Snake season is on in Tucson – it starts April 1st and then the snakes slither back into hiding right around October. According to the Arizona Poison Control and Drug Information Center, already seven people have been bitten statewide.
And all kinds of snakes come out – from the bullnose snake (these are the good ones!) to the rattlesnakes. And they are everywhere – they appear on your back porch, hide in flowerpots, or are in plain sight right across the road (and let me tell you – while out riding a bike when you come across one – be prepared because they stretch across the road!) to more common places such as on hiking trails.
SNAKES 101 (to avoid being bitten - from the AZ Posion Control Center):
- Arizona is home to 13 species of rattlesnakes.
- Rattlers usually begin coming out in March or April and remain active until October.
- Many of the snakes slither a mile or more to their summering grounds.
SNAKE BITE 101
- A typical year brings 300 to 400 bites in Arizona, with nearly 100 of those in Pima County.
- Most bites in Southern Arizona are by Western diamondback rattlesnakes, a large species that can deliver a big dose of venom.
- Snakes sometimes rattle before striking - but not always. Don't count on it.
- Roughly 15 percent of rattler bites are "dry bites," delivering no venom.
- Deaths from rattlesnake bites are rare.
SNAKE BITE PREVENTION:
- Don’t mess with them! If you see one, take one step backwards and move away.
- The "golden rule" for avoiding snakebite: Watch where you walk and look before putting your hands anywhere.
IF YOU GET BITTEN:
- GO TO A HOSPITAL!
- Don’t do any “do it yourself treatments such as cutting, sucking, tourniquet, ice, according to the poison control center – these things do more harm than good.
For more information about snakes or snake bites, call 1-800-222-1222.