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Janne Torkkola, owner of SnakeOut Brisbane


Its official: snake season is here. With the arrival of warmer weather, the fast-moving reptiles are out in numbers, even finding their way into homes and properties. It’s the busiest time of year for snake removalist Janne Torkkola. The owner of Brisbane-based SnakeOut says, “I’ve gone from removing just one or two snakes per week between May and August to now responding to four or more enquires per day since mid-September – the start of peak snake season.”


While the increase in temperature means that snakes are coming out from hibernation and preparing to breed, the intense midday heat often finds them searching for somewhere cooler and darker – usually under the floorboards or roof of a building – startling Australians as they come across the unexpected reptiles in their home, work site, or in general public areas such as gardens, parks and schools.


That’s where Janne comes in. The zoology and genetics graduate started SnakeOut in 2013 following a childhood passion for all things reptile and over five years working in the field with a variety of wildlife, including venomous snakes.


In his first year of business alone, Janne was contracted for ecological survey projects for two of the Sunshine Coast Council's new Bushland Reserves as well as a seven week fauna project for Queensland Transport and Main Roads. The warmer days however had him more focused on relocating snakes from more than 100 homes and offices. “One of the most interesting jobs was removing a carpet python coiled inside a toaster. I had to work hand in hand with an electrician to ensure its safe exit. The snake was fine but sadly the toaster didn’t make it!” (View video of the rescue here.) “I've also removed venomous snakes, including brown snakes from office receptions, hotels, houses, pool pumps, public car parks, schools, you name it.”


Today, Janne is more than ready to tackle the season ahead, predicting that 2014 may be his busiest year to date. But it’s more than peak season that’s keeping Janne in demand this year. Recently looking to increase the number of local customer calls, Janne listed SnakeOut with trusted online business directory and review website, TrueLocal.


He explains, “In my first 12 months of business, I directed most of my marketing using various social media platforms in an aim to drive my Google ranking upward. Now in my second year, my business is ready for a boost in customers and I want to be known in my local area, quickly.  Seeing as marketing and travel costs are my main running costs, local networking is invaluable. Also, time is also a critical factor for me, so the less hours I spend on the road, the better.”


Truelocal supports local, small business by providing access to nearly 6 million consumers per month through its business directory platform. A popular way of finding credible, local suppliers, TrueLocal provides consumer with a deeper and more interactive experience than search engine marketing. “TrueLocal has helped improve my Google ranking and given local customers another way to quickly contact me for a consultation. In the first three weeks alone not only have I had an increase in local clients, I also received five-star reviews from customers on the website.


Despite a busy season of Australia’s slinky slithering reptiles ahead, Janne says there’s no reason for Australians to fear. “There is an unnecessary fear attached to finding a snake in the home, which is closely followed by panic. The reality is that while a snake in your home may take you by surprise; it’s harmless if left untouched. While they can be highly venomous, Australian snakes are comparatively shy and will give you every possible chance to leave them well alone. The two most common snakes found in Brisbane are the carpet python who seeks dark and cool areas or perches, and the green tree snakes which are more commonly found in your garden, neither of which are venomous.”


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