Smallholdings where members of the public visit or which have many staff, such as lodges, warehouses, schools or restaurants, could benefit by buying a snake trap.

There are different types available.

There is a glue trap, which has a thick adhesive glue base, in a dark box-like structure to trap animals. You might trap snakes in them, but you can also trap rodents, frogs, lizards, geckos and birds indiscriminately. You would need a highly trained snake remover to remove venomous snakes from the glue traps, as they need to know how to handle snakes.

These kinds of traps are regarded as inhumane.

A more humane electronic snake trap is now available from the African Snakebite Institute, which safely traps a snake and holds it until it can be retrieved by a qualified snake handler on site.

The ASIT1.0 Electronic Snake Trap has a computerised circuit board with various sensors and mechanical parts. It is baited on the inside with a chicken egg or frozen mouse, and the idea is that the snake will smell the bait and enter the tube. The entrance to the trap has a mechanised trap door which is battery powered. As the snake enters the trap, its presence is detected by the sensors, and once in the trap, the door closes behind it.

If the trap door touches any part of the snake’s tail or body, it will immediately reopen and close again, ensuring that the snake is not harmed.

The trap is priced at R8 000 ~ R10 000.

For more information: African Snakebite Institute.

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