South-west residents have been warned to be on the lookout for snakes.
Port Fairy Pest Control owner Neville Suter said spring had brought with it warmer days and the emergence of snakes.
"I've had about 10 calls in the past two weeks," Mr Suter said.
He said he had helped relocate copperheads, tiger snakes and eastern browns.
Mr Suter reminded people to keep their distance if they spotted a snake.
"They're scared of you," Mr Suter said.
"Don't attempt to kill it - call a licensed snake catch and watch it until they get there."
Mr Suter, who has been a snake catcher for about 10 years, said people could face fines of up to $20,000 if they killed a snake.
When Mr Suter removes a snake from a property, he releases it in a safe area at least five kilometres away.
Mr Suter said he had never been bitten and had overcome a fear of snakes.
He encouraged people to clear their yards of rubbish as the weather heated up to avoid a visit from a snake.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning warns that under the Wildlife Act 1975, it's illegal to capture, harm or kill snakes and those caught doing so will be investigated.
DELWP'S Nathan Stamkos said it was rare for snakes to bite people.
"Most snake bites are received by people who try to capture or kill a snake," Mr Stamkos said.
He also warns of controlling pet encounters with the reptiles, adding, "if your dog or cat encounters a snake, the best course of action is to remove your pet from the area or tie it up while the snake passes".
Tips from DELWP
- If you see a snake, keep calm and move yourself and anyone with you (including pets) away from the area
- Don't attempt to capture or harm snakes
- Maintain lawns and clean up around your house, as snakes are attracted to shelter such as piles of rocks and timber.
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