CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WVDN) – With warmer weather, more people are out enjoying nature and there is an increase of snakes being spotted in the Mountain State. West Virginia has two kinds of venomous snakes: the timber rattlesnake and the northern copperhead. These snakes are more active when the temperatures increase.
To prevent snake bites:
- Northern copperheads like wooded areas, especially near water. Be especially careful when walking in high grass and underbrush, especially near the banks of ponds, creeks and rivers.
- Timber rattlesnakes prefer rocky, mountainous areas. Be sure to look before reaching or sitting on rock ledges or logs where snakes could be hiding.
- Keep areas around your home clean and free of wood piles, high grass and underbrush.
- If hiking, stay on the trails. Consider using a stick to rustle grass and plants along the trail.
- Use a flashlight when walking outside at night.
- If you are expecting to be in areas where snakes may be, wear long pants and sturdy, close-toed shoes. If picking up brush, logs or debris, wear leather gloves.
- Do not approach or kill snakes unnecessarily. If a snake appears dead, do pick it up as snakes can still bite by reflex.
To prevent snake bites, pet owners should:
- Avoid letting pets roam around high grass, rocks and wood piles.
- Keep pets on a leash while hiking or in the woods.
- Remove hiding places, such as wood piles, where pets regularly visit.
If bitten by a snake, do not try home remedies, such as ice, tourniquet, or the cut and suck method.
If bitten by a snake, do:
- Immobilize the bitten area, limit use and remove any restricting items.
- Transport to the nearest medical facility and call the West Virginia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.
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