothing that would attract them, is there any reason they would be coming to the same spot? I only got one of them! We have 3 dogs and I'm Very scared to even go out side alone, I have a phobia of them and am having very sleepless nights :(
Discovery Centre 14 October, 2012 15:54
Hi Katie, brown snakes are generally attracted by three things - shelter, food and water. Even if you reduce these aspects by keeping the grass short, and by removing woodpiles and sheets of tin that may serve as shelter, the snakes may still come. The fact that you have had three snakes in a short period may suggest that they are adult males attracted by the presence of a female. But, in the absence of any further evidence, this may just be speculation.

It sounds as if you've done what you can to keep them away. In lieu of any other measures, you may want to call in a local snake catcher whenever a snake is spotted.


Wayne 15 October, 2012 21:01
I was just looking at this because I found a baby brown in my woodpile. I don't know if it hatched there or I brought it in with the wood (the latter I hope). In response to an earlier post, I have actually seen a red belly black eat a brown snake. They were similar lengths, but the brown was much thinner. They were both in my bird aviary (very scary) so I left them, and when I came back a couple of hours later the brown one was in the black one. Made it quite easy to remove them both...
sue 8 November, 2012 21:22
my husband was out fishing in the bay when a brown snake swam to the boat up the wires and went in the casing of the motor . as far as we know its still there. the boat is in our back garden we have two dogs and im very worried that when it comes out it will hurt the dogs or us what can we do we cant try to get it out please help .
Discovery Centre 20 November, 2012 11:43
Hi Sandie, we have checked with our Live Exhibits Department and it would seem that these creatures are neither snakes nor earthworms, but are most likely to be flatworms. They belong to a group called Turbellaria, and can at times be quite common in different habitats, in both urban and rural environments. The most common types are blue, orange or yellow. As their name suggests, flatworms in general are flat and ribbon-like, generally predatory and always in moist micro-habitats. Under a flower pot is an excellent environment for these flatworms and there is always plenty of tiny invertebrates on which to feed.

The species you have is most likely Caenoplana, which has been accidentally introduced to other parts of the world from Australia.

We hope this helps!

theresa 27 November, 2012 17:44
Ipswich area found a eastern brown snake Rear of property in old frog cavity, last time i saw it was 8 months ago. question if the snake is in my yard, why are the eggs in the neighbours front yard? or should we be looking for another snake
Katy Mac 29 November, 2012 15:59
Hi, Firstly I would like to say thank you for this opportunity to have our questions answered. I am hoping you can tell me how long a brown snake will stay in situ? My father said he saw one disappear into his shed a few days ago but by the time he got there he couldn't see it. His shed is full of furniture and boxes he is storing for my sister, he also has one of his cars in there. How long does a brown snake stay in one place? We are in South Australia in the Adelaide hills so his property is surrounded by farmland and some small pockets of bushland.
Discovery Centre 30 November, 2012 11:23

Hi Theresa, Eastern Brown Snakes lay their eggs in cracks or depressions in the soil, or in old animal burrows, and abandon them once laid, but will remain in the general area. Therefore the eggs may have been laid by the snake in your yard, or by any other snake in the area. The average clutch size is about 16 but may be as high as 35, and take approximately 75 days to hatch.
Brown Snakes feed on vertebrates such as rodents and lizards, so the best way to keep them away is to remove anything that may shelter either the snakes or their prey.

Bee 1 December, 2012 15:26
Hi there we have wheat growing all around our house at the moment i have seen two brown snakes now both very close to my house one being near the car port and the other being under my pagola I have a 2 year old sum and I am more than frightened of them is there any way we can stop then from coming close to our house a I might be to scared to walk out my back door
Kellie Ryan 7 December, 2012 09:08
Hello, you have an awesome site. Im glad to see coorect information being given out, your website is a credit to the whole country. I am a registered snake catcher and have very much enjoyed reading the questions and responses. Thank you Kellie
Discovery Centre 7 December, 2012 11:33
Thank you Kellie, that feedback is really appreciated!
peter99z 7 December, 2012 19:14
was walking at the very source of the Murray river (upstream from Cowombat flat). Saw what I assumed was a 'yellow bellied black snake'. Assumed it was a version of the red bellied black snake which is dangerous though chances are not fatal. Turns out it was a black version of the alpine copperhead, and a very very dangerous snake. It was 10 inches from my foot. It slithered away and I trod on its tail (not hurting it,,, but it scared me when it suprised me). It would have been hard for it to bite me as its front half was now under vegetation. No it did not bite me,,, not happy when i learnt after the fact that it was a potentially fatal copperhead. I have some excellent photos though yes i was daft,,, and admit it
Discovery Centre 9 December, 2012 12:01

Hi Bee, the best option you have is to contact a local snake catcher. There are a number of professionals available, and they can be readily found online or in the phone book.

Discovery Centre 9 December, 2012 12:16
Hi Katy, Brown Snakes are highly adaptable and will live in a range of habitats, including in those created by humans. The snake will stay around as long as suitable food is available, and given that rodents are their preferred prey, a shed full of furniture should provide plenty of food and shelter.

Brown Snakes are responsible for the majority of venomous bites (and fatalities) in Australia each year. If the snake is causing concern, your best option is to contact a professional snake catcher. There are a number of them available online or in the phone book.

Sammy 17 December, 2012 21:53
Hello, just wanted to know whether brown snakes inhabit the inner city section of merri creek. Also, what time of the year and what time of day are they most active?
Danny 20 December, 2012 21:18
Hi, we live by wetlands an get the odd brown around. We found 12 empty eggs that appear to have been dug out from the ground about 30cm deep.If the eggs are that deep how would the snakes normally get out?
Discovery Centre 27 December, 2012 10:46

Hi Danny. although Brown Snakes can lay up to 35 eggs in a single clutch, the average number is around 15 so the group of 12 eggs you found certainly could be from the local Brown Snakes. The eggs are laid in cracks in the soil or in abandoned animal burrows, unless the soil is particularly sandy or friable, in which case the snake may dig its own hole. Because the female snake will only leave its eggs in holes that are easy to get into, this makes it easy for the hatchling snakes to emerge from.

