The basic tools needed for snake catching include snake tongs or hooks, snake bags or nets, snake traps and clothing to prevent bites. These tools allow snake handlers to stay as far away from the snake as possible while catching it and minimize the risk of bites.
Professional snake handlers typically use snake tongs or hooks to lift or prod a snake into a snake bag or net. Snake tongs are long metal poles with two curved arms, or tongs, at the end that close to grip the snake when the handler squeezes a trigger at the other end. Gripping larger snakes with tongs is not always possible. In these cases, snake handlers use a snake hook, which is a metal pole with a large hook on one end. In either case, snake handlers avoid lifting the snake by the neck, because this can seriously injure the snake. Snake bags or nets are long sacks made of thick, tough material that allow handlers to move the snake safely. Some snake bags have long handles attached to further increase the distance between the handler and the snake. When catching snakes, handlers wear thick gloves and specialized boots and pants to decrease the likelihood of fangs penetrating their skin. Handlers place snake traps where they have spotted or seen signs of snakes. Many of these traps use scent to encourage the snake to enter, and they have funnel-shaped entrances or multi-chamber designs that make it very difficult for the snake to get out.