Stephanie Jochum-Natt with the Hogle Zoo and Wild Aware Utah tells us what to do if you happen to see a snake. If you can’t tell if the snake is venomous from a distance, leave it alone and treat it as if it were venomous. Any snake may respond aggressively if agitated. Snakes hibernate during the winter under rocks and in burrows. In the summer they are most active at dawn and dusk. Snakes mainly eat rodents, birds and other reptiles.
- If you encounter a snake outside of human development, leave it alone – it’s in its natural habitat.
- Never try to poke, handle, corner or harass a snake.
- Snake bites occur when people are trying to handle or kill the snake. Teach children to respect wildlife and to look, but not touch.
- Snakes hide well on open trails and in dense grasses. Be aware of your surroundings. Look carefully where you place your feet, and before you sit down on the ground, on rocks, or on logs.
- Wear closed-toed shoes while hiking.
- If you hear a rattle, don’t jump or panic. Try to locate where the sound is coming from before trying to move. Warn others if they are around.
- If bitten, treat it as if it were a venomous snake bite. Do not use a tourniquet or cold compress. Do not suck out the venom. Keep the victim calm, remove restrictive clothing and jewelry near the bite, and keep the affected area below the level of the heart. Treat for shock if necessary and get medical attention immediately.
- If a snake is bothering you in your yard, spray it with a hose. This is a harmless and easy way to scare them off. Keep at least a distance of 15 feet while spraying the snake.
You can find more great tips here.