It’s Snake Season in the Ark-La-Tex!
Now that it's warming up, the snakes are coming out, and we are going in to their habitats more often... I'm told that most of the snakes we see around here are not poisonous, but we all a know that a few of them are.
I put together a couple of photos of the ones we really need to look out for...
(keep in mind, I am not an expert, and I do not like any of them.)
First off... the Cotton Mouth. I will never forget when my friend Phillip said they couldn't bite in the water... Then he got bit in the water... (He was really freaked out about it too). Remember, wherever there is water, and it looks "snaky"... this is the first snake I think of. Phillip lived, but he did say it hurt... a lot!
Second venomous snake I've seen a lot around here is the Copperhead... Can't really say where I've seen them the most, but usually in woodsy areas, and along a few of the regional rivers... the last 3 I've seen were in my yard....
Third, we have the Diamond Back Rattler. I have not seen a live "Rattle Snake" myself... seen quite a few dead ones though, and heard all sorts of overly dramatic stories about how the snakes attacked ferociously, and were killed in self defense... (believe it or not, there are laws against killing snakes, even poisonous ones in these parts.) Honestly though, I have seen quite a few dead rattlesnakes that were found under houses, in barns, etc...
I am also told that there are Texas Coral Snakes in the wooded areas of the Ark-La-Tex. I have never seen one... dead or alive. I asked around, and nobody I know has seen one either, but they look just like Louisiana Milk Snakes... which I have also never seen. However, I remember my dad teaching me this saying so I would know the difference...
Now, there are a couple of good snakes... my dad would say, " a good snake is a dead snake", but really, there are some snakes that help us out a great deal.
The King Snake (speckled king snake)... HUNTS AND KILLS VENOMOUS SNAKES! Rattle Snakes, Copperheads, etc...but also rodents. I did not know this, and I believe that is the reason that the last 3 poisonous snakes I've seen at my house were there at all... (notice this one eating a copperhead).
Now I know, this picture freaks me out too... but it's a Rat Snake. It eats rats, mice, and as I have recently discovered... moles. (I wish I had another rat snake.)
If you end up getting bit by a venomous snake... DO NOT PANIC! (Easy to say, right?)
Do get to the hospital as soon as you can. Most of our area hospitals have antivenin in supply, and are able to get more really quick if it's needed. There will be lots of swelling, that could damage nerves, arteries, and what not so DO SEE A DOCTOR!
DO NOT GO ALL JOHN WAYNE... Do not cut into the bite, and try to suck the poison out, more than likely that will just make matters worse.
If one of your pets gets bit by a poisonous snake, STAY CALM... Do your best to keep your pet calm, if it is possible try to keep the bite wound below the animals heart, and get them to a Vet as quickly as you can.
The best thing you can do to keep yourself from being bitten is to be aware of what snakes look for in a habitat, and KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN!!!
With all of that in mind, get outside, and enjoy yourself!