Rise of snake sightings in the Chattahoochee Valley - WRBL

Rise of snake sightings in the Chattahoochee Valley

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People are reporting more snake sightings in our area this summer. Snakes usually tend to avoid extreme heat -- so in the past in the southeast, we haven't seen many snakes in the summer, but with a relatively cool summer, there has been an increase in snake sightings.

Thelma Barlow lives across the street from a patch of land owned by Phenix City. Tall, un-mowed grass covers the lot and she says it's infested with snakes.

"Kids can't even get out to play," says Barlow. "I won't let my grand kids out here on account of the snakes."

But an increase of snakes in our area, hasn't resulted in an increase in snakebites. Dr. Michael Walsh of The Medical Center, says the type of snakes in our area mostly keep to themselves. 

"It's really rare to be bitten by a snake," says Walsh. "Unless it's provoked in some way."

Walsh says if you are bit by a snake, you should stay calm and get to a hospital. He also says many people are under the impression that you should try and suck the venom out if you get bit. He says this doesn't work and will only make matters worse. The only treatment is to go to the hospital.

"There's no room for self-aid," says Walsh. "Do yourself a favor and get to the hospital as soon as you can before the venom does it's dirty work."

Some additional tips to avoid snakes are:

  • Avoid walking through long grass or reeds.
  • If you must venture through tall grass, carry a stick and use it to probe the ground in front of you.
  • When hiking, don't go barefoot or wear sandals. Wear sturdy hiking boots and long pants.
  • Walking with sure steps can decrease your chances of getting bitten. Snakes respond to the vibrations they feel along the ground, and so will be able to feel you coming and hide.
  • If you get bit, go to the hospital, there are no proven home remedies. The only treatment you can receive is at the hospital.


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