Discovery Centre 27 December, 2012 14:20
Hi Sammy, the Merri Creek Management Committee website states that Brown Snakes and a number of other highly venomous species also occur in the less urbanised sections of the Creek. As to how close to the city they venture we are unsure, but if you contact the Friends of  Merri Creek group I'm sure they will have more information on these records. Brown Snakes are mostly active during the day with mating occurring in Spring. The snakes overwinter during cooler weather but have been observed basking in winter on days with an air temperature of 14 degrees in New South Wales. 
Ray 27 December, 2012 22:41
Can an adult male feline become envenomated by ingesting the head of an Eastern Brown?
Stephanie 7 January, 2013 20:48
Im doing an assignment on the Eastern Brown Snake and was just wondering if you know how it is able to maintain/control its internal temperature? This may include adaptations or traits of the snake. Thanks for your time!
Discovery Centre 21 January, 2013 14:36

Hi Stephanie, Museum Victoria’s Information Sheet is available online here, which should have some useful info for you. In addition, the Department of Sustainability and Environment fact sheet here  contains the following specific information: “Brown Snakes cannot maintain a constant body temperature without help from the environment. This means that they use the sun’s warmth to raise their body temperature. They spend the duration of the cold weather in shelter.”

Hope this helps

Trish 20 January, 2013 12:34
Hi, Thank you for such an amazing and helpful website. I hope you can help me with my question - I have found some scat in my yard in a 5 acre farmlet in the Riverina and wondered if it is brown or black snake scat. It is quite grey and looks like someone has squeezed a tube of putty into a pile. It is very smooth, loose and glossy. I did not see any white or yellow part. The tube is about 2cm in diameter and would be 30 cm long if unwound...which I won't!!I am terrified of snakes and do all I can to keep them out. I am now scared to go back into the the garden, especially to harvest under the leafiness of my zucchini and tomato plants! Can you help with identification, please??
Discovery Centre 20 January, 2013 15:50

Hi Trish! Check out the identification guidelines, and send your image to the and we will see if we can identify it for you.

Jen 14 February, 2013 04:15
Small brown snake (approx 15 inches long)found in the house and relocated to bushland. My questions are: how old is this likely to have been and should I be searching house for eggs? Don't mind snakes in general but in the house is a bit hard to deal with!
Discovery Centre 19 February, 2013 16:38

Hi Jen - we checked with our Live Exhibits experts about this, and they have responded as follows:

The snake is most likely to be an Eastern Brown Snake (if it has black markings on its head) or a Copperhead. In either case the snake would be a juvenile and therefore there won’t be any eggs to worry about. There are no other snake species that fit that description in Victoria.


Claire Woodford 16 February, 2013 22:43
Just found a baby Brown inside. Does that mean mum could be inside also? The house is not cluttered but we have vineyard across road and lots of open space. Our yard is all Bark and pepples though not grass. Worried as we have two toddlers and two dogs. I don't leave food out and clean daily.
Discovery Centre 19 February, 2013 16:42

Hi Claire- we checked with our Live Exhibits experts about this, and they have responded as follows:

The snake is most likely to be an Eastern Brown Snake. The female produces a clutch of eggs then moves on, leaving them to hatch on their own and fend for themselves. So the presence of a juvenile doesn’t mean there are any more around, although the vineyard might be an attractive habitat. You’re doing the right things to keep your house snake-free – removing all food, cover and potential hiding places.

