Some Fascinating Facts About Rattlesnakes!

This Mojave is a mid-sized rattler that rarely grows longer than ~ 39 inches!

Snake Bites

If you have no interest in getting bitten by a snake, the best states to inhabit are:  Alaska, Maine or Delaware (These states do not have wild rattlesnakes). *

‘Caution’ is the watchword in the states with the highest number of snake bites per capita:  North Carolina, Arkansas, Texas, Georgia, West Virginia, Mississippi and Louisiana (in that order).

Who Gets Bitten?

The likely victim of a bite is determined by: Location, the age and occupation of the victim, plus the time of day.

As America becomes more urban and suburban, conflicts between man and snake decline.  Thus, snake bites become less of a problem each year.  However, if you are one of those bitten, that statistic is of slight interest!

Most snakes are nocturnal.  Rattlers also prefer to slink away, and not strike.  However, this brings up the next human reason in the equation:   Boys and men are more likely to be aggressive towards snakes.  When a snake sees no choice, he strikes.

Males, between the ages of 20 – 30 are the most likely group to be bitten by a rattlesnake.  Most snake bites occur in the spring and summer, while snakes are most active.

As one might guess, the hands and feet are the most likely areas to receive bites.  This has something to do with the next factor:  occupation.

Folks who are in agricultural jobs are the most likely to be victims of a snake.

If You Don’t Want to Be a Statistic

Here are a few ideas for avoiding a snake bite:

  • Are you in an area inhabited by snakes?
  • Are you wearing high leather boots and long pants while in “snake territory?”
  • Are you reaching into an area where you cannot see what you are touching?
  • Are you moving around in places where snakes usually hide?
  • Are you walking at night in an area known to have snakes?
  • Is someone in your group harassing a snake?
  • Are you stepping over something (log or rock), but can’t see what is on the other side?
  • Are you wading in shallow water?
  • Are you wading along banks in thick, wooded areas?

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* There are a few reports of snake bites in Delaware – probably from captive snakes!

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‘Mojave Rattlesnake’ used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on November 8, 2010 at 1:16 am  Comments Off on Some Fascinating Facts About Rattlesnakes!  
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Would You Recognize a Venomous Snake?

As the weather warms up, folks start to get nervous about coming up close-and-personal to snakes.

I won’t go so far as to say that ‘snakes are your friends’ but I will point out that snakes do a great job of controlling insects, rats and mice populations.

Snakes Just Want Peace-and-Quiet!

Few snakes are interested in confronting you.  Given the opportunity, most will slither into dark recesses, instead of going toe-to-fang with you.

The Bad Boys of the Snake Kingdom

This Diamond-backed Rattlesnake Usually Warns People Off by Rattling His Tail!

It took me years to understand that there are 4 main groups of venomous snakes … and the others may bite, but they have no venom.

Therefore, let’s talk about the ‘bad boys.’  Most people who are bitten by venomous snakes, get their bites courtesy of rattlesnakes.

Rattlers usually show their readiness to bite you by shaking their tails … however, this is not a guarantee!

Some just lunge and bite!  Frankly, this is going to make a mess of your day!  My suggestion is to move away quickly when you hear the distinctive rattling sound.

Three More to Go!

The coral snake can be identified through the rhyme:  “Red and yellow,

A "Red and Yellow" Snake Will Kill a Fellow!

kill a fellow; red and black, venom lack.”

If you are bitten, head to a medical facility immediately.  Stay calm and take deep breaths to relax yourself.

Rushing around will only cause the venom to spread faster!

These Guys Don't Play Around!

Water moccasins are in and around water, particularly in the shallows near low-hanging branches.

They don’t leave much to the imagination!  A Moccasin shows his fangs freely.

Finally, I want to mention the Copperhead. They are a real problem where I live (Texas).

Even Young Copperheads are Capable of A Dangerous Bite!

We live in open agricultural land and Copperheads seem to like to bask in the sun on cool days.

Generally, they are found in gardening mulch and compost piles and under decaying stumps.  Two more places to watch are: under large, flat stones and under decaying stumps.

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All snake photos are courtesy of Wikipedia!

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Next Time: How to Avoid Snakes; What To Do When You Are Bitten

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This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

If You Meet a Rattlesnake**

This is One Puppy I'd Leave Alone!

If you are camping, hiking, or even out hunting, you should pay close attention to your surroundings.  While you are enjoying the scenery or excitement of hunting, keep an eye out for a fellow-traveler … the rattlesnake.

If You Hear a Rattle …

You are probably within 4 – 5 feet of a rattler.  This is no time to decide to out-run the reptile.  This is the time to freeze-in-place.

If you patiently stay in place, you can out-last the snake and he will slither off.

If you start to run and the snake is ready to strike, there is no way you can move fast enough!  Remember that rattlers can leap forward one-half the length of their body.

And if He Bites?

Rattlesnake bites are very dangerous.  Remember how we learned to ‘cut and bleed’ the bite and then apply a tourniquet? Forget it!  That is s-o-o ‘old school.’

Within 30 minutes, the bitten area will swell up and turn black & blue. The accepted policy now is to use an ace bandage or soft cloth. Put it between the bite and your heart.

Don’t tie it as tight as a tourniquet — cutting off circulation isn’t the idea. The best plan is to hurry to get medical attention immediately after applying the bandage.

Interesting Facts About Bites

Not everyone who is bitten gets venom in the bite!  In about 30% of cases, no venom is transferred during the bite. Your best protection is thick clothing and leather boots.

Another surprising statistic has to do with the location of the bites: About 98% of snake bites are to hands and feet.

Finally

Rattlesnakes, or any snake, for that matter, prefer not to bother with you.  They would prefer to slither away — in peace.  Don’t force them to attack. It will ruin your day!

Don’t let your undies get bunched up over snakes.  Remember that we share the earth with snakes, and they were here first!  Just use caution and reason.  The truth is:  Snakes like you less than you like them!

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Jim sent this very interesting comment: “… rattlesnakes don’t always rattle prior to striking. I can’t sight my original source for this information but here is a quote from wikipedia (suppose to be referenced but I could figure out which reference when with what information). “Adult snakes may lose their rattles on occasion, but more appear at each molting. If the rattle absorbs enough water in wet weather, it will not make noise.” Just thought I’d pass it along….”

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