Are snake bites serious?
Knowing whether a snake bite is dangerous or not can be difficult. This article explains what to do — including providing the proper first aid treatment — if you are bitten by a snake. It’s also important to be aware that bites from snakes can cause a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) in some people.
How do I provide first aid for snake bites?
You should always provide emergency care if you or someone else is bitten by a snake — including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), if required.
Keep calm, and follow these steps:
Get the person away from the snake.
Ensure they rest and help them to stay calm.
Call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.
Apply a pressure immobilisation bandage (see below).
Don’t wash the bite area — venom left on the skin can help identify the snake.
If you can’t use a pressure immobilisation bandage because the bite is on the trunk or stomach, apply constant, firm pressure. Do not apply a tourniquet, cut the wound or attempt to suck the venom (poison) out.
Pressure immobilisation bandage
A pressure immobilisation bandage is recommended for anyone bitten by a venomous snake. You should firmly bandage the area of the body involved — such as an arm or leg — and keep the person calm and still until medical help arrives.
Follow these steps to apply a pressure immobilisation bandage:
First, put a pressure bandage over the bite itself. It should be tight and you should not be able to easily slide a finger between the bandage and the skin.
Next, use a heavy crepe or elasticised roller bandage to immobilise the whole limb. Start just above the fingers or toes of the bitten limb and move upwards on the limb as far as the body. Splint the limb including joints on either side of the bite.
Keep the person and the limb completely at rest. If possible, mark the site of the bite on the bandage with a pen.
HOW TO GET RID OF GARTER SNAKES
There are 35 species of garter snakes. These snakes are easily identified by their slim bodies that feature body-long stripes. These stripes come in a number of colors, including red, gray, orange, yellow, and green. It’s also not unheard of to find a garter snake with turquoise stripes. The underbelly scales of all garter snakes are distinctly lighter in color.
Garter snakes don’t have fangs and aren’t venomous. However, they do have a few rows of small teeth and can bite. Their bite can become infected if not cleaned and cared for properly, and some people are allergic to their saliva, although this condition is rare. Even though garter snakes are mostly harmless, they can cause quite a few problems in your home or garden. Need help identifying what snake problem you are having? Check out our Solution Finder for help with identifying and solving your snake problem.
WHAT DO GARTER SNAKES EAT?
Like all reptiles, garter snakes are cold-blooded creatures, so they are often found in locations that offer warmth and food. These slender snakes can enter your home through fairly small cracks. Garter snakes often snack on small mammals, too, such as mice, and small amphibians, such as toads and frogs.
While garter snakes can act as a natural pest control, most people who discover snakes in their home find it to be a frightening experience. Most importantly, garter snakes give off a distinct, foul smell that can infiltrate your home and some experts say garters may be one of the smelliest snakes.
While garter snakes are generally solitary creatures, they generally hibernate in large numbers to prevent heat loss and keep their bodies warm. Due to their combined smell, a large group of garter snakes in or under your home can make your residence uninhabitable.
Snake Mites: Vet Approved DIY Home Treatment
Do you think that you see small bugs on your snake? If so, these could very well be snake mites. But where did they come from and how do you get rid of them? Truth be told, there are many ways that these mites may have gotten into your snake’s enclosure (more on this later).
Rest assured, even the best snake keepers may get mites into their snake’s enclosure, and getting rid of them without a trip to the vet is possible! There are many different ways that you can get rid of these unwanted creatures. This article will explain what snake mites are and outline the best treatment plan to get rid of them.
Snake mites are very little parasitic bugs that feed off the blood of not only our slithery companions but other reptiles too. Despite their tiny size, mites ARE visible on your snake and easy to see with the naked eye.
In terms of appearance, these mites look like tiny black, red, or grey bugs. The best place to find them is in the thin-skinned areas of your snake, such as their eyes and ears. You can also find them on your hands after you touch your snake, or in their water dish in your snake’s enclosure.
Causes of Snake Mites: Where Do They Come From?