Katy Brown 16 February, 2013 23:09
Hi , I found a drowned baby brown snake today , he was about 30cm long and only thin , he was in the effluent drain behind the piggery, is it likely that the rest of his siblings are in the vicinity or would a baby snake travel some distance. I found a very large skin recently , 5ft without head and tail ends and we have seen a few adults, do the babies return to the nest to sleep or do they all go their separate ways once they hatch, I have no desire to kill them but would like to relocate them if they are near the sheds as I have some very rare animals. Can you store antivenin on farm , I have also heard huge doses of injectable Vitamin C can help Thanks for your help regards Katy
Michelle 25 February, 2013 07:03
I have a 2 part question, my neighbour and I both had a 3 foot and a 4 foot brown within a week of each other about a month ago, now my neighbour has found a few babies, could the 2 we found be the patents, would they have been old enough to reproduce? The second part to the question is, my cat was bitten by the 4 foot, we saw him get bitten on his face, he was taken to the vet and released later with no treatment as he showed no sign of ill effect. Shortly after his nose went very dry and now it has concaved in like it is being eaten away, the vet said it is more than likely from the neurotoxins, but will it stop or will the snake win at the end of the day by the cat having its nose rot off ?
Cristie 1 March, 2013 15:03
I live in central regional Victoria on acreage with a well established garden. This summer, for the first time in 25 years we have sighted several small brown snakes. it is unlikely that we have simply not seen any snakes that may have been in on the property in the past, so it would like to know what factors may be contributing to the sudden "surplus" of snakes.
Michelle 3 March, 2013 08:49
Cristie, I live in the Riverina area and last year we had a terrible mouse plague, we have put the influx of snakes down to that. Our vet is treating snake bites daily at the moment. Most cases are from the built up area of town too. It has been very dry also, so we think they are coming for water.
christina 13 March, 2013 15:34
We have had a baby brown snake come in under the front door as there was no weather seal. My partner was quick to get to it but I'm extremely worried that where there's one there must be more. It was approximately 20cms long and we have had a cool change over night from a period of 11 days over 30 degrees (I dont know if this could be helpful at all). My concern is how far from a nest this snake could have been and why it or any other snakes may be trying to get in? We have two dogs and I'm really not sure on the best way to protect them right now seeming as the chance of them being already in the house (we have now had seals put on all the doors) or outside are equal. Is this so-called repellant worth the money to keep snakes away?
Discovery Centre 14 March, 2013 15:12
Hi Christina - we can't really comment on 'snake repellent', but the other issues of small young snake individuals in houses, their parent's nesting habits and things you can do to make areas less desirable to brown snakes are listed in our responses to previous enquirers above. 
Ivvy 14 April, 2013 22:42
today we found a brown snake about a foot long in the living room, the cat which is about a year old was attacking it, what are the signs we should be looking for if she was bitten and how long would it take for the signs to occur?
Discovery Centre 19 April, 2013 15:29
Hi Ivvy - our reptile experts say that you will know very quickly if a cat has been bitten by a Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis). The most obvious sign of snake bite in cats is vomiting and foaming at the mouth. Symptoms may be observed within minutes but may take up to  20 minutes to become obvious. I hope your pet is fine!
Shirley Tranter 10 May, 2013 07:08
Got home from work yesterday to find a dead very dark brown snake in our backyard. We have 2 dogs, a 15 year old jackrussell and an australian silky terrior. We live in Victoria and back onto the Maribrynong river, so have found many snakes in our backyard, always dead as the dogs have killed them.Very surprised as would have thought that they would have nestled in for the winter by now. What do you think, any information would be appreciated.
Chon 14 May, 2013 12:20
May 2013 - i have just got my third brown snake out of the filter of our pool that we just installed at the start of this summer. We also made a small deck that I belief we have had a nest of brown snakes hatched under. The earlier browns were only small and this one a little bigger at 1 1/2 feet long. Would a snake catcher be able to find the others in this cold weather, I thought they would be hybernating. I have kids and am worried.. Victoria
Jamaican 12 June, 2013 17:00
I live in Jamaica and this evening, my cat came in the yard with a snake. I freaked out because I never believed I would see one outside a zoo. It was small and thin- about 12 inches in length and a little fatter than a pencil. It was brown. I couldn't make out any patterns, I just know that It was predominantly brown and shine and I was very scared and repulsed. I wanted to kill it, but my cat ran away when I came toward her and the snake got away. It is now lurking somewhere in my lawn. Can you help me identify the species? Thanks in advance.
Nick 9 August, 2013 01:51
I lived in the Otway Ranges back in the 70s. The local farmer warns me about the LARGE otway brown. They said it was a sub species. I thought he was joking. Most I saw were a few metres, but two weeks before I left that area, on the old Beech Forest Road, one huge brown snake came onto the road, winding back and forth. When it finally got its full length to the side of the road, it headed across that road as fast as it could go. I was awe struck by its size. Massive, the head was gone and down the bush while the rear end was still coming. I have looked on the internet, Melbourne Museum and can find nothing about this 'other' species. One herpetologist I met in New South Wales, said they are a left over from when the Indian land mass was butted up to Australia and that they are related distantly to the cobra. He told me they eat the other snakes and that yes, there were a few other reports of this extra large Otway Brown. But I can't find anything about it anywhere else. Have you heard about that sub species. Or is there any information. I am not a student of snakes, but herpetology is an interest. And I thought that farmer was joking when he told me about it.
Ethan 4 October, 2013 03:35
hi what does a brown snake eat?my neibor has snakes and they eat mice and rats
Discovery Centre 18 October, 2013 15:21
Hi Ethan, Eastern Brown Snakes living in the wild prey on many things including reptiles, eggs of birds and reptiles, frogs, other small mammals and particularly rats and mice. The smaller and younger snakes eat a greater amount of ectothermic (cold-blooded) prey such as lizards whereas larger ones consume more mammals and warm-blooded prey.
billie 7 October, 2013 11:27
hey, just wondering what brown snake eggs look like? my mum found a few small whtie eggs in the garden and we dont know what type of eggs the are?
jess 22 October, 2013 03:43
Hello. Does anyone know have people tried to get rid of the brown snake in guam? Have they tried to control it?
erin 23 October, 2013 15:16
My son got bitten by a young brown snake on the weekend he's ok we couldn't catch it because it's going what are the chances of it's siblings are around to ?
Discovery Centre 26 October, 2013 11:49

Hey Erin,

Female Eastern Brown Snakes (Pseudonaja textilis) lay clutches of up to 35 eggs but the female does not stay with the eggs and they hatch to make their own way independently. Consequently the snake you encountered may have siblings, or it may be the only one to have survived or to have remained in the area. It depends on the local environment and other factors, so there is no real way to tell. Local snakecatchers (found in the phonebook or on the internet) will remove venomous snakes but only if their location can be readily identified.

Dale 2 November, 2013 00:14
Hi. We live in suburban geelong and recently spotted followed and subsequently lost what appeared to be a brown snake of approx 4ft length. A week ago our neighbor found a slightly smaller tiger snake ib their own backyard. There has been some construction going on a few doors down and I wondered if this may be disturbing the snakes as we very rarely see one let alone two. We have pets and children in the area. Will snakes of this kind move away on their own or would it be a good idea to have an expert come round to find and remove and specimens on our property? Thanks for any advice.
andrew 21 November, 2013 15:08
hi i live on a farm property in south australia surrounded by wheat farming, brown snakes are a common sight along the dirt road entering my property, i myself own a carpet python so the thought of snakes near the house did not faze me until this morning. I am concerned as we own 4 dogs (one is deaf n blind) and have a 3 yr old very inquisitive son that enjoys playing outside. two days ago i got hm from work, and as i opened my gate up my path i interrupted a very large brown snake (5-6ft)sunbaking on the path 3 metres from the house, i tried catching it however it slipped under the fence line and now i assume is camping within my shed, deciding i need to clean the yard and cut any growth back coming into summer. i was outside using whipper snippper this morning and was cutting the grass under a bush in the front yard (close to where brown snake was other day) and accidently beheaded a baby brown snake, if it still had its head id say it was approx 20-25 cm long, a hatchling, providing info given i have a number of questions... Would the large brown i saw most probably be the mother? (biggest and fattest brown we've seen all year so far), would the nest likely be in my yard, under that bush possibly? and if it is the mother i saw should i be concerned over the next 5 weeks that it will aggressively attack us or our pets if it is simply left alone? finally if i find the nest and have it removed will the mother move on being a rural area if the nest is moved?
Discovery Centre 28 November, 2013 12:13

Hi Andrew,

Eastern Brown Snakes (Pseudonaja textilis) don't have a nest and the mother doesn't stay with or care for the young after they have hatched. If there is sufficient food available, the young will remain in the same area as their mother, but if food is scarce they will have to move off and find their own hunting grounds. The large one you saw may be the mother or, if food is abundant, may be another snake living in the same area.

