Summer brings sun, scorching heat, and…snakes!
RAPID CITY, S.D. — The best advice for dealing with snakes you come across – whether in the yard or out on a hiking trail…”just leave it alone and it’ll be on it’s way.”
Recent hot, dry weather sending snakes in search of water – sometimes resulting in them surprising you in your home.
“You’ll find snakes around hose bibs or faucets; they’re just trying to get a drink,” says Lacy Elrod, director at Outdoor Campus West.
South Dakota is home to several types of snakes – from garter snakes to bull snakes – but only one of them is venomous – the prairie rattlesnake.
While you may not be able to tell at first glance what kind of snake you’re looking at, professionals say the well-known myths about eye shape don’t do you much good.
“If you’re close enough to see the shape of that snake’s eyes and it turns out to be a venomous snake – and you get yourself bit – then you’re too close,” Elrod says.
Preparedness is the key to snake safety. That means wearing long pants and close-toed shoes when out in the field or working in your yard.
But if you do get bit, you’ll want to see if it was a rattlesnake or not. If so, your best bet is to call 9-1-1 immediately.
Elrod says, “Leave the snake there. Don’t try to suck the venom out – that’s a common myth as well – just don’t do it – just go seek medical attention.”
Like them or not, she says snakes are good to have around because they eat mice and other rodents.
If you want to help keep snakes away, taking down bird feeders and sealing up potential entry points in your home is a good way to go.
“Keeping your grass mowed pretty short will keep snakes away,” Elrod adds.
If you do run across a snake – whether in your home, garage, or car – call Animal Control at (605) 394-4132 to have it safely removed.