Care & Hygiene

What it is advisable know

Summer time is peak snake season right here in Central Texas, listed here are some issues to know in regards to the venomous snakes in our space so you may be careful for snakes whereas out mountaineering in our many parks, greenbelts and trails.

What snakes are venomous in Central Texas?

Based on Texas Parks & Wildlife, there are two sorts of venomous snakes in Texas: coral snakes and pit vipers. 

ATCEMS says that almost all venomous snakes in Central Texas are pit vipers, resembling copperheads, cottonmouths or water moccasins, and rattlesnakes. These are referred to as pit vipers as a result of they’ve a pit close to every nostril which is extremely delicate to warmth and helps the snake in finding warm-blooded prey. The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service says that pit vipers even have venom glands on the perimeters of their heads, giving the top a triangular look.


Copperhead snakes have bands of grey and/or brown with a copper-colored head, making it simple for them to mix in with leaf-covered forest flooring. Copperheads chew moderately than strike and most bites happen when a snake is by accident picked up, sat or laid on due to how simple it camouflages.

Broad-banded copperhead / Texas copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus ) curled up beneath tree trunk. (Picture by: Arterra/Common Photographs Group by way of Getty Photographs)

Texas A&M Agrilife says that the physique form of copperheads is just like rattlesnakes, however they lack rattles and have thicker our bodies. Copperheads are usually present in forested areas, together with wooded suburbs and are discovered throughout most of Texas, besides for much south Texas, the panhandle, and the northwest portion of the Trans-Pecos.


The cottonmouth, or water moccasin, not often strays removed from water and could be present in marshes, swamps, ponds, lakes, ditches, and canals in East and Central Texas and alongside the Gulf coast. When threatened, it can open its mouth to indicate its fangs. The within of its mouth is white, harking back to cotton, therefore the identify cottonmouth.

Pictured is a cottonmouth or water moccasin. (Picture by Ed Sackett/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune Information Service by way of Getty Photographs)

Texas Parks & Wildlife says cottonmouths could be very defensive and generally aggressive and might chew underwater. 


There are ten sorts of rattlesnakes that dwell throughout Texas, says Texas Parks & Wildlife. Rattlesnakes will often vibrate the top of its tail, making a rattling sound earlier than putting, but when they’re completely stunned, they might strike earlier than rattling. A lot of the rattlesnakes are energetic at night time, after they hunt for prey resembling mice, rats and rabbits.

The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake or Texas Diamondback is a venomous snake discovered within the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico.  ((Picture by: Jon G. Fuller/VWPics/Common Photographs Group by way of Getty Photographs))

The Western Diamondback, the blacktail rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, and the western massasauga are the kinds usually present in Central Texas, says Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Coral snakes

Texas Parks & Wildlife says just one species of coral snake is native to Texas and is shy and infrequently seen. The coral snake has a small mouth and head and a slender physique with alternating rings of vibrant crimson, yellow and black, and is often not aggressive. Its bites are harmful with extraordinarily potent venom, however very uncommon.

Texas coral snakes are discovered all through a lot of the state besides the panhandle and Trans-Pecos, says Texas A&M Agrilife. They’re often present in forested habitats, together with wooded suburbs. 

The rhyme “crimson and yellow, kill a fellow” may help hikers keep in mind that the coral snake’s crimson and yellow colours contact, whereas the innocent milk snake has crimson rings touching black. 

What can I do to attempt to stop getting bitten?

ATCEMS presents the next tricks to stop snake bites:

  • Remember that snakes could also be in/round water, tall grass, fallen logs, outcroppings, hiding beneath particles or different objects or in animal burrows
  • In the event you see a snake, freeze, again away slowly and do not contact it
  • Snakes will often escape or retreat if given the chance
  • Don’t decide up or attempt to entice a snake
  • By no means deal with a venomous snake, not even a useless one or its decapitated head
  • Heavy footwear, snake-proof trousers, leggings or boots will assist scale back the danger of bites

Texas Parks & Wildlife says that snakes will often keep away from folks, however will certainly chew if stepped on or in the event that they really feel trapped. Most bites will occur across the ankle, and about 99% of all bites occur beneath the knee, so Texas Parks & Wildlife advises watching rigorously the place you step and to put on boots in tall grass.

The Texas Agrilife Extension additionally recommends utilizing a stick or long-handled instrument to maneuver boards or logs moderately than reaching beneath.

“Neatest thing you are able to do is depart it alone—depart it alone, they’re going to depart you alone. They’re wild animals they usually do not need to interact with folks. Given the chance, they are going to attempt to get away from folks. I am nonetheless ready for a snake to chase me, and I have been chasing snakes for 60 years,” stated Tim Cole, proprietor of Austin Reptile Service.

What to learn about venomous snakes in Central Texas

ATCEMS says it is peak snake season in Central Texas, so listed here are some issues to know in regards to the venomous snakes in our space.

For canine homeowners, it’s particularly necessary to guard them from snakes. There’s a rattlesnake vaccine for canines, however proper now there’s controversy about how efficient it’s.

That’s why Austin Pets Alive! says prevention is vital:

  • Don’t let canines off-leash, particularly in areas the place they might not have the ability to see the place they’re stepping
  • Observe recall along with your canine: ensure they’re good at coming after they’re referred to as
  • Don’t let your canine play with any snakes, even innocent ones.

In case your canine is bitten, you must take motion straight away.

“I might go to the emergency heart straight away. They most likely will want anti-venom and the a lot of the emergency facilities could have that available. So I might attempt to get it as shortly as you may to your canine. Some canines can survive with out it, nevertheless it’s a very painful course of,” stated Laura Thomas, Canine Care Supervisor with Austin Pets Alive!

What do I do if I’m bitten by a snake?

ATCEMS says in the beginning if you happen to’re bitten by a snake to stay calm and search medical consideration as quickly as potential by calling 911 or native EMS. Antivenom is the most effective therapy for snake bites and the earlier it may be utilized, the earlier irreversible injury could be stopped.

It’s also suggested to take a photograph of the snake from a protected distance if potential to assist with correct identification.

“The extra offended and excited you might be, your coronary heart price goes up, blood circulation is elevated, and that may flow into the venom a bit of bit extra. Name 9-1-1 as a result of there are measures, clearly, we will get you to the suitable stage of care a bit of bit faster,” stated Capt. Darren Noak with Austin-Travis County EMS.

Whereas ready for EMS, you can even do the next for first support:

  • If bitten by a pit viper, lay or sit down with the bitten limb elevated at about 60 levels
  • If bitten by a coral snake, preserve the bitten limb at stage with the center
  • Take away all rings and watches earlier than swelling begins
  • Wash the chew in cleaning soap and water and canopy it with a dry dressing
  • Mark the forefront of any tenderness or swelling on the pores and skin and write the time alongside it

What ought to I not do if I’m bitten by a snake?

ATCEMS additionally says there are issues you shouldn’t do if you happen to’re bitten by a snake:

  • Don’t drive your self to the hospital, as folks with snakebites can develop into dizzy or go out
  • Don’t await signs to seem, search medical consideration straight away
  • Don’t apply a tourniquet
  • Don’t slash or minimize the wound in any means
  • Don’t attempt to suck out the venom
  • Don’t apply ice or immerse the wound in water
  • Don’t take ache relievers, resembling aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Don’t apply electrical shock or folks cures

Click on right here for Austin Reptile Service’s information to venomous snakes in our space. Click on right here for the information to the non-venomous snakes. 

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