Snakes generally bite only to catch prey or defend themselves, but if a snake perceives itself to be under threat, it will bite even if the threat is accidental or inadvertant (eg someone gets to close without knowing the snake is there).

The best way to avoid coming into contact with snakes is to eliminate their sources of food and shelter. Rats and mice are a favourite food, so do everything you can to get rid of them and the snakes will seek food elsewhere. Eastern Brown Snakes also like the protection of long grass and will shelter under sheets of tin, wood piles etc. Keep the grass cut short at least 10m around the house and yard, and don't store items large enough for snakes to hide in or under around the house.

David 22 November, 2013 12:01
Hi, I was trail bike riding with my eight year old son near Licola when he ran over a brown snake. He was moving slowly but the speed that the snake struck at him was incredible. Luckily for my young bloke he reacted quickly and kicked so the snake collided with his motorbike boot. This is one of many I've come across in the area, they are extremely aggressive and from experience more likely to lash out than a tiger snake. Numbers seem to have exploded recently where we ride so will be hanging up the boots until the end if April I think.
June 22 November, 2013 14:43
Hi there, just wondering how old a 70cm eastern brown snake would be? We have had 2 of them in our garden and wondering if they are last year's hatchlings and how many more there may be! Thank you...
Cheryl 15 December, 2013 16:19
Hi, have just found this site when searching for info re: "a day in the life of a brown snake". I have been living with an aunt and uncle in rural Victoria for just under 2 years. Their property is by design, all-be-it not deliberately, a mecca for brown snakes. Last spring/summer we encountered 15 in total. Of those about 75% were new and the others appeared to be a year further along. My 2 cats killed several of them and the rest were relocated. My curiosity in regard to the snakes remains unchanged from last year, however now curiosity is coupled with a real need to know, given one of my beloved cats did not this year end the victor. So far this year we have seen 2 new babies, 2x 2yr olds and today, most disturbingly, one about 1.5/2 meters. Thankfully I became aware of the snake just seconds after my remaining cat also caught site of him. The snake has been relocated, but my ever present anxiety for their sharing space with my cats has only been elevated. I want to know, if it is said a female may lay up to 30-35 eggs, how many of those end up having a viable life. And if viable how far may they journey on a daily basis from their hollow(s) in order to do what ever it is that snakes do? Is it possible given the number of baby snakes sighted last year that there is the other half who have grown another year still making themselves right at home? Unfortunately, whilst we take every hint offered to make it inhospitable for the snakes, due to the nature of the property, it remains snake nirvana. I just want to know how many more there are likely to be, or can i believe that there just couldn't possibly be any more left.
Tracy 16 December, 2013 23:36
Today we discovered a brown snake in our back yard. We brought kids and dog inside and called the council. In Bendigo (Central Vic) there is only one snake catcher, who after a number of calls answered the phone and was not very interested. So we tried to do the right thing (according to law) but now our dog has had to return outside (she is a large dog and we are in a rental property with no dogs allowed in the house). Our 5 kids are terrified of going outside. We are not supposed to kill it, we cant get it removed, so just what are we supposed to do?
Jess Bean 17 December, 2013 05:18
hi was just having a browse and was wondering my partners mother had a baby brown snake inside their house the other day being 14th of December it measured roughly 30 to 40 cm with a white band around its neck, was wondering if you could determand its age and if maybe there is a nest very close they live in a residential area but close to a river should we be worried about another intruder
Dave 29 December, 2013 16:34
I live in Tawonga ,Nth east Vic,every other summer I generally encounter a snake in the backyard which ,if i can,I hose down with cold water and they move on.I just came across a brown snake which i would estimate to be up round the 8 foot mark in the old measurements,fat too.My question is- It's said that we don't get king browns here but I often see browns as big as todays in the area.Everything I read tops browns out at around the 2 meter mark,are ours just unusually large here?PS,I took a photo.
Discovery Centre 31 December, 2013 12:57
Hi Dave - you may have unusually large snakes! Do feel free to send us your photo for identification, to our Ask the Experts page.
Diane 3 January, 2014 15:42
Hi I was just wondering over the last 3 years our cat has been bitten by a snake every summer last year we actualy saw it being bitten by a baby brown near our front veranda we live in a town in central Vic but have a river that runs about a block behind us anyway today we have noticed some scat on the veranda it looks like it could be from a small dog that has then scooted along the veranda it's just that the scoot is in a 's' formation just wondering what brown snake scat looks like (this was a light brown)and would a snake leave a trail after it has pooped.
Discovery Centre 4 January, 2014 12:30
Hi Diane, according to Barbara Triggs' book 'Tracks Scats and other Traces' many reptile scats, like those of birds, have a capping of white material at one end, and this also often becomes detached, leaving scats very similar in shape and size to those of certain mammals. 
Mel Hard 16 January, 2014 00:11
Hi I'm just wondering, we came accross a snake today near our friends property near Texas Qld and having trouble identifying it. It was bout 5ft, had a dark green/brown body, creamy tummy but had a black head that went just past the back if the head. We were thinking 'eastern brown'. Am curious to know what snakes to prepare for when there
Discovery Centre 17 January, 2014 12:19
Hi Mel! It's not possible to make a definitive identification from a description, but if you get a photograph (without endangering yourself!), please feel free to forward it to our Ask the Experts service for ID. In the meantime, if you are in likely snake habitat, you can prepare for any snakes by taking the usual preparations - sturdy shoes, avoid likely hiding spots (long grass etc), and avoid any snakes you see, rather than approaching them or attempting to harm or capture them.
kathyf 25 January, 2014 10:54
Hello , Thank you for your ver informative site . This week I had 3 cats bitten by a brown snake .They have all lived thanks to the vet and my bank balance . What ai wondering is ,do those solar snake detterers work ,that send vibrations in the ground ?i have heard varyig reports ,nealrl all say they dont . I also heard that our local snake catcher has something natural he can spray around your property ,that snakes dont like ,but is not poisonous to animals . also is their any truth in the old wifes tale ,planting geranuims around your house will detter snakes as they dont like the smell of that either. and one more snakes travel the same path every day ,a snake catcher told me that yrs ago thanking you Kathy
Discovery Centre 26 January, 2014 14:58
Hi Kathy, some people swear by sound deterrents for snakes and others swear they are a waste of time. If they do work, it seems to depend a lot on local conditions - how many are used, how far apart, as well as local conditions such as soil composition, and the locations of trees, buildings etc. In general, however, they do not appear to be very effective.

