Warm Weather Brings out Snakes

Local News

Ophidiophobia is the abnormal fear of snakes and is a common fear of many adults.

As temperatures warm up, snakes will begin to come out around the Rio Grande Valley.

As more people head out during warmer seasons, so do snakes. People may encounter these slithery reptiles around this time of year.

Dr. Pat Burchfield, Executive Director of the Gladys Porter Zoo said, “Snakes are afraid of you. Given any opportunity they are going to escape.”

Thanks to our overall warm weather, snake season is ongoing year-round. There may be a slowdown in snake activity during the winter, but come spring the snakes come out as well.

“When the temperature is 65-85 degrees, they are going to be active.” Said Dr. Burchfield.

It’s not likely you’ll be attacked by a venomous snake. In fact, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife, 2-3 people in Texas die from venomous snakes a year.

Dr. Burchfield, “Most people are snake bitten are either trying to kill or capture the snake. Just leave them alone. They want to escape.”

If you’re outdoors and you spot a threatening snake, the best thing you can do is take it slow, any sudden movement may cause a snake to panic and strike.  

Dr. Burchfield, “What I generally do is lift my shoe sole to where if the snake were to strike it would hit the shoe sole or the boot sole, not the leg.”

Dress appropriately for outdoor activities.

Dr. Burchfield, “If you’re walking through tall grass in an area that is known to have rattle snakes and you’re wearing flip flops and shorts, that’s not a good idea.”

You’ll likely encounter a snake if you’re in thick brush, near resacas, or while hunting.

Dr. Burchfield added, “If you’re worried about snakes in your yard. Keep your yard clean. Don’t leave debris for places for snakes to hide underneath.”

Just to be sure, stay aware of your surroundings.

If you’re ever bit by a snake, seek professional medical attention.

Do not drive yourself to a hospital as the venom may paralyze you.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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