Poisonous Snakes and Lizards: Ways to Avoid Snakebite
Snakes are widely distributed. They are found in all tropical, subtropical, and most temperate regions. Some species of snakes have specialized glands that contain a toxic venom and long hollow fangs to inject their venom.
Although venomous snakes use their venom to secure food, they also use it for self-defense. Human accidents occur when you don't see or hear the snake, when you step on them, or when you walk too close to them.
Follow these simple rules to reduce the chance of accidental snakebite:
- Don't sleep next to brush, tall grass, large boulders, or trees. They provide hiding places for snakes. Place your sleeping bag in a clearing. Use mosquito netting tucked well under the bag. This netting should provide a good barrier.
- Don't put your hands into dark places, such as rock crevices, heavy brush, or hollow logs, without first investigating.
- Don't step over a fallen tree. Step on the log and look to see if there is a snake resting on the other side.
- Don't walk through heavy brush or tall grass without looking down. Look where you are walking.
- Don't pick up any snake unless you are absolutely positive it is not venomous.
- Don't pick up freshly killed snakes without first severing the head. The nervous system may still be active and a dead snake can deliver a bite.