Snake deterring sprays are available on the market or are made at home from recipes on the internet, and they usually contain fox urine, ammonia, moth balls (naphthalene) or sulfur, or a combination of these. Independent research suggests that none of them work.

Both garlic and geraniums are reported to keep snakes away, but this is undoubtedly a myth. Particularly as there are reports of Copperhead snakes being found basking in garden beds alongside geraniums.

A snake will be attracted to a location by food more than anything else, and any deterrent must be overpowering to keep the snake away from a food source. And anything so overpowering to a snake will also be overpowering to us.

The best option is to make your house unattractive to snakes:

- remove as many rodents as possible, which are the snake's primary source of food;

- remove sources of shelter, such as sheets of tin or wood piles;

- prevent snakes getting under the house or into other cool dark locations;

- cut the grass low around the house - snakes don't generally like to cross open areas without shelter.


Amanda 28 January, 2014 11:57
On the weekend friends were fishing in a boat on the Murrumbidgee River when they saw a Red Belly Black snake leave the river bank and started swimming. The snake was heading towards them and was quite close to the boat. My friends became excited about this and began reaching for their cameras to take a photo. However it soon became apparent that the snake was trying to get in the boat. Immediately abandoning the photo shoot they accelerated away from the snake by using the outboard motor. When they thought they were far enough away they pulled out the cameras again. However the snake gave chase and caught up to them and once again tried to get in the boat. Our friends believe the snake was acting aggressively! My question is, why would the snake behave aggressively in this situation? Or is it just simply trying to get out of the water and just sees the boat as "dry land" or as a way to "hitch-hike" to the other side of the river? Thanks
Jarrad 22 February, 2014 18:49
hey I caught a baby eastrn brown today just wondering what to do with it and what I can feed it in the meantime its in a secured tank at the moment, thanks
Discovery Centre 23 February, 2014 11:12

Hi Jarrad - in most cases a permit is required to keep native animals depending on the species, and in all cases the animals kept in captivity should come from captive stock such as from keepers or pet suppliers rather than capturing the animal yourself.

You shouldn't capture a wild native animal and keep it as a pet for a number of reasons, so we strongly recommend you let the snake go in the same location you found it for its best chance at survival. You can read more about wildlife permits, animal welfare considerations and regulations at the DSE website here.

chloe 28 February, 2014 23:10
Hi, I've recently just found a juvenile brown snake sitting at my back door, and it slithered under my back patio.. is it going to stay there or move else where?
Discovery Centre 1 March, 2014 16:14
Hi Chloe, as we've mentioned a couple of times above snakes are attracted to areas where their needs for food, water and shelter can be met. If you are in an area where snakes are present it is good to keep the area around the house free of items which could provide shelter, such as woodpiles and storage collections. Grassed areas should be mown. Ensure waste bins have secure lids and that no food scraps are attracting rodents which will, in turn, attract snakes. If the snake appears to be hanging around the best thing is to contact your local council who should have a a list of people or organisations to contact to remove the snake. Don't try and remove it yourself as this is often when bites can occur.
Lisa 11 March, 2014 18:25
Hello, I am working on a project for grade 3. How much does an eastern brown snake weigh when it is grown up and what is it's average life span? thank you for your help.
Kelly O'Keefe 12 March, 2014 09:14
Please identify this juvenile snake,it looks like a brown but has an orange band at neck ?copperhead?tiger. Found in central victoria(Bendigo)
Keith 15 March, 2014 16:29
hi im wondering how heavy does the average eastern brown snake weigh
Pam 17 March, 2014 17:49
Hi, we found a 20cm brown snake in our garage. Are there likely to be more juveniles around as well. It is clutter free and was just slithering along the wall. Im a little freaked out as my son found it. Thankfully he listened to our advice and came and got an adult right away
Caroline Roberts 30 March, 2014 11:54
Hi, we have found 2baby brown (presume) in the last 3 mths, one in our pool skimmer box, & the other on our living room floor last night! Luckily my dog found it to alert us if was ther otherwise I think we would have stepped on it in our thongs. Questio: both snakes were about 30cm long, pencil thin. Do you think they would have been from same 'hatching' or maybe we have more than one nest close by, or a second clutch of eggs layed later in summer season. I am worried how close the nest maybe to our home, we live in rural Geelong. Thanks
Discovery Centre 3 April, 2014 15:59

Hi Caroline - we checked this question with our experts, and they've replied as follows:

It is really hard to give much information without a positive ID – there are a number of small snakes in the regions & yes, could also be juvenile brown snakes. This time of the year is a common one to see juvenile snakes – as many species will give birth (in the case of live bearers – e.g., Tiger snakes) or have eggs hatch (e.g., Brown Snakes) in early to mid summer.  Snakes do not stay in a nest but will disperse after hatching – but it is possible to see a number from one clutch in an area after hatching. But again it is difficult for me to say much more than these general comments without a confirmed ID on each snake seen.

