Would you know what to do if a snake appeared in your house?
The dedicated volunteers at Cessnock District Rescue Squad have the answer to this question, and will be sharing their knowledge at a free snake safety talk at Cessnock Library this Thursday evening.
Rescue squad spokesperson James Harris said the talk will discuss what to do if you happen to encounter a snake, how reduce the risk of snakes entering your property, and basic first aid treatment for snake bites.
The rescue squad attends 200-300 snake-related callouts per summer, and Mr Harris said this summer has been "on par" with previous years.
He said red-bellied black snakes, eastern browns, yellow-faced whip snakes and green tree snakes accounted for about 95 percent of callouts.
"We have had a couple of diamond pythons this year as well, which although they are a common snake we do not get calls to relocate many," he said.
There have been some interesting incidents - including the snake that was found in a toilet bowl in a Pokolbin outhouse earlier this month.
- Read more: Snake found in toilet bowl at Pokolbin vineyard outhouse
- Read more: Snake spent two days in house
- Read more: Snake relocation rates increase
Snakes have twice been retrieved from underneath microwave ovens this summer; one was found sheltering under an old bath tub used as a water trough for horses, and another was hiding behind a row of cupboards inside a garage.
For those who can't make it to the talk on Thursday, Mr Harris said the rescue squad's key piece of advice is to maintain visual contact with a snake once sighted, and call the squad for assistance.
"We need to reiterate that people are not to try and catch the reptiles themselves; have someone contact us to relocate the snake, and try and keep constant visual contact with the snake if possible until we arrive," he said.
Library services coordinator Rose-marie Walters said the all-ages snake safety talk will provide families with important knowledge about the snakes of the local area, and what to do if you encounter one.
"Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn about the great work of the Cessnock District Rescue Squad - in particular, their snake relocation service," Ms Walters said.
"It's booking out really quickly, so we're encouraging people to book their spot in to avoid missing out."
The talk will run from 5.30pm to 6.30pm and is a free event. Bookings are essential and can be done via eventbrite.com.au or by calling the library on 4993 4399.
In the event of a snake sighting, Cessnock LGA residents can contact the rescue squad on 4991 2444.