It’s Snake Season in Texas
Do you know what type of snake you just saw?
If you spend any time outdoors or traveling in wooded areas there’s no doubt you have come face to face with plenty of snakes. Snakes typically emerge from hibernation in March and April and then become more active as the temperatures rise. While snakes play an invaluable role in keeping rodent populations down, humans are never prey for venomous snakes.
According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Venomous Texas Snakes website, Texas is home to over 105 species and subspecies of snakes, however only 15 of those pose a danger to humans.
Despite this, each year, there have been more deaths in Texas attributed to lightning strikes than to venomous snakebites. This is due, in part, to increasing awareness of snakes around us, developing and improved first aid and medical practices, and excellent educational and outreach efforts by herpetologists and snake enthusiasts across the state. More information on each of these species can be found in many excellent books.
Their website has lots of information including: Safety Around the Home, Safety in the Field, and First Aid. Deaths from snakebites are becoming more and more a thing of the past thanks to modern medical care.
There are four groups of dangerously venomous snakes in North America, and true Texas style, you can find them all here. They are: rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouths, which are known as Pit Vipers; and coral snakes, which are known as North American Cobras. Texas Parks & Wildlife also has a Venomous Snake Safety website where you can learn about each of them.
Can you identify the snake you just saw?
SNAKE FAQ: The Texas Parks & Wildlife SNAKE FAQ website is full of information, and they even have a link to an article previously published in their print edition titled Snake Bit! (revised in 2008) that highlights the history of snake bite treatments.
For those times when you may not be able to research what just crawled out from underneath the log you checked before stepping on it, remember the old saying:
“Red on yellow, kill a fellow;
Red on Black, friend of Jack”
It will help you figure out if what you just saw was a highly venomous coral snake or a non venomous ringed species.
Last week the Laguna Vista Police Department in South Texas posted several photos to their Facebook page, one in particular has gotten more attention than the others.