ambika 7 August, 2014 03:39
hi..i have found some litte brown snakes about 1.5-2 inches so many times in my house.i want to know is it poisonous?if anybody got bitten how much harm can it do?
dubbo 9 October, 2014 14:52
I'm thinking about installing wire around the bottom of the house fence (we are in a rural setting). would brown snakes be likely to get through a mesh with gaps 25mmx12.5mm? Also if I install some hollow logs (with the outside hole above the ground) as one-way exit holes, how high would the exit point have to be? thanks Dub
Jane 10 October, 2014 19:21
Hi I live in Canberra and this afternoon I found our dog in the backyard barking at what I think may have been a brown snake. Thankfully after some time I managed to get my dog to come to me obviously without being bitten as she is still with us! My concern is my husband has since covered up an open area to under our house very close to where they were the dog and snake were. If the snake did go under the house for shade what will happen if she can't get out? Please respond- I am very anxious with small children and a dog!
Discovery Centre 11 October, 2014 11:22
Hi Jane, it might be a good idea to call your local council who will probably have a number of a local snake catcher who might be able to come and see if the snake is still present and if it is to remove it.
gh 23 October, 2014 12:41
I live in a rural area in SA and have browns and red-bellied blacks living around the property. To settle a discussion, could you please tell me how often these snakes require water during their active season? Do they hang out at dams and creeks just for the wildlife or is it because they frequently need to drink?
Discovery Centre 27 October, 2014 11:57

Both Eastern Brown Snakes (Pseudonaja textilis) and Red-bellied Black Snakes (Pseudechis porphyriacus) prey on frogs and other reptiles that hang around water bodies. In addition Red-bellies feed on fish and tadpoles and may actively hunt underwater, completely submerged, stirring up sediment to flush out bottom-dwelling fish. In dry areas the majority of suitable prey (including other reptiles, birds and mammals) tend to stay close to water, so the snakes do too.

Len 1 November, 2014 16:12
HOW FAR DO SNAKES TRAVEL. ??? after reading numerous comments with replys they will travel for food or I saw one on the back verandah then in the back yard, can you please tell me how far does a snake travel. ie do they travel 1 km or 10 km or only 100 mts ? Also besides how far how fast , if a snake travels say 1 Klm to hunt ? How long would it take 4 hrs ? 12 hrs ? Or a week ? I kept my place pristine and the only snakes I saw were different ones always on the move never sunning themselves , just wondering where they come from ?.
allison 3 November, 2014 11:47
Hi. Our cat was bitten by a juvenile brown snake approx. 2 weeks ago and survived !! But he is now constantly vomiting, do you know if this is a symptom of snake venom? Thanks.
Ammara Bright 26 December, 2014 15:57
I think there are three World’s Most Poisonous Snakes and I wonder why small simple little things like spiders tend to be so poisonous?
Rhonda Coates 27 December, 2014 15:38
My cat has just brought a little brown snake into the house. It is about 20cm long and has an orange belly. I am worried that the cat may have been bitten although the snake was quite docile when I managed to get him into a shoe box. I live in far East Gippsland. he is a very pale brown and the thickness of a pencil. What symptoms should I look for if the cat has been bitten?
Discovery Centre 27 December, 2014 16:23

Hi Rhonda,

This answer was given to a previous enquirer on 28th November 2011. A cat would react the same;

...we have checked with our expert keepers from the Museum's Live Exhibits crew, who have the following reply for you:

 A little dog will succumb to the effects of a brown snake bite very quickly and the chances of survival are fairly small.  One of the Museum’s staff members had a Jack Russell that was bitten by a Brown Snake and it died in less than ten minutes. Larger dogs have a better chance but the difference tends to be marginal. Even in humans the death rate from Brown Snake envenomation can be quite high. Early symptoms are usually vomiting and frothing at the mouth.

Rhonda Coates 27 December, 2014 20:54
Thanks for getting back to me. I finally identified the snake. It was a white lipped grass snake but had my cat tested at the vets in Bairnsdale, an hour's drive away just to be on the safe side. He is fine thank goodness.
Wayne Romeo 5 January, 2015 21:17
Hi.I had a snake in my yard it was bright yellow and about 2 foot long.I live in Patchewollock vic.Brown snakes are very common here.Could it have been a baby brown?I have asked around and no one has seen one that yellow.
Discovery Centre 6 January, 2015 11:43

Hi Wayne,

Check out our bioinformatics website to see images of snakes found in Victoria and perhaps you will find a match. Alternatively if you can safely take a photograph of the snake please send it through to us via our Ask the Experts page and we will help you identify it.

Derek 26 January, 2015 14:37
We live on a farm in queanbeyan NSW we have found what we are certain is a brown snake skin in our garden can you tell does this mean the snake could still be around because we have had a snake this close to our house before and we have twin 5yr old boys who haven't encounted snakes yet not in the wild anyway so we are concerned we've explained to the boys what to do if they come across one thanks derek
Discovery Centre 26 January, 2015 15:05
Hi Derek, please see our replies to Kathy on the 26th January 2014 and Meredith on the 5th September 2012 regarding brown snakes on properties. 
Gabriel 22 February, 2015 16:47
Hi, today I have seen 8 baby brown snakes. Around 50-70cm long. They are climbing up the security screens and hiding in cracks of the bricks and along window ledge.i have walked ovwr two today which I saw once their head rose uo, they were well camoflagued along the front of the doors outside. Also one dropped down from the screen as it must have been sitting in the ridge in the fell right at my feet. Do you think they have hatched in the roof and what kind of deterrent can I use so they are not being laid in the roof or cracks around the house. This happened last year as well.i have small neices and nephews that visit and I am scared of them and worry about visitors who may get bitten. I need advice as they are freaking me out.i am in lismore. Nothern nsw.
Discovery Centre 9 March, 2015 11:42
Hi Gabriel - we checked with our Live Exhibits team here, and they've said that the eggs were probably not laid in the roof but young snakes will climb walls and nestle in cracks to get warmth from the bricks. The best thing you can do is make your house and garden as unappealing as possible for these snakes. This includes:

- removing potential cover such as sheets of iron and wood piles;

- reducing the amount of food available, especially rodents;

- blocking off entrances underneath buildings, including outbuildings;

- keeping grass cut very low around the house.

