Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer Survival - Avoiding Snakebites

Whether you are going on an outing, a hike in a wilderness area or just checking the fence line, there are some simple steps you can take to avoid being bitten by snakes. Using a little common sense will help you avoid a possible life-threatening situation.

Simple Ways to Avoid Snakebites

1.) Wear a good pair of hiking boots or shoes that will give you additional protection and watch where you put your feet.

2.) Always carry a good hiking stick or walking staff to check any areas that could be harboring a snake.

3.) Never turn over logs and rocks with your hands. This is an extremely dangerous practice, especially in a wilderness area. Use your hiking stick!

4.) Never reach into a hole in the ground without checking it first.

5.) Never sit down on a log, rock, etc. without thoroughly checking the area first.

6.) Never try to catch or touch a snake, live or dead. Leave that to the professionals.
Copperheads can bite even when they’ve been decapitated.

7.) If you do encounter a snake, give them adequate room and take another route.

8.) Never leave boots or shoes outside at night. Snakes will crawl into places for protection from the cold to help retain their body heat.

9.) If you are going to be working in an area and need to pick something up or move it, make sure you check the area with a long stick first.

10.) Always double-check the area where you are working, you may not notice a snake’s presence the first time.

Always remember that you can be bitten in the backyard or your garden. Keeping a shovel or hoe handy is a good idea when working in these areas. You can be bitten just as easily there as well as when you’re on a hiking or camping trip.

Following some simple rules and using a little common sense will help you avoid being bitten by a snake while you are outdoors.

Staying above the water line!



shiloh1862 said...

A very timely post. Those pesky snakes are everywhere this time of year.


matthiasj said...

Great tips RW. I'll try to stay away from those things!

Kentucky Preppers Network

Bitmap said...

For 3 I've found Black Widow spiders, wasp nests, and fire ants under logs and rocks. That also applies to other objects like old tires, scrap lumber, and almost any kind of metal or wood debris. Bug bites usually aren't as bad as snake bites unless you are allergic to them but they still aren't any fun.

For 4 you could also encounter various unpleasant insects, spiders or scorpions, as well as other nasty things like skunks or rodents that might carry rabies.

For 8 I would suggest that you add "Always shake out your shoes before you put them on, even if they've been stored indoors." The same thing applies to any clothing you've left on the floor.

riverwalker said...

To: shiloh1862



riverwalker said...

To: matthiasj

Thanks matthias!


riverwalker said...

To: Bitmap

Yes my friend you have made some excellent points. I was saving the spiders and scorpions for a later post but are also found in unlikely places also. There are also the other critters that lurk about (skunks, possums, raccoons, etc). Best to remember that there are numerous "wild" creatures out there that may not take kindly to your presence or the fact that you may be disturbing their resting place.

Thanks for the great tips Bitmap!

RW said...

Good advice - however in my neck of the woods (Northern New Hampshire) there are no dangerous snakes. In fact, it is so safe here in this respect that kids routinely hunt for snakes as a sport by lifting up old boards, logs, etc seeking snakes.

HermitJim said...

I try and avoid as many of these critters as possible. Even if they won't hert me, they could make me hurt myself getting out of the way, ya know?

theotherryan said...

Good post, I grew up where there were no snakes, went to school where there were a few and now live where there are a lot of snakes. I don't do anything crazy but do take some common sense steps:

1. Wear calf length boots.
2. Don't step or put my hands anywhere I can't see.
3. Check out shoes, etc before putting my hands or feet in them. Suppose that is a lot like #2.

riverwalker said...


Just remember that a bite from even a non-poisonous snake can cause a serious infection if you're not careful. Thanks.


riverwalker said...

To; HermitJim

I think most people are more afraid of snakes than tthe snakes are afraid of humans. Snakes will generally leave you alone if you don't step on them, grab them or disturb them.


riverwalker said...

To: theotherryan

Using good old common sense will keep you safe in the majority of cases. Thanks.


Shreela said...

And be extra careful after heavy rainfalls. I'm not sure if it's actually the rain that seems to increase snake activity, or the vegetation growing taller, or something else. But there's been more snake sightings in my area after heavy rains, including inside houses (one during a flood, but the other one in the dishwasher didn't happen after a flood).

riverwalker said...

To: Shreela

Excellent point! High water will flush them out (no pun intended!)!



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