Health District Issues Rattlesnake Warning


October 17, 2016

Wichita Falls, Texas- The City of Wichita Falls Animal Services Center is issuing a warning to citizens to be on the look-out for rattlesnakes and other snakes that are active at this time of year.

This past weekend, Animal Control Officers responded to several calls about snakes and picked up multiple rattlesnakes that were found in various parts of Wichita Falls.

Animal Services would like to encourage citizens to be aware of their surroundings and learn to recognize the different snake species that are likely to be in the area.  There are many non-venomous snake that are beneficial for the environment and act as predators to the rat infestation our community is having.

Rattlesnakes are usually not aggressive and do not prey on humans.  They will usually retreat or escape when given the opportunity.  Snakes become dangerous when they are surprised or cornered. Most rattlesnake bites occur when the snakes are stepped on or are being handled.  Most snake bites occur on the hands, feet and ankles.  Approximately 8,000 people are bitten by rattlesnakes yearly with 10-15 deaths occurring according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Here are some tips to avoid rattlesnakes:

  • Keep your lawn mowed and trimmed short.
  • Remove any brush, wood, rock or debris piles as those are great hiding places for snakes.
  • While outside, always wear shoes and look where you’re walking.
  • Don’t place your feet or hands in any areas you can’t see into.
  • When out hiking, stay on trails.
  • Avoid tall grass or weedy areas where snakes may hang out during the daylight.
  • Step up on logs or onto big rocks instead of stepping over. This gives you the opportunity to look where you’re going.
  • Be careful when gathering firewood.
  • If you hear a rattle, move slowly away. Do not make any sudden or threatening moves. Remember that not all rattlesnakes will rattle first.
  • Do not handle a freshly killed snake as they are still capable of injecting venom.

If you or your pet are bitten, attempt to stay calm and seek immediate medical or veterinary attention.

Do not try any home remedies such as making incisions marks over the bite, using a tourniquet or attempting to suction out the venom.  Go directly to a hospital or take your pet immediately to the veterinarian.

If you have a snake in your yard or home, contact Animal Control at 940-761-7824.

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