Hugo 8 March, 2015 21:32
What is an interesting fact on the brown snake?
Teegan 8 March, 2015 22:13
Just asking will a snake hide in a bed in summer? I'm worried and live in South australia. I am also the age of 10
Discovery Centre 9 March, 2015 11:52
Hi Teegan - we think it would be pretty unlikely unless there was literally nowhere else for it to go; their preferred habitat is open, dry outdoor areas with natural shelter areas
Jester 24 March, 2015 22:24
Hey team! Keep up the fantastic work you do, and thanks for the great resources you provide. I read your comment from 1 December 2010 about there being few reliable records of the Eastern Brown snake at altitudes higher than 1000m. I was bushwalking on Mount Buffalo recently and had an encounter with an extremely defensive snake, which I think is an Eastern Brown. It reared up into an S-shape and opened its mouth. It didn't hiss. Then it charged straight at me! I will never forget those furious, shiny eyes hunting me down. After the 'standing still theory' failed, I slowly backed away and it lost interest in me and thankfully slithered off the track. I filmed it with my phone at this point, so I have 2 videos you may wish to see. If it is an Eastern Brown, then you have some reliable evidence of one living in an Alpine habitat. Interested?
Dave 5 April, 2015 11:13
Hi, I moved last July to an area affected by the February bushfires in the Macedon Ranges - 125 acres, 100 of which is bush, and spend a lot of time out wandering around getting pics. Throughout the entire season, I've only come across one snake (which looked like a tiger, was driving at the time), and a small bit of shed skin. My question is, how do snake populations generally react to fire affected areas? Do they usually take a while to come back? There's a huge amount of prey in the area, it seems like almost all the wildlife has bounced back except for the abundance of snakes I would expect around here. For a bit more info - 2 acres is mowed paddock and house, 23 acres is fairly long grass (fully cured now) on steep and very exposed terrain, sloping down to a dry creek bed which abuts 100 acres of steep rocky bushland. Bracken dominates the dry creekbed area. I've been trying to document the species present during my time here, and the absence of snakes is the only thing that's really baffled me. Thanks! Dave
Edward 14 May, 2015 11:13
So sad to see all these comments about killing these beautiful snakes. In my life I have encountered several brown snakes in my backyard, workplace and when I go out "herping". Not once have I ever tried to or even think about killing them. I was even upset when my 2 jack Russells killed 2 Browns in a week (one with eggs inside her) just outside of Dubbo NSW. More should be done to educate people who fear them not too. They don't hunt you down and in most cases when someone gets bit it is their fault. I currently back onto the Cumberland plains woodland in NSW where they are extremely common yet I have never had one in my yard. I see them regularly though when I bush walk. It's time people start respecting these beautiful reptiles.
Venuk 29 May, 2015 06:41
we live in suburban Perth and have been in our current house for almost 3 yrs. there is bushland adjacent to our house which is now being developed into a school s playing fields. We have seen 3 snakes in our garage/ backyard over the last 2 months and think it's no accident that this has happened since work has started next to our property. I have 2 kids under the age of 6 and I fear for my family. We have been told by the snake catcher who came along that it was a dugite. My question relates to the legal responsibility. Who is responsible if something happens?
Discovery Centre 29 May, 2015 09:23
Hi Venuk - we can't give advice on legalities or liability. However, we'd recommend that you minimise any hiding places or habitat in your yard (wood piles, long grass etc), and of course, make sure the kids understand not to approach any snakes they see!
oscar 28 August, 2015 14:44
what is the growth rate of a brown snake
Discovery Centre 5 September, 2015 12:46
Hi Oscar,

The growth rates of brown snakes would be variable depending on food supplies and environmental conditions, but the elapid snakes (such as the brown snakes) have relatively fast growth compared to other groups of snakes – usually they reach sexual maturity in two years approximately (for females), perhaps a little less for males.  The brown snakes usually reach 1.5 metres length at maturity with extremes a little more (up to 2 metres).  You may want to read a little more at this reference.

KUNDAI 31 August, 2015 12:09
I am doing a information report on brown snakes does anyone suggest any sites
Grace 27 October, 2015 22:21
Quite recently we had a brown snake in our yard, at first I thought that maybe it had moved on. A few days later after finally getting the courage to go back outside. I seen the snake just near the concrete bath at my back door, I watched it while I waited for some help, and it moved underneath the concrete as if it had a burrow or something there. The snake was eventually removed and it turned out there was a large hole underneath the concrete path. My main concern is could this of been a burrow where the female laid her eggs? I have noticed holes quite perfectly round a bit bigger than a 20c piece appear on the other side of the path where it is quite sandy. Could there be more snakes?
Discovery Centre 29 November, 2015 15:25

Hi Grace,

It is possible there are more snakes under the path. The eggs of Brown Snakes (Pseudonaja textilis) take 1-3 months to hatch, depending on temperature, so if eggs are present under the path they may emerge and disperse up to three months after you first saw them. When the three months is up, the best option is to fill the hole with concrete to prevent any further snakes using it.

Dani 9 November, 2015 12:43
hey there, im not from victoria but i used to breed all kinds of snakes, pythons, browns anything you name. Me and my family were wondering if the is an alfa male in snakes. we had 3 males in a cage and this one male ate the other snakes plus the food we would give him. do u have any idea why that is??
Discovery Centre 14 November, 2015 09:44

Hi Dani, our manager of Live Exhibits has said snakes don’t have a family or social structure so there is no such thing as an alpha male. Most species of snakes will not tolerate the presence of other individual snakes (other than during the breeding season) and the largest or strongest or most aggressive individual will kill and consume any other snakes.

