SUMMER has well and truly arrived in the Clarence Valley with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting warm to hot temperatures will continue for the region during the next seven days.
While many will be in search of a place to cool off, Clarence Valley WIRES volunteers warns everyone to be on the lookout for snakes and reptiles - and give them a wide berth.
"If you encounter a snake, leave it alone," said reptile handler Stuart Dart.
"Over 90% of snake bites occur when people try to catch or kill the snake. A cornered or injured reptile is no different to any other wild animal in the same situation, they will defend themselves."
Mr Dart said as the population expanded and housing continued to spread, encounters with reptiles were likely to increase.
But he said by taking a few preventative measures, the risk of a nasty encounter could be minimised.
Mr Dart recommends keeping grass short and yards free of rubbish, as well as placing weather strips along the bottom of all external doors to keep out inquisitive reptile visitors.
"If by chance you do find a snake on your property that requires removal, by following some simple rules, a potentially stressful situation can be quickly alleviated.
"The best thing to do is phone the WIRES hotline. You'll be asked for information such as where is the snake (in a shed, the house or the garden), what colour is it, your address and phone number.
"It is very important to keep the snake in sight so the handler can capture it quickly."
Clarence Valley WIRES has many trained reptile handlers covering an area from Coutts Crossing to Copmanhurst, Grafton through to Maclean, Yamba, Iluka and all surrounding areas and volunteers are available 24/7 on 6643 4055.
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