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Solar Snake Deterrent
It’s Australia. There are snakes. Learn how they behave.
Australia has 21 of the world's 25 most venomous snakes. Most snakes are in rural areas and in some outer suburbs. Sensible snake management around you is largely common sense as is taking timely preventative action.
Snakes naturally move away from threats for self preservation. Unlike lizards, snakes do not have ears but respond to the smallest vibrations traveling through soil that they are in contact with. This can include detecting threatening vibrations from cattle and horses moving around or moving vehicles and heavy machinery which they tend to get away from to avoid harm to themselves, provided they have an escape route.
It is illegal to harm or kill Australian native animals, including snakes, with significant fines and sometimes jail time for doing so. It is not illegal to deter them. You may have heard when walking through long grass to thump a long heavy stick in front of you. This is to make strong vibrations through the soil to scare off snakes you may not even see. Same principle for Solar Snake Deterrents.
Generally, snakes are most likely to attack if cornered, threatened, stood on or interfered with. Some dogs and cats instinctively hunt and kill snakes. If you see your animal attacking a snake, do not call it while this close-quarters battle is occurring. When the dog/cat turns its head to respond to your call, the snake will seize the opportunity to strike the neck. You may not see the puncture wounds but get the dog or cat to the vet immediately. Time is critical as major organs start shutting down. Same for humans and doctors obviously.
Do not put yourself between a moving snake and where it wants to go.
Place multiple Solar Snake Deterrents at around 25 meters spacings for vibration overlap to help form a protective ring around dog kennels, horse stables, cattle yards, gardens, playgrounds, vegie beds, houses and sheds etc. Solar Snake Deterrents do not affect animals other than snakes. Some people put one deterrent near the front door and one near the back door, as long as they have sun reaching the solar panels. Even dappled daylight will charge the batteries.
Solar Snake Deterrents may be more important for buildings up on short or long stilts where a snake refuge can be under the house or shearing shed. Clear rodents (snake bait) out from under the building and inside wall cavities and ceilings with our Raticator, all year round. Some old houses may have gaps where snakes can enter the building.
The Solar Snake Repeller radiates vibrations through the soil in all directions and under fences, except through thick concrete slabs. They work immediately so set them up, turn them on and get out of the area because if snake/s are within range, they may move quickly away from the sudden soil vibrations. It is recommended to have at least one pair of Solar Snake Deterrents overlapping about 25 meters apart for good coverage.
For food, snakes pick up the vibrations of a rat or mouse walking around to hunt and eat. It tests the scent on the air with its flicking tongue. Chook yards attract rats and mice which makes them a likely hunting ground for snakes. Same for stacks of hay bales. Chooks behave differently when there is a snake nearby. They all tend to look in the one direction, towards the threat. Animal water bowls and other water containers attract snakes. Uneaten dog and cat food left laying around with its smell of meat can attract snakes. Snakes can be sunbaking to warm up their body temperature early in the day or at any time on colder days. That is just Nature at work.
Snakes can travel fast. They take cover in long grass, under objects laying on the ground, are found near swimming pools, in wood piles, rockeries, poly tunnels, hot-houses, by creeks and dams, in retaining walls and in agapanthus plants which are favourites to hide in. People reach in to densely-growing vegetable gardens with bare hands while wearing thongs in snake areas. A customer of ours said he used to ride shotgun when his wife went picking vegies from their garden before they bought the snake deterrents.
Use a long-handled rake or shovel to look under something outside before picking it up in snake season. Expect a sudden adrenalin rush if you see a snake and use the adrenalin energy to get far away pronto. Instinct can cut in instantly and you find yourself running with your feet hardly touching the ground. Trust your instincts, that is what they are for. Some snakes can be just as frightened of you and also want to get away. There are always unpredictable variables with wild animals and not all snakes behave in the same manner. Another customer said she had a true snake phobia which is above and beyond instinct and general fear of snakes. On sight of a snake she has instant projectile vomiting.
Just about every year, a news item says someone sat on the toilet seat and a snake came up through the water in the toilet bowl, often in the tropics with louvre windows and doors open to catch a breeze. Many snakes are adept at climbing trees, stairs and other rigid objects including into vehicles with doors left open. Some also swim well.