KATHERINE 20 November, 2015 00:52
Warm regards to all, a very valuable site full of very interesting stories and information. I live on a rural property near Stawell, Victoria. Last night in the darkness I heard my very loved Jack Russell barking alerting me to a presences right at the back door. I thought his alert sounded unusual, so l investigated. As I looked in the shadow of the light, I thought I saw a doughnut on the ground. My dog was prodding at it. Snake phobic me realised it was a brown snake striking at my dog. After calling the dog in, then the cat that had come to investigate. The brown snake about 1.5 metre long proceeded to slither straight towards me as l was in behind the security screen. The phobic me started to scream and the snake slithered in the other direction in an S motion,(creepy). I quickly gained enough courage to open the door to discover it had retreated under our outside fridge. I am now concerned it is under the house. I replaced all the plinth boards year to try and seal the area better but there are still small gaps. If possible could you please advise. I keep my large yard very clean. Since reading your site I have removed all pet food and animal water sources at night. Should I not have them outside during the day? What sort of gap can snakes move through and how do they gain access into houses? I am petrified I will have young snakes come inside, as I have had young ones in the yard in previous years. Lastly what do snakes do when it rains in the warm weather? Thank you.
Discovery Centre 28 November, 2015 16:34
Hi Katherine, our manager of live exhibits has said as you may have gathered from previous reading, there are a number of ways to reduce the number of snakes around your property, most of these involving the removal of food sources and shelter. Snakes often move under houses and outbuildings where it’s warm and dry, so preventing access is an important means of keeping them out. Even large snakes can squeeze through small holes, and a good rule of thumb is to use your thumb – if it fits through a hole there’s a good chance a snake could fit through the hole as well. The easiest way to prevent access is to attach chicken wire or similar (about 10mm square) to the footings of all buildings. Even if a snake lives under a building it’s unlikely to come inside, as the noise and vibrations caused by people within the building act as an excellent deterrent. And finally, when it rains during warm weather snakes may seek shelter but in general are not bothered by the rain as much as the cold – many snakes are attracted to water and swim well, so rain doesn’t bother them.
josh 15 December, 2015 00:13
I just learned that its illegal to kill a snake in victoria (thanks google) But what if the snake catcher you contact in your areas response is, "its cheaper if you catch and release it yourself." And the snake is an immediate threat to people and pets? I'm not going to try to catch it, and its 11:30 at night. If i let it go it will more than likely stay in the area and continue to be a threat. Advise?
Discovery Centre 28 December, 2015 10:48
Hi Josh, our manager of Live Exhibits has said snakes are native animals and therefore it is illegal to kill a snake, even on your own property. Most bites occur when people approach a snake, particularly in order to kill it, rather than going the other way. There are a great range of snake controllers available in most areas – if you don’t know any, contact the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on 136 186 for a list of snake controllers in your area.
Gary 4 January, 2016 04:01
Hi, I was hoping someone could provide some information. I am moving to Melbourne from the UK in March and I am absolutely petrified of snakes. I plan on living in the city, what are the chances of me seeing a snake? I've read reviews and some are contradicting to others, some have said you won't see any and others say they've seen snakes on st Kilda beach. If I stay in the city or inner suburbs am I likely to see any snakes ?
Discovery Centre 4 January, 2016 11:47
Hi Gary - welcome to our fair city! There are certainly media and anecdotal reports of snakes being found close to the city, usually in large green areas or along waterways. However, most bites occur when people attempt to handle or kill snakes. They don't wish to bite you, and if you take some basic precautions (sensible footwear when in grassy areas, reducing clutter around the outside of one's home, keeping an eye out when walking), you are very unlikely to see one and even more unlikely to be bitten.
lawrence 18 January, 2016 11:57
We have a good population of brown and tieger snakes five kilometres from the CBD at Yarra Bend Park. They are very well behaved but people need to stay on the paths provided. I am encouraging Parks Vic and Delwp to install `Snakes in Area - Stay on the Paths`signage. Snakes are a vital part of a healthy environment and treated with respect are less dangerous than motor vehicles. Thanks to Museum for excellent website.
beast 1 February, 2016 07:07
I saw a baby snakein my kitchen it looks like brown or black may the muther be nearby or what plsz respond thanks:-(
Discovery Centre 1 February, 2016 13:27
Hi! Juvenile snakes are independent from birth, so the mother isn't necessarily nearby. However, juvenile snakes are just as dangerous as adults, and should not be approached, threatened or considered less of a hazard. If you have a snake in your home, call your local council for details of recommended snake catchers.
Rachella 1 May, 2016 21:21
Hey there Do eastern brown snakes like warm or cold climates? Just wondering for a project
Ben 10 May, 2016 22:12
Hey. I live in new south wales just out side of Bathurst on a farm. I saw a brown snake moving around my back yard. just wondering is there any non fatle or harmful snake replant?
Discovery Centre 13 May, 2016 11:07
Hi Ben, 

The best way to avoid snake encounters is to make your property as unattractive as possible to snakes – they prefer areas with plenty of places to hide and plenty of food available. So to keep snakes away, remove any rubbish from the yard (including wood piles, sheets of iron, etc), clear away low-growing vegetation, keep a wide barrier of well-mown grass around the house, and keep water sources to a minimum. Snakes like to live under houses and outhouses, and will enter a hole about the size of a ten cent piece, so make sure all such holes are covered with fine chicken wire or similar. Rodents are usually the preferred prey of snakes so these should be controlled wherever possible, particularly around chicken coops and compost bins.

Amy 9 August, 2016 17:34
Hi I just got a cute little beaglier puppy I know that it would have to be a very blue moon to find a snake now but I'm worried about my little (approx 75 cm) dog being bitten by any snake how can I protect her I would never kill any wildlife but I know that it's nearly impossible for dogs and venomous snakes to live together in harmony. Is there any way to protect her and whatever slithering things may visit my backyard? Thanks, Amy
Sandra 10 August, 2016 18:39
but how does it protect itself from enemies
Paityn 24 October, 2016 12:20
This is for school😂
Vicki 31 December, 2016 20:20
hello we found a brown snake on our door mat and it looks dead and it is stiff when we pocked it with a stick but we dont know what to do? what is the best thing to do
Juianne Vincent 17 March, 2017 10:35
Yesterday we watched a baby brown snake slide into shallow water - and stay there to hide from us. He didn't come out. We waited at least 5 minutes..... how long can they stay underwater?
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