While parasitic mites are most commonly found on snakes, they can also appear on other reptile species such as lizards, turtles, and even alligators. Most often, the color of these mites will range from a dark yellow to a dark red appearance. As far as location goes, snake mites can be present by the vent, eyes, heat pits, and on the underside of the snakes head.
Be Rattlesnake Safe
With the coming of spring and warmer weather conditions, snakes of many species are through hunkering down, making human encounters with these elusive creatures more likely. Although most native snakes are harmless
Rattlesnakes are widespread and are found in a variety of habitat throughout the state from coastal to desert. They may also turn up around homes and yards in brushy areas and under wood piles. Generally not aggressive, rattlesnakes will likely retreat if given room or not deliberately provoked or threatened. Most bites occur when a rattlesnake is handled or accidentally touched by someone walking or climbing.
On rare occasions, rattlesnake bites have caused severe injury – even death. However, the potential of encountering a rattlesnake should not deter anyone from venturing outdoors. The Poison Control System notes that the chances of being bitten are small compared to the risk of other environmental injuries.
The dos and don’ts in snake country
Rattlesnakes are not confined to rural areas. They have been found in urban areas, on riverbanks and lakeside parks and at golf courses. The following safety precautions can be taken to reduce the likelihood of an encounter with a rattlesnake.
Be alert. Like all reptiles, rattlesnakes are sensitive to the ambient temperature and will adjust their behavior accordingly. After a cold or cool night, they will attempt to raise their body temperature by basking in the sun midmorning. To prevent overheating during hot days of spring and summer, they will become more active at dawn, dusk or night.
Wear sturdy boots and loose-fitting long pants. Never go barefoot or wear sandals when walking through brushy, wild areas. Startled rattlesnakes may not rattle before striking defensively.
Children should not wear flip-flops while playing outdoors in snake country.
When hiking, stick to well-used trails. Avoid tall grass, weeds and heavy underbrush where snakes may hide during the day.
Do not step or put your hands where you cannot see. Step ON logs and rocks, never over them, and be especially careful when climbing rocks or gathering firewood. Check out stumps or logs before sitting down, and shake out sleeping bags before use.
Never grab “sticks” or “branches” while swimming in lakes and rivers. Rattlesnakes can swim.
Be careful when stepping over doorsteps as well. Snakes like to crawl along the edge of buildings where they are protected on one side.
Never hike alone. Always have someone with you who can assist in an emergency.
Do not handle a freshly killed snake, as it can still inject venom.
Teach children early to respect snakes and to leave them alone.
Leash your dog when hiking in snake country. Dogs are at increased risk of being bitten due to holding their nose to the ground while investigating the outdoors. Speak to your veterinarian about canine rattlesnake vaccines and what to do if your pet is bitten.
ways to snake-proof your house and garden
Big snakes, small snakes, brown snakes, black snakes. We’ve researched proven methods of dealing with every sort of unwanted slithery creature.
NOTE: Not all snakes are bad! The one pictured is an green tree snake, native to our northern states. These snakes are harmless and an important part of the food chain, feeding on fish, frogs and other small animals.
COVER ALL HOLES LEADING TO HOUSES AND GARAGES
Snakes love crawling into hide-y spots such as roofs, underneath houses, garages etc. Make sure to keep doors closed and install screens on doors and windows.
MAINTAIN A TIDY GARDEN
Keep a well-maintained garden and shed. Keep the lawn low in height and garden beds away from the exterior of the house. Ensure that wood piles are neatly stacked to prevent snakes and rodents from sheltering.
BLOCK CAVITIES IN WALL STRUCTURES
Snakes love rock walls. They’re a ready source of energy (reptiles sun themselves on rocks to warm up their cold blood and muscles), shelter (when they’ve had enough sun) and food (preying on the rodents and frogs which also shelter in the rocks).
MICE AND RAT BAIT
Placing rodent bait around your house and garden will get rid of mice and rats – and therefore reduce the likelihood of snakes. It’s important to place the bait in places where pets can’t get it, such as in grooves and places that are off the ground.