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Warmer Weather Brings Out Snakes

With warmer weather, more people are out enjoying nature and there is an increase of snakes being spotted in the Mountain State.  West Virginia has two kinds of venomous snakes: the Timber Rattlesnake and the Northern Copperhead. These snakes are more active when the temperatures increase.

To prevent snake bites:

  • Northern copperheads like wooded areas, especially near water. Be especially careful when walking in high grass and underbrush, especially near the banks of ponds, creeks, and rivers.
  • Timber rattlesnakes prefer rocky, mountainous areas. Be sure to look before reaching or sitting on rock ledges or logs where snakes could be hiding.
  • Keep areas around your home clean and free of wood piles, high grass, and underbrush.
  • If hiking, stay on the trails. Consider using a stick to rustle grass and plants along the trail.
  • Use a flashlight when walking outside at night.
  • If you are expecting to be in areas where snakes may be, wear long pants and sturdy, close-toed shoes. If picking up brush, logs, or debris, wear leather gloves.
  • Do not approach or kill snakes unnecessarily. If a snake appears dead, do not pick it up as snakes can still bite by reflex.

To prevent snake bites, pet owners should:

  • Avoid letting pets roam around high grass, rocks, and wood piles.
  • Keep pets on a leash while hiking or in the woods.
  • Remove hiding places, such as wood piles, where pets regularly visit.

If bitten by a snake, DO NOT try home remedies, such as ice, tourniquet, or the cut and suck method.

If bitten by a snake, DO:

  • Immobilize the bitten area, limit use, and remove any restricting items.
  • Transport to the nearest medical facility and call the West Virginia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.



West Virginia Poison Center Middle School Poster Contest Winner: 

Nevaeh Hamner, Buckhannon Upshur Middle School


For more poison contest winners, view our WV Poison Center Poster Contest.