ASI Newsletter - September 2018 

Snakes in the home

It’s a beautiful spring day as you step into your lounge. As you walk through the room to your favourite couch, you notice something unfamiliar under the coffee table. The elongated shape seems to be moving as you approach it and your brain finally catches up… a snake!.


As the weather warms up over the next few weeks, snakes will start becoming more active and human / snake encounters are likely to be more frequent. The warmer temperatures will encourage snakes to start feeding more regularly and many species will start looking for mates. The first rains of the season will bring the frogs out and many snakes will start moving around looking for an easy meal. Inevitably, snakes will end up in houses and gardens and most people are uncomfortable with snakes around the house.

Snakes are attracted to dark and neglected areas and will be encouraged to take refuge beneath sheets of corrugated iron, building rubble, firewood, grass heaps, rock piles and rubbish tips. Most snakes feed on lizards, rodents, frogs and toads and will be attracted to gardens that harbour these creatures. Fowl runs, birdcages and rabbit pens also attract snakes. Dripping taps and fish ponds will attract frogs, which in turn may attract snakes.

Dense vegetation against walls and buildings may also attract snakes, especially arboreal (tree – living) species. Plants growing near or against windows increase the likelihood of snakes ending up in a home.

The best preventative measure to keep snakes out of your property is to keep your garden clean and reduce the hiding places for snakes. Mosquito mesh screens on doors and windows will prevent snakes from entering the home. Placing a strip of foam or rubber under your doors to reduce the size of the gap will prevent snakes and other unwanted creepy crawlies from gaining access to your house.

If you do happen to see a snake in your garden or home and you are uncomfortable with it, get someone to watch it from a safe distance of 5 meters or more, and contact a competent snake remover. Keep children and pets well out of the way. If the snake is in the house and you are comfortable with the idea, you can throw a towel over the snake and await the arrival of a snake remover – the snake normally stays curled up under the towel until uncovered. Otherwise place a bucket over it with a heavy object on top of the bucket and call a snake remover. Always keep an eye on the snake, as this will help the remover easily locate it and make the removal process easier.

If you are comfortable with snakes, you can use a broom and just sweep the snake outside or into a box or bucket and remove it yourself. You can release the snake in the closest open veld away from other people. The African Snakebite Institute hosts a number of snake awareness, first aid for snakebite and venomous snake handling courses across the country and if you are on a farm or lodge and encounter snakes frequently, it may be a good idea to get yourself or a staff member trained to handle and remove snakes in a safe manner. You may also want to get yourself a decent pair of snake tongs.

The African Snakebite Institute has recently released a free app for android and Apple smart phones called ASI Snakes. This app has several useful features such as snake profiles, posters, articles, a list of hospitals listing those that are closest to you, ASI products, upcoming courses, and first aid for snakebite. Many of the profiles and posters are in PDF format and you can share them to your contacts. One of the main features is a list of over 450 snake removers around the country. If your GPS is activated on your phone, the app will give you a list of removers in your area, how far away they are from you and their phone number. You can also search a town or city and see how many removers are in that area and share this info directly to your contacts.

Keep an eye out for snakes as the season starts picking up. Download the ASI Snakes app so you can contact a snake remover quickly and easily and get the snake safely relocated.



Book your spot on one of our highly informative snake courses

Snake Awareness, First Aid for Snakebite and Venomous Snake Handling Course

Venue: Cradle Moon Lakeside Lodge, Muldersdrift

Date: Saturday 29 September 2018.


Book online here: 


Advanced Snake Handling Course

Venue: Cradle Moon Lakeside Lodge, Muldersdrift

Date: Sunday 30 September 2018.


More info here: 

Mid-Week Course! 

Snake Awareness, First Aid for Snakebite and Venomous Snake Handling Course

Venue: Cradle Moon Lakeside Lodge, Muldersdrift

Date: Saturday 03 October 2018.


Book online here: 



Combo B. 

A great introductory package, includes:

Eco 1 m Snake Tong
Standard 1 m Snake Hook
500 Snake Tube
First Aid for Snakebite Booklet
Safety Glasses for Spitting Snakes

Price R1045.00 (excluding shipping)


Teach them while they're young!

Johan's latest book - Kids' Snakes of Southern Africa, is a must have for any nature enthusiast.

R130.00 each (including local mail)


The latest Deadly Dozen Tee. The Cape Cobra.

Now available in Chili Red

R180.00 each (excluding Shipping)


Our BEST-selling 21 LED Scorpion torch is back!

The ASI 21 LED Scorpion Torch emits Ultra-Violet fluorescent light which exposes UV reflective markings in a scorpion’s exoskeleton. Heavy aluminium casing. UV Wavelength 395nm (ideal for scorpion detection).

R195.00 each (excluding Shipping)


















Johan Marais is the author of various books on reptiles including the best-seller A Complete Guide to Snakes of Southern Africa. He is a popular public speaker and offers a variety of courses including Snake AwarenessScorpion Awareness and Venomous Snake Handling. Johan is accredited by the International Society of Zoological Sciences (ISZS) and is a Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) and Travel Doctor-approved service provider. His courses are also accredited by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). Johan is a qualified instructor for the Emergency Care & Safety Institute, in Oxygen Administration and Wilderness First Aid.












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