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Snake Safety for You and Your Pets

Posted by Sharon Rosshirt on Monday, August 28th, 2017 at 8:00am.

We’ve had a lot of comments lately about how snakes are out, and there seem to be lots of them.  The wet spring has probably contributed to that, especially water snakes.

Snakes are part of the deal with Central Texas living, so being informed is important.

First:  All snakes are not bad, or venomous.  I know, I know, “the only good snake is a dead snake”.  But not really.  Snakes keep down rodent populations, and some good snakes kill venomous snakes.  Learn to tell the difference.  The most common large snake in our area is the Texas Rat Snake, which while large and imposing, is harmless.  Unless he’s stealing eggs from your chicken coop!

Here’s a link to an easy to use snake ID site focusing on snakes found in our area. They are sorted by easily identified categories like striped, blotched, and patterned.  Doing a little homework can save you from being so terrified when you spot a snake near you, and perhaps decide whether to kill the snake.

Second:  Since we do have venomous snakes, most commonly rattlesnakes in this area, consider having your pet vaccinated against rattlesnake bites.  It’s not expensive, and many veterinarians can administer it.  It could save the life of a pet that wanders in wooded areas or hikes with you.

Third:  Be alert.  If you are outdoors in a wooded or wild area, take a hiking staff or long stick into brushy areas, and move it around ahead of you to scare off any lurking snakes.  They would rather leave than fight, so don’t surprise or corner them.  Don’t put your hand anywhere you haven’t “jostled” first, like picking berries or flowers.

Outdoor living is part of the charm of Central Texas, so take a few precautions, and worrying about snakes, or being frightened or bitten by one, needn’t keep you from enjoying the great outdoors!

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