Residents fear abandoned house creatures

2018-02-28 06:02
The abandoned house on President Swart Road which has become a haven for snakes, rodents and pests alike. PHOTO: byrone athman

The abandoned house on President Swart Road which has become a haven for snakes, rodents and pests alike. PHOTO: byrone athman

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RESIDENTS living in President Swart Road have expressed their fear of having to live on a road with an abandoned house that has become a haven for rats, snakes and “all sorts of insects.”

Hundra Cass who lives next to the abandoned house said that, in her year of staying next to the house, she has experienced multiple problems which stems from the house’s dilapidated state.

“The grass has not been cut in a long time and is now clogging the gutter which leads to my yard. This causes the water to build up and attracts so many mosquitoes,” said the disgruntled resident.

Cass who added that she has had to take her six-year-old son to the doctor twice because the mosquito bites made her son sick.

The gutters that run through most of the houses on the road are present due to the stream that runs through Pelham, and water sometimes flows through these gutters especially when it rains.

Cass said that when alighting from her car after work, she has often had to manoeuvre through snakes who retreat into the tall grass from the next yard. “It is so dangerous and now I don’t even let my son play in our yard because I am so afraid that he may get bitten by a snake.”

According to Cass, a neighbour who is a policeman in the area claims that the house has been abandoned and unkept for years now because of a family dispute between the brothers.

Local snake expert Zane Barnard said that abandoned houses, untrimmed grass, hedges and cluttered yards will attract rodents, toads and lizards and provide them with a place to live and breed in.

“These are all ideal food sources for snakes so yes the house in question has most likely attracted snakes which could result in unfriendly encounters with humans in the area as the snakes hunt for food,” said Barnard.

Barnard explained that due to the high temperatures and rain at the moment there is a high level of snake activity. “Given the fact that President Swart Road is less than 200 metres from the stream that turns through the area from Bisley Nature Reserve through Woodburn Stadium the presence of snakes there is not uncommon,” said Barnard.

According to Barnard, anyone who is bitten by a snake should seek medical treatment as soon as possible and should not try and tamper with the wound with any medicine on hand or bandages. “The worst thing you can do is to try and sort yourself out because within seconds the venom has already been absorbed and carried away from the bite site via the lymphatic system. You must go straight to the hospital to seek medical care from the experts,” stressed Barnard.

Barnard advised that should anyone encounter a snake they should keep a watchful eye on it at all times and give him a call on 082 850 7713 as he is available at all times.

The municipality failed to respond to a detailed email querying what can be done on their part to rid residents of this problem.

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