DID you know that one in five homes in places such as Ipswich has a python in the ceiling?

That's what snake catcher Andrew Smedley from Rosewood reckons and he should know.

Last week he caught one that had gone unnoticed in a suburban home - unnoticed, that is, until it ate the neighbour's cat.

Andrew estimated the python was 2.2-2.3m long, although it was hard to measure him because he wouldn't stay still long enough.

A life-long snake-lover, he now makes a living catching snakes and similar wildlife that other people find it hard to live with.

"They thrive around suburbia," Andrew said. "I'd like to encourage people to leave them there because they're real good for vermin control. They'll clean out your rats, your possums - you name it."

"They're pretty safe to have in your roof. A lot of them go unnoticed. That one in Collingwood Park would have lived there for 10-15 years," he said.

Snake catcher Andrew Smedley with a snake that was caught at Collingwood Park. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times
Snake catcher Andrew Smedley with a snake that was caught at Collingwood Park. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times Inga Williams

"They were going to kill it because it ate the neighbour's cat.

"I went out and I found it curled up in the backyard. I'm going to let him go at White Rock."

The removal of habitat for development has increased the number of snakes surfacing in urban areas, Andrew says.

"I'm finding I'm getting call-outs heaps," he said. "I call myself a wildlife wrangler because I get more than snakes, whether it's goannas or any kind of animal that's a pest in someone's house.

"I do Rosewood, Marburg, Ipswich - all those areas. Anyone who's got a snake, I'll come get it.

"It's more green tree snakes I get called out to but I do get the odd venomous one like red-bellied blacks and eastern browns."

Snakes have been Andrew's passion since he was a kid and he passionately believes they're misunderstood .

"They won't come at you on purpose; that's a complete myth. They do not attack," he said.

Snake catcher Andrew Smedley with a snake that was caught at Collingwood Park. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times
Snake catcher Andrew Smedley with a snake that was caught at Collingwood Park. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times Inga Williams

"If you see a snake, don't try and kill it, don't try and catch it. That's how people get bitten. Just keep an eye on it and ring a snake catcher.

"The best thing people can do is keep their grass short, nothing left lying around. Nothing will guarantee they won't come around but you can cut down the chances.

"The other thing is snake deterrents don't work. If anything they attract snakes.

"There's a lot of education needed. It starts with parents not teaching their kids snake are the most evil creature on the planet.

"That gets passed on from generation to generation and you get generations of snake haters.

"They do a lot for the ecosystem and we need them."

Andrew has a Facebook page called Andrew's Snake Removal and his number is 0421 237 553.

Snake catcher Andrew Smedley with a snake that was caught at Collingwood Park. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times
Snake catcher Andrew Smedley with a snake that was caught at Collingwood Park. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times Inga Williams

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