MANY kids are scared of monsters under the bed, but Autumn Maynard, 4, of Modanville was pleased as punch to discover her monster - a 3m python that settled in her bedroom on Sunday.
When a snake handler came to remove the giant coastal carpet python, Autumn ran to open her door with glee. Later she had a nap in the bed the python had been hiding under, completely unfussed about the snake's shenanigans.
Not so enthusiastic was her mother, Teresa Maynard, who discovered the snake as she was putting away laundry on Sunday morning.
"I did pretty well not to scream, but I was in shock, I was breathless," Mrs Maynard said. "I don't have a problem with snakes - I just don't want them curled up in the room of my baby."
It is the third time the giant python has been sighted by the family, the first was seven years ago, and it's not the first time it's tried to get inside the family's home, Mrs Maynard said.
After having been removed to nearby bushland by a WIRES volunteer on Sunday morning, the snake returned that day (pictured) and was circling the house looking for a quiet place to take a nap.
"It came back and was hiding under the children's upside down clam-shaped wading pool in the afternoon.
"We've educated the children about snakes and warned them to stay away. I'm good with them - as long as they stay outside."
The air-conditioning has been removed and the hole boarded up, but the Maynards have the ongoing issue of their new pet looking for a warm place to hibernate.
"I've joked to my husband that he should build it a shed in the backyard."
It might not be such a wild idea - snakes will be on the move at the moment searching for warm places to sleep according to snake handler Lib Ruytenberg of WIRES.
"Because of the cold snap we're experiencing, snakes will follow mice and rats that have headed indoors for warmth.
Tips for snake-proofing your home
- Install screens on doors and windows and ensure all insect screens are closed and in working order
- Keep doors closed
- Keep your yard tidy and avoid plantings near the house
- Dispose of food scraps properly to discourage rats and mice
- Block off access points to the home such as holes in walls and to the roof and ceiling.
Vermin:Snakes eat them
THIS is the time of year snakes will head indoors said Lib Ruytenberg, snake handler of WIRES.
"April and May are our busiest months for snake activity as snakes are on the move following vermin and fattening up for winter," she said.
"Because of the cold snap we're experiencing, snakes will follow mice and rats that have headed indoors for warmth. You will often find them heading into roof cavities.
"Pythons will go after the mice to fatten up before going into their brumation period, where their metabolism slows down, but they don't fully hibernate.
"Our advice to homeowners is to be aware that you might see pythons during winter, but do not be too concerned. They are not venomous and they do a good job of cleaning up vermin."