Waco: Venomous snakes slither into urban areas

The western diamondback rattlesnake's native range is the southwestern United States (Arizona,...
The western diamondback rattlesnake's native range is the southwestern United States (Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas) and the northern half of Mexico.(KY3)
Published: Aug. 27, 2018 at 6:25 PM CDT
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In the region that covers Falls, Limestone, Hill, McLennan, and Bosque counties, Baylor Scott & White has treated 25 snakebites so far this year.

"We've seen quite a few, not every day, but I'd say one or two a week which is about what we typically see,” said Dr. Joshua Houser, assistant director of emergency medicine at Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center in Waco.

According to the Texas Poison Center Network, there have been 102 reported rattlesnake bites across the state from January to July of this year.

The organization said there were 210 rattlesnake bites reported in 2017.

"I think there probably are a little bit more snakes in general,” Houser said.

“Maybe not just rattlesnakes but all snakes in general. As Waco grows and becomes more populated the snakes are going to be moved away from the less populated rural areas to where our homes and our gardens and our yards are looking for places to stay," he said.

Houser has some advice for those unlucky enough to be bitten.

"Elevate it and come to see us. Don't try to suck out the poison. Don't put a tourniquet on. Don't try to cut out the poison. Don't do any of those old wives tales. Just put ice on it. Keep it elevated. Try not to move it to much. Come in and let us take a look at it."

Along with rattlesnakes, the Texas Poison Center Network data shows copperhead bites are up.

Last year, there were 441 copperhead bites reported.

From January to July of this year, there have been 308.