Sssssnakes Alive: Northern Pacific rattlesnake
Northern Pacific Rattlesnake are Mild-Mannered Homebodies
Snakes, in general, have gotten a bad rap and not many people look forward to coming face to face with them. Luckily Washington has only one venomous snake to worry about – the Northern Pacific rattlesnake.
In reality, they are not our enemy, rather an important part of the food chain and should not be killed. If there is a drastic reduction in the snake population, in turn, there will be a significant increase in the rodent and pest population (rats, mice, squirrels, insects, snails, and slugs).
With rodent populations come destruction, but if a snake comes into your home he is only there looking for a meal or occasionally searching for a warm place to winter. If there is no food and water source, they will soon search for the exit.
What To Do if You are Bitten by a Snake
Should you be out hiking and come across that rattle warning, stop and back away slowly. Panicking and running will almost certainly result in a strike and bite.
When a bite does happen it is important to not panic which is easier said than done. But keeping your wits about you will result in the venom taking longer to do damage.
Next, wash the bite area with soap and water and remove anything that may be restrictive (rings especially) as swelling will happen.
Keep the area that has been bitten below the heart and go to the Emergency Room and/or call the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1212.
Do not cut or suck the bite. The Lone Ranger got it wrong when he sucked the poison from the rattlesnake bite of his trusty sidekick, Tonto.
Prevent Snakes this Winter
This time of the year you may well encounter snakes as they are moving to hibernation dens.
The babies will be searching for a warm place to sun and a first meal! It is not unusual to find one basking on the patio or driveway. Most of the young enter this world from July through September, and fall is when they are actively seeking mates and shelters.
To ensure your home is not a snakes’ choice for a winter dwelling, make sure that any entry points are sealed and there are no rodent infestations. To snakes, rodents are a tasty meal.
If you have done your fall inspection and repairs for the winter only to find a problem, like a snake hiding out in the garage or basement, it is best to leave snake-handling to professionals.
After you have regained your composure, call Croach® and we will send one of our experienced technicians out to take care of the problem.