SNAKES are not usually the most welcome of visitors to a household, but South Grafton's Aaron Hickson can't remember a time when there wasn't a serpent in his house.
The 28-year-old is currently the owner of 23 pythons, and recently earned his licence with National Parks and Wildlife Service, allowing him to start a new business, Aaron's Reptile Catch and Release.
"Mum was always into snakes so she probably started it all," he said.
"I got into it and have just taken it a few steps further."
On Tuesday, he tangoed with his first red-belly black snake as a licensed snake catcher, and thankfully he won.
The slippery serpent was discovered in the engine bay of a LandCruiser which was at Grafton Motor Group for repairs.
Needless to say, it held the mechanics up quite a bit.
"He was just sitting on top of the radiator when I got there, so I grabbed him by the tail and had to jiggle him out as he tried to get deeper into the engine," he said.
"Thankfully he wasn't too hard to get out and everyone was safe."
While he has no fear of reptiles, Aaron did say you had to keep your wits about you, "otherwise you start making mistakes".
"Red belly black snakes aren't too bad - since the recording of snake bites began there has never been a death from a red belly, but when you start dealing with eastern browns, it gets the heart rate going a little bit," he said.
"It's breeding season now so the males are out and about looking for female partners. Most ones you see will probably be a male.
"Please, if you see a snake, do not try to kill it.
"Leave it to move along on its own or call a licensed catcher.
"That's what we are here for."