Snakes season is upon us.
Longer days and warmer weather has seen an increase in snake movements in the Southern Highlands.
Reptile handler and snake catcher Ray McGibbon said that the weather was perfect for snakes to mate and snakes will be active and on the move.
The two most common snakes in the Highlands are the Copperhead snake and the Red Belly Black snake, with tiger snakes also in the area," he said.
"Snakes in the Highlands and in cooler climates give birth to live young. They don't have eggs.
"You can't tell if snakes have mated on your property.
"Copperheads also mate in autumn as weather conditions are similar.
"If they have mated in autumn they won't mate in spring but will use self-fertilisation instead."
Mating season isn't the only reason why snakes are on the move. One of the other reasons is the lack of water supply in reserves due to the drought and lack of rain.
"The drought is bringing out snakes to [residential areas]," he said.
"They are coming out looking for water sources."
If you do see a snake on your property, Ray says that the best thing to do is keep an eye on it and call a snake catcher.
"Keep an eye on [the snake] and don't go near it. Keep a safe distance and make sure your children and pets stay away from the snake.
"Call a licensed snake catcher and know exactly where the snake is when they come to relocate the reptile." Relocation for a reptile is 20 km from where it was found.
"For people bush-walking, stand still and do not move if you see a snake.
"Slowly walk away and don't make sudden movements."
If bitten by a snake, Ray recommends calling 000 as soon as possible and then apply first aid.
"It's always handy to know what to do if bitten," he said.
"[Firstly] stay calm and take any jewellery off if bitten on arms or shoes if bitten on the leg as there will be swelling.
"Wrap the bite with a bandage and then wrap above the bite and below the bite tightly.
"Apply a splint and do not move until an ambulance arrives.
"If bitten while bush-walking, apply as much pressure as possible and don't worry about it being too tight. Restrict your movements and call for help."
Snakes and reptiles aren't the only that Ray is catching.
Ray also helps capture Funnel Web Spiders for research and venom milking programs, so if you see any Funnel Web spiders crawling about, Ray is happy to come and collect.
"The research program is about understand venom and the three different species and sub species and if they co-exist in the same environment or mate," said Ray.
"Over time I've created a colour-coded map for different areas where the spiders are found."
Ray also highlighted the importance of calling wildlife groups such as Sydney Wildlife Rescue and WIRES if injured reptiles or animals are spotted.
"Don't call personal numbers because animals won't be attended if calls are missed," he said.
"Call the hotline number and they will send someone nearby and keep track of the job."
For snake or funnel web removal call Ray McGibbon on 0400734225.
For injured wildlife call Sydney Wildlife Rescue on 02 9413 4300 or Wires on 1800 094 737.