As summer weather spreads through Texas, snake season is ramping up, and it’s best to be cautious of where you step.
Matt Morris, a North Texan who spoke to NBC 5 earlier in the year about a nest of copperheads found in his yard, recently shared a story on Facebook about a neighbor who was bitten.
“My neighbor was bitten on the hand by a copperhead this morning while reaching for tools in his toolbox,” Morris wrote. “Luckily, it looks like a dry bite and he’s not having any symptoms.”
He added, “They’re pretty bad this year, so be careful out there!”
According to the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, snakes commonly come out of hibernation during this time of year as the weather warms up. They tend to be the most active during the early morning and late evening.
Some of the venomous snakes commonly found in North Texas are western diamondback rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and copperheads. Texas rat snakes are another common species, but they are not venomous and pose no threat to people.
One NBC 5 viewer named Travis Hadden emailed in a video of a rat snake he ran into on White Rock Creek Trail.
“I almost just stepped on that thing,” Hadden said in the video he shared of the snake. “Going to wait until that guy passes. Slow and steady.”
According to the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, it is best to give snakes plenty of space, whether they are venomous or not.
“Most non-poisonous snakes cause little damage other than to frighten people,” Texas A&M shared on its website. “Occasionally, large snakes may feed on chicks, small ducks or eggs. In some cases, water snakes may damage fish farms by feeding on fish. The greatest danger to people is the possibility of being bitten by a poisonous snake.”
In mid-April, Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services (ATCEMS) attended to a patient who had been bitten by a rattlesnake, reported by Spectrum News 1.
“According to the experts, we’re in the peak snake season in Central Texas,” ATCEMS shared on Twitter. “Most venomous snakes in our area are pit vipers such as rattlesnake, copperhead, or water moccasin.”
The account also shared tips on preventing snake bites and how to react in an encounter with the reptiles.
According to the experts, we're in the peak snake season in Central Texas.
Most venomous snakes in our area are pit vipers such as rattlesnake, copperhead, or water moccasin.
— ATCEMS (@ATCEMS) April 17, 2022
ATCEMS stated that “snakes may be in our around water, tall grass, fallen logs, outcroppings, hiding under debris or other objects, or in animal burrows.”
A good way to prevent snakes from nesting in your yard is to avoid letting any debris pile up and keep your grass cut short.
If you happen upon a snake, the best thing to do is keep your distance, NBC 5 shared. Make sure to stay calm and avoid moving too fast.
If a snake bites you, ATCEMS and the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension advise that you seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 and do not drive yourself to the hospital, as some snake bites can cause dizziness or loss of consciousness.
Never handle the snake or try to trap it, but do take a photo if possible so medical experts can more easily treat the bite.