Small young snakes do not have the venom control that adult snakes have developed and they can inject a full load of venom. Snakes are mostly nocturnal but can also be seen moving around in daylight or sunbaking. In hot Summer sun, they travel looking for shade under vehicles and in sheds and they travel for water including around dams and creeks where livestock drink and camp.
Some types of snakes such as Tiger snakes are much more aggressive than other species and can chase and repeatedly bite. Snakes can coil and lunge a considerable distance. Red Bellied Black Snakes can be not so aggressive to people unless cornered and drive other snakes out of their territory. They are still venomous. Wearing good leather boots and sturdy leggings outside can be helpful.
The metal spike of the Solar Snake Deterrent is buried in the soil. It’s motor at the bottom of the spike automatically sends varying vibrations through the soil up to a circumference of around 30 meters diameter to deter snakes from entering the vibration zone. Sandy soil has more air gaps and the vibrations do not travel as far as densely-packed heavy clay soils. Avoid placing the deterrent in waterways which fill up in rainfall.
The Solar Snake Deterrent is solar powered and is best positioned with daylight falling onto the top of the solar panel to keep its rechargeable batteries topped up for ongoing day and night use.
Ideally, place Solar Snake Deterrents outside before snake season begins which is the first warm day of Spring in the southern states. Other warmer areas further north can have snakes all year round. Find out what others know about snakes in your area. Snakes coming out of Winter hibernation are hungry and aggressive. They are also more aggressive in breeding times.
Dig up and bring snake deterrents in after snake season is over so they last longer. If placed in grass, put in a taller identifying stake next to the snake deterrent so that the snake deterrents are not hidden by long grass and accidentally run over by the lawn mower.
Instructions for use
Without charged-up batteries, the unit is useless. Before use, the new batteries inside the Solar Snake Deterrent need to be fully charged after sitting discharged in the shipping carton. DO NOT join the black wire that connects the top to the metal spike at this stage. With the switch underneath the solar panel slid over to the OFF position, face the solar panel upwards outdoors in direct sunlight for at least two days, or four days for overcast skies, to fully charge the batteries which are included inside the deterrent. Then connect the solar top to the bottom metal spike with the black wire, fit the head onto the spike, and install it in the ground. Turn the switch on, feel for the vibrations and listen for the sound. The sound is for your benefit so you know it is working.
Choose the best locations on your property for the snake deterrents.
Cut and remove all the clear hard plastic around the metal spike if it is present.
Do not hammer the aluminium spike into the soil. It will break.
Hammer a hole in the ground with a metal star picket or other solid object, about the diameter of the metal spike. You may want to wet the ground first to soften it. To avoid air gaps, do not dig a hole with a shovel and backfill it around the deterrent. You want maximum contact of the metal spike with the undisturbed soil. The hole needs to be deep enough for 80% - 90% of the length of the spike to be under ground. Push in the pointy end of the spike by hand into the hole and keep around 5 cm of the top of the spike above ground. Avoid placing it in a dip in the soil so that water never enters the top of the spike and the solar head is never covered by water. Backfill around the spike if there are gaps and firm the soil down with your foot. The unit is weatherproof, not waterproof if submerged under water.
When placing more than one deterrent, stagger the ON switch timing of the second unit to around 20 to 30 seconds after the beep of the first unit so you can hear each unit is working.
When first turned on, the deterrent will go through its three phase multi-pulse cycle, first a single beep followed by a triple beep and then five beeps. When this activation test is completed, within 60 seconds you will hear a single beep repeating during the first two days of the three different vibration pulses at around 50 second intervals. On days three and four you will hear three beeps. On days five and six you will hear five beeps. On day seven, the beep cycle will start over again with a single beep. The beeps are for you to hear. They mean the deterrent is working. To be a snake deterrent, it is better to have variable vibrations than the same vibration forever.
Cover the deterrents to protect them from hail and frost as both will damage the deterrent. Rain will not damage them unless the deterrent is submerged.
New batteries may last up to 18 months. It is best practice to replace batteries every 12 months. Detach the head from the spike. Turn the switch off. Unscrew the battery panel under the head of the solar panel. Replace only with the exact same type of batteries – AA size, 1.2 volt NI-MH 800mAH rechargeables. Screw the cover back on, reconnect the head with the spike and turn it on. Test that the unit is working correctly and put it back to work. Hardware stores usually carry this type of battery which unlike ordinary batteries, are built for the solar panel to recharge them.
The 12 month warranty covers the deterrents against faulty material and workmanship.