A SOUTH-EAST snake catcher had no trouble identifying and wrangling a cobra in an Alexandra Hills greenhouse on the weekend.
That is because the snake turned out to be a plastic fake left by a previous occupant to scare birds away.
The terrified new residents had poked the snake with a stick for a couple of days before calling Glenn Lawrence from OzCapture Snake Relocations.
"I got in there and when I was a couple of metres away, I noticed that it was lying on its side and its eyes looked like they were plastic," he said.
"We've got no snakes in the country that rear up and start dancing when you play the flute.
"That's the kind of cobra it was, not even a native species.
"I picked it up and we all had a bit of a laugh.
"Now I've got the cobra at my front door for a bit of free security."
Mr Lawrence said he received the odd job request which turned out to be fake.
"It's not the first time I've had that sort of callout," Mr Lawrence said.
"The residents were relieved that it was just a fake snake ... and I was relieved I didn't have to go chasing a snake in the rain."
He said people, whether they were visitors to Australia or permanent residents, should be educated on snake breeds so they knew which were venomous.
"(If you see a snake), don't rely on a Google search - a lot of people might mistake a certain snake for a different species and underestimate the snake.
"We lose a couple people every year from mistaken identities of snakes."
While the cooler months typically brought fewer callouts for Mr Lawrence, snakes in the south-east were still active in winter.
"Last Saturday we were on the road for almost 12 hours, catching snakes everywhere from out past Beaudesert to Cornubia to Greenbank," he said.
"It's been consistent but nothing like summer, where you've got five to eight callouts a day on average."
If people were concerned about a snake in their home or yard, they should steer clear and call a local snake catcher.
Mr Lawrence said motorists should be wary of reptiles at this time of year, with many lizards and snakes lying on the road trying to stay warm.