Snake Mating Season
PLEASE USE CAUTION:
We are in the heart of Snake mating season so be cautious around all of Hampton Park's ponds and drainage areas. Last year there were reports of snakes in Celebration Pond and near Jubilee Pond. These snakes were determined to be non-venomous Brown or Northern Water Snakes. Water snakes are foraging in the water looking for small fish, frogs, worms and other small animals in the shallow water. Spring is mating season for these snakes and they can be seen bundled together on rocks, banks, logs and other areas near water. The Association has consulted with Virginia Game & Inland Fisheries who advised that these snakes are harmless, and will only bite if harassed.
Use caution because Copperhead snakes look similar to Brown & Northern water snakes. Copperheads live in and under the grasses at the edge of ponds. The Copperhead is the only venomous snake north of Richmond. They are found among rocks at the edge of ponds and lakes. They are good swimmers and are out during the day as well as at night. The young have yellow tipped tails that they use as a lure to attract small animals such as frogs.
Each year, nearly 8,000 people receive poisonous snake bites in the United States. Even a bite from a so-called "harmless" snake can cause infection orallergic reaction in some people. People who frequent snake-inhabited areas such as along the rocks on our lake shore should be aware of the potential dangers posed by venomous snakes.
What snakes cause poisonous bites?
What are the symptoms of poisonous bites?
While each individual may experience symptoms differently, the following are the most common symptoms of poisonous snake bites:
•bloody wound discharge
•fang marks in the skin and swelling at the site of the bite
•severe localized pain diarrhea
•loss of muscle coordination
•nausea and vomiting
•numbness and tingling
How are snake bites treated?
Call for emergency assistance (911) immediately if someone has been bitten by a snake. Responding quickly in this type of emergency is crucial. While waiting for emergency assistance:
•Wash the bite with soap and water.
•Immobilize the bitten area and keep it lower than the heart.
•Cover the area with a clean, cool compress or a moist dressing to minimize swelling and discomfort.
•Monitor vital signs.
If a victim is unable to reach medical care within 30 minutes, the American Red Cross recommends:
•Apply a bandage, wrapped two to four inches above the bite, to help slow the venom. This should not cut off the flow of blood from a vein or artery - the band should be loose enough to slip a finger under it.
•A suction device can be placed over the bite to help draw venom out of the wound without making cuts. These devices are often included in commercial snake bite kits.
Most often, physicians use antivenin -- an antidote to snake venom -- to treat serious snake bites. Antivenin is derived from antibodies created in a horse's blood serum when the animal is injected with snake venom. Because antivenin is obtained from horses, snake bite victims sensitive to horse products must be carefully managed.
On land or water, giving snakes a wide berth will minimize your chances of being bitten. Do not attempt to capture or kill any snake. There are precautions that can reduce your chances of being bitten by a snake.
•Leave snakes alone. Many people are bitten because they try to kill a snake or get too close to it.
•Stay out of tall grass unless you wear thick leather boots and remain on walking paths as much as possible.
•Keep hands and feet out of areas you cannot see. Do not pick up rocks, snakes live under them.
•Do not swim or wade in any of the ponds on Hampton Park property.
Information from University of Maryland