SummaryRead the full fact sheet
- When returning to a flood-affected area remember that wild animals, including rodents, snakes or spiders, may be trapped in your home, shed or garden.
- If you have been bitten by a snake get immediate medical attention by calling triple zero (000).
- If you have been bitten or injured by an animal or insect seek advice from your doctor.
After a flood – general tips
- Do not approach wild or stray animals. For advice about dealing with animals contact your , animal shelter or vet.
- Store away all food to avoid attracting rats and mice (for example, store food in containers with secure lids).
- Watch out for snakes.
- can breed rapidly in stagnant waters and become a nuisance. Take precautions to control .
- Remove pets and other animals that have died as soon as possible. For advice on safe disposal speak to your local council or vet.
Floods – dealing with snakes
- Wear sturdy work boots and gloves, and long pants to protect your legs.
- Watch where you place your hands and feet when removing or cleaning up debris.
- If you see a snake, step back from it slowly and allow it to proceed on its way. Do not touch it.
- Remove debris from around your home as soon as possible because it can attract rodents, lizards and insects on which snakes feed.
- Be aware of snakes that may be swimming in the water trying to get to higher ground.
- If you find a snake in your house, do not panic.
- Seek advice from someone who knows how to safely remove the snake. Contact the on Tel. for a list of snake catchers in your area.
If you are bitten by a snake
- Do not wash the around the .
- Keep still and calm, and get medical help quickly by calling triple zero (000).
- If you cannot get to a hospital right away, apply first aid – lay or sit down with the bite below the level of your heart. Cover the bite with a clean, dry dressing or bandage and, if possible, splint the limb.
- Note the time of the bite and when the bandage was put on.
- Do not apply a tourniquet, cut the bite to release the venom or try to suck the venom out of the wound.
Floods – spiders
If you are bitten by a red-back spider:
- Wash the affected area well and soothe the pain with ice packs or clean iced water.
- Do not apply pressure for red-back spider bites as it often worsens the pain.
- Find immediate medical help.
- Wash the area with soap and water.
- Apply a cold pack if the bite is painful.
- For most spider bites, no other first aid is necessary.
- Contact your if symptoms develop or persist.
Floods – rats and mice
Rodents (such as mice and rats) carry diseases and are a nuisance. To avoid rats and mice after a flood:
- Remove food and items that can provide shelter for rodents.
- Wash dishes and cooking utensils immediately after use.
- Get rid of garbage and debris as soon as possible by placing it into a rubbish bin with a lid prior to collection and disposal.
- Lay rodent baits or traps in dry areas, following the label directions and keep them out of reach of children and animals.
After a flood – avoiding mosquitoes
Rain and flooding may lead to a substantial increase in mosquito numbers as water subsides and pools form.
- Cover up as much as possible. Wear long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing including socks and covered shoes.
- Use an effective mosquito repellent containing picaridin or DEET (or N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) on all exposed skin.
- Prevent . Drain away water left standing outdoors in open containers such as flowerpots, tyres or buckets. Change pets' water bowls regularly.
- Prevent mosquitoes from getting inside by using fly screens on windows, doors and vents.
- Use mosquito coils, 'knockdown' sprays, or plug in "zapper" vaporisers in small, outdoor areas.
To help control mosquito populations around your home:
- If practical, drain any water left standing outdoors in open containers such as flowerpots, unused tins, tyres or buckets.
- Change your pet’s drinking water regularly.
After a flood – dealing with flies
If food and garbage builds up, this becomes a breeding ground for flies. This is a problem, as flies carry diseases and are a nuisance.
To avoid this, clean up food waste as soon as possible by placing it into a rubbish bin with a lid prior to collection and disposal.
Where to get help
- In an emergency, always call triple zero () – especially if you have bitten by a snake get immediate medical attention
- Tel. – for emergency flood or storm assistance
- Tel. – for expert health information and advice 24 hours, 7 days a week
- provides advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on Tel. .
- on Tel. – for a list of snake catchers in your area
- Your insurance company
- Tel. – recovery support for people affected by the 2022 Victorian floods
How to stay informed about emergencies
- Go to or download the VicEmergency app.
- Tune into your local Emergency Broadcaster including ABC Local Radio, commercial and designated community radio stations, or Sky News TV.
- Follow (#vicfloods) or .
- Phone the VicEmergency Hotline on Tel. (freecall). For help with English, phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on TYel. (freecall) and ask them to telephone the Hotline.
Information in community languages
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