An attic full of snake skins has been discovered in a family home in Australia, a chilling video shows.
The family were removing the insulation from their roof at their home in Hunchy, Queensland, when they discovered some skins, indicating that snakes had been hiding there for a long time.
They called Stuart McKenzie of Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 to help remove the insulation and catch the remaining snakes hiding in the roof.
McKenzie ended up finding 30-50 snakeskins in total. Snakes typically shed their skin between four and 12 times a year.
In footage taken by the snake catcher, McKenzie can be seen investigating on the roof, with a headlamp.
As he looks around the roof, he says there is a lot of “snake activity” around. It shows several piles of snake droppings and urine.
“That’s a big deal,” he said, finding a python-skin rug tucked in a corner of the attic.
McKenzie then continues to dig through the roof insulation and eventually comes across a live brown snake that was hiding under the padding.
The snake catcher gently pulls the intruder out of hiding and puts him in a bag. Brown tree snakes are native to Australia and mildly venomous. They have a reputation for being aggressive, but their bites are not dangerous and usually only cause a mild sting.
In the video, McKenzie releases the snake into its natural habitat. He says the snake is probably confused about being released in the middle of the day, as it is a nocturnal species.
“It was good to get one out,” he says.
The snake catcher then returns to the attic to make sure there are no more snakes lurking under the roof.
Later, McKenzie shows the camera a “pretty big loot” of the 30 to 50 snakeskins taken from the attic.
He says the skins come from “three main snakes” commonly found in attics: common tree snakes, brown tree snakes and carpet pythons.
“We did a very thorough research,” he says. “A lot of them are old, there are a few new ones, but with the roofs there can be little gaps and holes in the walls that they can get into. Pretty happy with that, customers were happy, at least they know there’s nothing dangerous up there.”
Snake season in Australia is coming to an end. Snakes are generally most active in the country during the hottest summer months, from October to April.
In a Facebook post describing the find, McKenzie said it was common to find snakes hiding in the attic. He said the roof space is a “perfect place” for certain species of snakes to hide and seek prey.
“It provides shelter as well as food in the form of rats, mice and geckos,” he said.
People can even let the snakes live in the roof to act as “free rodent control,” McKenzie said. However, he said, if the snakes start to make a lot of noise or if residents don’t feel comfortable with them, snake catchers can come to the property to perform a “full inspection of the roof”.