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Posted: March 29, 2018 10:28 a.m.
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Consider snake safety as weather warms

Now that the weather is getting warmer with the approach of summer, there will be more people enjoying their favorite outdoor activities, such as hiking in our state parks. However, snakes are one of the outdoor dangers that we must be vigilant of as we move about since the warmer weather usually attracts snakes.

While snakes are beneficial to our environment by helping keep the rodent population down, some snakes are very harmful to humans. These snakes are poisonous, and their venom can attack different organs in our bodies. In Georgia, we have several common snakes such as the Eastern Garter, Brown Water, Scarlet King, Hognose, Eastern Ribbon, Crown, Queen, Earth, Black Swamp, Pine woods, Pine  and Rainbow snakes. However, only the Crown and the Pine Woods snakes are mildly venomous, causing just a mild irritation to human. The rest are all venomous and can cause severe pain or death.

The Eastern Diamond Back Rattlesnake, Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin), Coral Snake, Copperhead, Timber Rattlesnake and the Pigmy Rattlesnake are all great at camouflaging themselves with the surroundings and will strike without hesitation. Some snakes are more active than others in the evening when it is a little cooler outside, but enjoy sunbathing during the day. You can find them everywhere from the woods and under leaves, to rocky hills and mountains. Some snakes spend most of their time in lakes and rivers catching frogs and lizards. So if you are going hiking, it is best to wear heavy leather or high-topped rubber boots and heavy gloves. Also, wear your trouser legs outside boots. Other tips are at http://www.i4at.org/lib2/snakes.htm

Be extremely careful around debris. Use rakes, pry bars, or other long-handled tools when removing debris. Never expose your hands, feet, or other parts of your body in a place where a snake might hide.Always be on the lookout and if you realize you are near a snake, avoid sudden movement, which may cause the snake to strike. If you remain still, the snake may leave. If the snake does not move away from you, back away from it, slowly.

If  you kill a poisonous snake, use a stick, rake, or another long-handled tool to carry the snake away for disposal. Snakes may bite even when they appear dead.

These are just a few safety tips you can find more on the internet. It is best to know the basics about snakes before you find yourself or a family member in striking distance of a poisonous one. 



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