KRAIT (Bungarus caeruleus)
The average length is 0.9 m (3.0 ft), but they can grow to 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in). Males are longer, with proportionately longer tails. The head is flat and the neck barely noticeable. Krait snakes vary between a black and bluish black colour, with approximately 40 thin, white crossbars which may be more pronounced or not evident at all on some individuals.
BIOLOGY AND BEHAVIOUR:
During daytime, Krait snakes are docile and not overtly active. They often find harbourage in old rodent burrows, loose soil, or underneath debris, so are rarely spotted. Kraits habitually roll its body into a coiled ball, keeping its head hidden. When in this ‘balled’ state, they allow considerable handling, but over handling may irritate the snake and could result in a bite.
During the night, Kraits are much more active and manage to escape threats by hissing loudly. Occasionally it may bite if disturbed. It may become aggressive at night if threatened.
Kraits are reluctant to bite, so as to preserve venom. However when they do strike, they typically hold on for a while, which enables them to inject large amounts of venom.
Krait snakes are known to reside in old termite mounds, brick piles, rat holes, even inside houses. They are frequently found in water or close to a water source.
During the rainy season, Kraits may leave their habitats for dryer conditions inside homes and properties. It is during Myanmar’s monsoon season that most krait snake bites occur.
BITE – A krait’s venom consists of powerful neurotoxins, which induce muscle paralysis. If bitten at night, the victims may not realise they have been bitten at all. The immediate symptoms are similar to that of mosquito bite which often gives bite victims a false sense of security. Any victim of a suspected krait snake bite should be taken hospital immediately and treated with anti-venom.
There a number of preventative measures you can take to discourage snake ingress, such as trimming grass regularly to keep it short, clearing low growing plants and shrubs that provide cover, and filling holes under sheds and walls.
However if a visual sighting has been made, it is important to contact a professional snake removal service immediately to protect others in the vicinity.