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Helpful Tips

Snakes
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  • Remove any built up piles of rubbish, wood or building materials from around the house area.
  • Keep grass short and all edges, fence lines and pathways trimmed.
  • Keep chook pens and aviaries free from seed and droppings (mice and rats love this and snakes eat mice and rats) and ensure they are well sealed at ground level to help prevent snakes entering.
  • Don’t let garden beds and shrubs get overgrown.
  • If you have a wood pile near the house, try to stack wood off the ground.
  • If you use netting to cover strawberries or fruit trees, make sure the netting is stretched over a frame and any excess does not hang in bundles on the ground. Snakes are regularly caught in this loose netting and can be severely injured by it. This also means that a snake that would normally have passed through your yard and kept going, will be trapped in your yard. If you have a snake caught in netting call Wildcare on 02 62991966 and we will remove it for you.
  • If you see a snake, lock up all your pets as far away as possible from the snake, preferably inside your house. Never attempt to CATCH or KILL the snake as this is the easiest way to be bitten.
  • Contact Wildcare on 02 6299-1966 as soon as you can and observe the snake from a safe distance. We can normally send a snake handler relatively quickly. If you live in the ACT contact RSPCA Wildlife or the ACT Parks Ranger on 132281.

Microbats
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  • Leave both live and dead trees standing because different kinds of microbats roost under bark and in the hollows of live trees and in the hollows of dead trees.
  • Be alert to bats roosting in the firewood brought in for winter and also bats over-wintering in rolled up mats, umbrellas, and in oilskin coats.
  • Never spray insect spray around microbats and avoid using sticky paper to catch insects. Bats get stuck to these.
  • If you have microbats in your roof space, thatís not a problem. They will help control insects. They do not nibble wood, wires or insulation and their tiny droppings dry quickly with little or no odour. If you still would like to get them out of the ceiling or walls, call Wildcare for advice.
  • If a microbat flies into the house, open windows and doors at night. Stop them getting back in by blocking gaps with cloth or paper or by sealing with expanding foam. If the microbat is on the curtains or the floor and you did not see it come in, call Wildcare, because it may be injured or dehydrated.
  • If you see a microbat in trouble call Wildcare and we will send a rescuer vaccinated to handle bats. A tiny percentage of microbats carry the rabies-like lyssavirus.

Flying Foxes
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  • Use wildlife friendly white netting on fruit trees and think about removing barbed wire from fences. Birds, bats and gliders all get caught on barbed wire. If a flying fox does get caught in or under the netting, or on wire, call Wildcare immediately. Try to check your netting in the morning because, if a flying fox is caught, it will be overnight.
  • It is safe to have flying foxes around as they are usually out of reach and their droppings do not carry any of the serious viruses.
  • If you see a flying fox in trouble call Wildcare and we will send a rescuer vaccinated to handle bats. A tiny percentage of flying foxes carry the rabies-like lyssavirus. There has been no known transmission of the Hendra virus directly from bat to human.

Possums
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  • Leave some trees in the area.
  • Put up a possum box in a tree if you have possums around.
  • If there is a possum living in your roof, block all entries to the roof once the possum has left the roof cavity at night.
  • Don’t put rat baits in the roof. Possums like the taste and this can cause severe internal bleeding and a slow, painful death.

Kangaroos
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  • Ensure dogs stay in the yard or are on a leash when out walking.
  • Never let a dog chase or corner a kangaroo.
  • Do not feed kangaroos that come around your house at night.
  • Be cautious when driving near paddocks or bushland during dusk, night time and dawn, this is when kangaroos are most active. If you do hit a kangaroo, please stop and check the animal. Call Wildcare if you are unsure what to do.
  • Try not to use strands of barbed wire on fences. This can cause horrific leg injuries to kangaroos.
  • Never approach a kangaroo, they can give a nasty kick when they feel threatened or cornered.
  • If you accidentally end up close to a large kangaroo don't stare it in the eye or make shooing gestures. The kangaroo will see this as a challenge or threat and may try to defend itself. Look downwards, keeping an eye on the kangaroo and back away from the kangaroo to a safe position.

Magpies
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  • Magpies are only a real problem around nesting time from August through to November.
  • Never feed them.
  • Never throw anything at them.
  • Keep a small broken branch near the door, with leaves still on it, if you have to walk near an area where they are nesting. Wave the branch around and it will deter them from swooping.

Remember that Australian native wildlife is protected and to intentionally kill, injure or keep native wildlife as pets is illegal.

An orphaned Grey-headed flying fox pup
Photo by Denise Morgan

A more contented microbat in care
Photo by Denise Morgan

 
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