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Rain keeping Texas snakes hidden, but not for long

Posted at 6:22 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 19:25:15-04

This is the time of the year when Texans start noticing snakes because of the heat, but the amount of rain has kept some of them away.

Poisonous snakes in Texas are usually out and about right now, hunting and enjoying the heat but all the rain has dropped temperatures.

The moisture and cooler temperatures have forced snakes and their prey into hiding and for longer than usual but that’s not going to last.

”As it dries out more, I imagine that we may see a lot more coming out. Even longer the normal morning hours just because that haven’t been able to get out and do their hunting,” said Sammy Jarrett, Wildlife Specialist with Wildlife X Team.

Some local property owners and ranchers haven’t been able to do any land maintenance lately and it has them worried about snakes.

”It does give us a little bit of concern, our cows walking through waist high weeds and maybe not seeing or hearing some of the more dangerous snakes,” said Brett Gordon, Killeen Cattle Rancher.

As things dry out more people will be able to take care of yard work that the weather has prevented but, that will increase the risk of getting bit and that is what ranchers are most worried about.

”My more concern is me finding a rattle snake accidentally or my dogs that out in the field with me,” said Gordon.

Doctors at AdventHealth in Killeen said if you are bitten by a snake, then you should not follow any of the myths you might have heard.

”You do not want to place a torniquet, you do not want to dip it in cold water, and definitely don’t cut it open and try to suck the venom out. Those are myths,” said Dr. Austin Potter M.D., Emergency room doctor, AdventHealth in Killeen.

Instead, you should clean it and call 911 or get to the closest emergency room a quickly as possible.

”You’re going to want to immobilize the extremity. You're going to want to keep it still. You’re going to want to keep It clean and that means washing it with gentile soap and water if you have time,” said Dr. Potter.

The most important thing to do if you are bitten is to call 911 or get to the emergency room as fast as possible.

Do not do things like applying a tourniquet or attempting to suck out the venom, as this could raise the chances of permanent tissue damage.

You also outline any swelling or redness and write down the time, so the doctors have a better sense of how fast the poison is spreading.