As warm weather returns, so do many snakes in East Texas


TYLER, Texas (KETK) – As the warm weather creeps in, so do many snakes in East Texas.

To try and keep cool in warmer temperatures, snakes will hang out in tall grass or hide in piles of leaves. They even are known to camp out around our state flower, the bluebonnet.

Texas is home to over 105 different species of snake, according to Texas Parks & Wildlife. Experts say that the wildflowers are a perfect place for snakes to hide, especially copperheads.

Photo courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

Copperheads have chestnut or reddish-brown crossbands on a lighter colored body.

The copperhead snake is one of the venomous snakes that call East Texas home. Bites are painful, but rarely deadly. It’s best to take caution when having a photo-op in a bluebonnet field.

If you are bitten, get to an emergency room right away. Experts say that many ‘remedies’ you can find online or through word of mouth actually aren’t effective.

“Sucking the venom out, you don’t want to do that,” Kristen Hullum, a nurse at St. David’s Round Rock said. “It used to be thought that you could put a tourniquet over the wound, but there is no evidence that is effective either.”

The goal is to get to the ER and get antivenom to keep the venom from circulating and causing major damage.

The Nacogdoches Fire Department says they see a lot of people killing snakes this time of year, which they say has an adverse affect on the environment.

Texas Parks & Wildlife asks people to not kill snakes, even the venomous ones. They say snakes will not chase you, and usually retreat if given the opportunity. The danger comes when they are surprised or concerned.

“The majority of bites result from people taking unnecessary or foolish risks with venomous snakes. Freeze when snakes are known to be nearby until you know where they are. Allow the snake to retreat. If you must move, back slowly and carefully away from the snake.”

Texas Parks & Wildlife

If you see a snake at your home, you can call animal control or your local police or fire department.

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