‘It’s a combination of factors’: Rattlesnake bites are up in Texas

rattlesnake bites up
rattlesnake bites up(KFDA)
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 6:08 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - It is that time of the year when snake sightings become more common in our area.

The Texas Panhandle Poison Control Center has seen more than 10 percent increase in rattlesnake bites across the state.

“I think it’s a combination of factors really,” said Ronica Farrar, educator Texas Panhandle Poison Control Center. “We had a lot of heat early on, we got a lot of rain early on and then people may be outside more this year than they have been in the past because of the pandemic.”

Dallas Dillard, owner of Diamondback Pest Control says he has received more calls about snakes than last year.

“The rodent population has blossomed,” said Dillard. “Specially the last two years, the winter has been warm and a lot of the week and sickly animals would die during that period, the last couple of years that hadn’t been going on.”

Aside from parks and hiking trails, you can also encounter snakes in your own backyard.

“A gas repairer, plumber needs to go underneath and they find something like that,” said Dillard.

To keep snakes away from your home, Dillard recommends to remove any clutter and keep your grass low, he also says training your pet to stay away from snakes is important.

If you plan to be a at a place with tall grass, where you won’t be able to see the ground, make sure to use protective clothing and never touch or handle the snake.

“If you do get bitten, you want to take off anything that’s around the extremity,” said Farrar. “Wherever you were bitten that extremity is going to swell.”

The center also recommend having their help line number save on your phone.

As of now, the Poison Control Center does not know of any shortages of anti-venom.

However, Farrar says some hospitals may only have doses for one treatment and if so, they would call the PCC to provide them with more doses as needed.

The number is (800) 222-1222.

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