Venomous snake safety in West Texas

Local News

Warmer temperatures cause higher snake activity

SAN ANGELO, Texas – With temperatures rising during these warm months, the chances of getting bitten by a venomous snake are higher.

The slithering creatures are more active during this time of year, and could even be found near your home.

“There was a snake inside of a house, inside of a heater unit. We had to take the entire heater unit apart, and then snakes in vehicles,” stated Tanner Tumlinson, who is a Volunteer Snake Rescuer and a Police Officer with San Angelo Police Department.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that around 7,000 to 8,000 people receive venomous bites, per year, in the United States.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, snakes simply can’t survive in extreme heat for more than 10 to 20 minutes and that means they’re on the move.

“It is absolutely a problem a year-round here in West Texas, because of the warmth,” claimed Karen Frembgen who is the owner and lead Veterinarian at Knickerbocker Road Animal Hospital.

This means, it’s a dangerous time for children and pets because they are both curious and vulnerable.

However, there are some measures that you can take to keep your loved ones safe.

“Snakes want to hide during the day, so you really want to keep your grass cut short. You want to keep your bushes trimmed. If there are any stocked logs or anything like that, you want to keep those at a distance from your house,” explained Frembgen.

“I think the best thing to do is to teach your kids if they come upon a snake to not touch it. To stay away and keep your distance, then tell an adult,” added Tyler Cochran who is a Veterinarian at Knickerbocker Road Animal Hospital.

Here in West Texas, rattlesnakes are the most prevalent venomous snake.

Their bite is deadly, not just to humans but to animals as well.

“You want make sure your dog has either been trained to avoid snakes or even better that, get your dog a rattlesnake vaccination,” said Bill Cullins who is a San Angelo Resident.

“There is a rattlesnake vaccine now. In general, dogs and cats are more resistant to rattlesnake bites than people,” stated Cochran.

In order avoid poisonous bites during this high season for snake bites, it’s as simple as keeping your distance.

“One of the most common misconceptions is that snakes are kind of out to get people and that snakes attack people and that’s not true. Typically, what we see is an accidental interaction between snakes and people. You just have to respect that they have venom and you need to not get bit by them,” expressed Tumlinson.

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