How To Deal With Snakes Around Your Home

rattlesnake.jpgAlthough non-venomous snakes are actually beneficial (if unnerving) to have in your yard the venomous variety are the ones you should be most concerned with.

Avoiding Snakes

The best way to avoid encountering a snake is to remove the things around your yard that could make it a haven for them. There are some steps you can take to remove food and shelter for them.

Get rid of any rock piles, brush piles and mulch piles also keep your grass well-mowed and trimmed. In addition eliminate piles of lumber, debris, firewood, tin and plastic.
Since snakes can also enter structures, and they most always do so from ground level, so you may also think about sealing any low openings or spaces you have on your home or outbuildings.
To have a snake removed from your property you can call Universal City Animal Control at (210) 658-0700.

A Few Things to Remember to Help Avoid Snake Bites

  • Although most snakes in Texas are not venomous, avoid handling or playing with snakes unless you have been properly trained.
  • Keep landscape well manicured.
  • Wear long pants and boots when in areas known to have snakes.
  • Watch where you step and place your hands when outdoors. Do not place them in areas where snakes may be resting unless you can see it is safe.

First Aid for Snake Bite Victims

If someone is bitten by a venomous snake, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. Call 911 or the Texas Poison Center Network at 1-800-222-1222 for information about which medical centers in your area have appropriate antivenin. It is also important to identify the kind of snake that bit the victim.
According to the Texas Department State Health Services:
What to do for snake bite victims

  • Move the victim safely away from the snake. If you see the snake, try to remember what it looks like or take a digital picture of it if you can do so without putting yourself at risk. This will aid the doctor in determining which antivenin is needed.
  • Do not attempt to capture the snake; however if the snake is dead, place it in a suitable container and bring it with you to the hospital for identification. Be careful to avoid contact with the dead snake's head however, as it may be able to bite reflexively for a short time after death.
  • Keep the victim and yourself, calm.
  • Remove jewelry or constricting clothing from the victim quickly, before any swelling begins.
  • Lift the bitten limb so that it is level with the heart. Raising it above the heart level could hasten distribution of the venom to other parts of the body. Holding the limb below the heart level could lead to increased swelling of the affected limb.
  • Limit movement of the bite wound with soap and water, if available.
  • Call 911 if available and seek medical attention immediately. If you are transporting the victim to a hospital, call ahead so that the medical staff can prepare the antivenin for administering upon arrival.
And What NOT to do for Snake Bite Victims
    • Do not attempt to suck venom from the bite wound.
    • Do not make cuts over the snake bite. This often leads to more tissue trauma and damage.
    • Do not apply a tourniquet or other constrictive device.
    • Do not apply a cold pack or ice to the snake bite.
    • Do not apply an electrical shock to the snake bite.
    • Do not take pain reliever or other medications unless instructed to do so by a physician.
    • Do not drink alcoholic beverages.
    • Do not administer antivenin in the field. Treatment for snake bites is best conducted in an appropriate medical facility.