Why Do Plagues of Snakes and Spiders Follow Floods?

Most Venomous Spider
© James van den Broek/Shutterstock.com

Written by Alan Lemus

Updated: January 28, 2023

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Snakes and spiders are ranked amongst the deadliest creatures on the planet. The thought of waking up to either one in your home is certainly not an image you want to hang onto. Both snakes and spiders come in different species, with each one seeming gnarlier than the next. While both might be alike in the sense that they both have deadly attributes, snakes and spiders are very different. They differ in terms of movement, bodily structure, type of habitat, and ways through which they hunt down food. Although they are very different, they both seem to emerge when flooding happens.

Floods are natural disasters that are characterized by immense amounts and heavy flow of water. Even though some might be more serious than others, floods tend to lead to a host of problems. These range from the introduction of water-borne diseases into society to the displacement of individuals due to destroyed properties.

What do floods have to do with snakes and spiders? Well, first let’s get a good understanding of what floods are about.

What is a Flood?

According to Earth Networks, a flood is an overflow of water that submerges land that is normally dry. A body of water on land can be called a flood when it covers anything from a few inches of water to several feet. There are different types of floods, with each one based on its mode of entry onto the land. 

River flooding occurs when water levels rise over the top of river banks. Coastal Flooding, occurs due to the inundation of normally dry land areas along the coast with seawater. Storm Surge occurs due to an abnormal rise in water levels in coastal areas over and above the regular astronomical tide. Inland Flooding occurs inland and not in a coastal area due to large amounts of rainfall mostly. Finally, a Flash Flood, which is the deadliest type of flood, is known to begin within three to six hours of heavy rainfall. All these types of floods can be associated with different causes, with the leading contributor known to be rainfall.

Causes of Floods

There are four major causes of flooding anywhere in the world, and they include;

1. Rainfall

Just as mentioned earlier, Rain is the leading cause of floods in any part of the world. This is why most areas with high levels of rainfall tend to be flood-prone. Heavy and persistent rainfall causes water to overflow from rivers and other water bodies, hence sending an overflow to the land.

Despite this, not all floods are caused by rainfall. This usually depends on the amount of rain during a particular period and also the soil moisture content. However, even a short period of rainfall can result in flooding when it lasts for several days and weeks.

2. Overflow of Rivers

Besides rainfall, this is perhaps the second most troubling cause of floods. Most times, these levels of water are beyond normal, and they continue to rise until there is enough space to settle the excess water. In the process of doing this, the sudden discharge of water can displace everything in its path. This is what leads to the displacement of lives and properties.

3. Dam Breakage and Clogged Drainages

Dams are man-made structures that are used to hold water from flowing over raised grounds. However, just like rivers can overflow, dams also have tendencies to overflow. When the walls of the dams become weak; they can either break or be broken by individuals to allow the water to move freely. 

When such discharge is sent into the land, they can get into areas with clogged drainage systems. Since water cannot pass through the normal channel freely, it remains flooded until the drainage systems are cleared. This is one of the leading causes of floods in underdeveloped and developing nations today. In a way, both these causes are among those that can fall under man-made causes of flood since dams can be broken deliberately and drainages can be clogged due to waste disposal into drainage areas.

4. Climate Change

Climate change is another big cause of flooding. While climate change doesn’t immediately lead to floods, it can be regarded as one of the most dangerous causes. When the atmospheric temperature rises, melting of the polar ice occurs. Regions with accumulated snow and ice become prone to flooding. With the melting of the polar ice, ice melts and then links up with already filled rivers and water bodies. Once this happens, overflow occurs, causing massive levels of flooding. 

With the earth witnessing a period of varying patterns in temperature levels, this happens more often than normal. There is almost nothing that can stop this process except anti-climate change practice.

How Do Plagues Of Snakes And Spiders Come Into The Picture?

During flooding, the human population in an area tries as much as possible to get to drier places and higher elevations. In the same vein, other animals including deadly snakes and spiders also use this escape plan to find dry land.  As there’s only a limit to how far they can go by themselves, they are trapped in these floods until they find a place to settle. Should they find their way into homes, they tend to hide in warm places to stay comfortable. When the flood ends, these snakes and spiders are unable to go back to their normal homes and have to settle for their newly found habitats.

One of the places where this has been a problem for a while now is Australia. Floods in Australia have become quite common recently. Due to the country experiencing high levels of rainfall, mostly in parts of the country’s capital. During these floods, plagues of snakes and spiders make their way into residential areas from their lowland habitats. They tend to stay and make a home for themselves right there after the period of flooding passes.

Quite interestingly, Australia is known to be the country with the most diverse snake species, and of all these species, they’ve also got the deadliest. The same can be said about Spiders too, as the country also has what is considered to be the world’s most venomous spider called the Sydney Funnel Web. The spider is mostly found in New South Wales, Australia, and is known to attack the nervous system. In worst-case scenarios, an attack by the funnel web can result in death.

In a series of flooding that happened in March of 2021, Australian residents were particularly warned about this species of spider, following several reports from residents that they’d been seeing lots of spiders near their homes.

More recently around March this year, snakes such as Pythons, venomous red-bellied snakes, and eastern browns, were among the species of snakes reported to be on the move into homes and residential areas. The eastern brown, particularly, were seen to be a major cause for concern as some of these deadly snakes were found in several places including a school classroom in Brisbane. Besides only appearing in these places, these snakes were also found nestling in people’s sofas and beds, making most homes no-go areas for their occupants or residents. While this is pretty terrifying enough, snakes were also reported to be found hiding in trees.

What To Do When There Are Snake And Spider Plagues After Flooding

In times such as these, it is only a reasonable option to report to a pest control agency to help you deal with it, especially if you’re not aware of how deadly or poisonous the snakes or spiders are. It would be extremely dangerous to take on these lethal creatures all by yourself without experience and while you let the professionals do their jobs, you can seek safe residency in places, not affected by the plague. Also, make sure to follow instructions as given by the local authorities.

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About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

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