Carpet Pythons Are Living In Attics And Owners Should Be Happy About It

01/04/2016 10:49 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Carpet python - Morelia spilota variegata

This is not an April Fools' joke: scientists in Australia say people who find pythons living in their attics should be stoked about it.

We repeat: not a joke.

In fairness, carpet pythons are harmless to humans, and they eat house mice and other invasive species like rabbits. And we humans have been steadily taking their homes -- tree hollows in forested areas -- so maybe we should cut them some slack.

Researchers tracked 17 carpet pythons for more than a year in national parks as well as farms and suburbs bordering them and found that in areas where tree hollows were scarce due to human impacts, pythons preferred to live inside buildings, sheds, and particularly, attics.

“We found that the pythons were reasonably flexible in terms of places they can live,” researcher Ben Corey said.

“They particularly like to live in tree hollows, but attics will suffice, as long as these are adjacent to naturally vegetated areas.”

carpet python roof attic conservation

A carpet python house hunting.

The research, published in Austral Ecology with the University of Canberra and the Department of Parks and Wildlife WA, also found three quarters of the diet of pythons consists of pests such as rabbits and house mice.

"With these potential benefits, keeping woodland habitat close to buildings is a great way to conserve these harmless snakes, as well as taking out feral rodents and rabbits," Corey said.

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