SCOTTSDALE – With the unseasonably warm weather continuing, people should be aware that snakes are still active in the Valley this Halloween.
The Phoenix Herpetological Society continues to remove snakes around Valley homes, and is cautioning people to be careful when they are decorating around their homes.
Don’t walk or reach where you can’t see, says Dan Marchand, Curator of Phoenix Herpetological Society. He says snakes like to hide next to a home’s foundation, where they feel safe and can find food. As a result, snakes can sometimes be hidden among Halloween decorations in front of homes. People should also avoid damp or rocky areas where snakes might be hiding.
If you do find a snake, walk away and don’t try to move it yourself. An estimated 80 to 90 percent of rattlesnake bites happen when homeowners try to deal with the snake themselves.
What to do if bitten by a rattlesnake:
Keep the bitten area still. You can immobilize the area with an improvised splint made from a board, magazines, or other stiff material tied to the limb (but don’t tie it too tight because you don’t want to reduce blood flow).
Remove any jewelry or constricting items near the affected area in case of swelling.
Call 911 and stay calm.
Elevate the extremity that’s bitten.
Drive yourself to the hospital.
Use ice to cool the bite.
Cut open the wound and try to suck out the venom.
Use a tourniquet. This will cut off blood flow and the limb may be lost.
At least 13 species of rattlesnake and few other types of venomous snakes make their home in Arizona. However, far more non-venomous snakes are found in the state.
Phoenix Herpetological Society also wants people to understand that killing a snake or other reptile isn’t the best way of dealing with these creatures. “Wildlife plays an important role in our world,” adds Marchand. “We can co-exist if we understand how.”
For a fee, the Phoenix Herpetological Society will remove a snake from your property.
For more information about the Phoenix Herpetological Society, call 602-550-1090 or go to www.phoenixherp.com.