(Courtesy Georgia Department of Natural Resources)
WXIA -- "Atlanta is seeing a crazy amount of rainfall and I think it's driving snakes out of their natural habitat, driving them out of their snake holes, and their out and about looking for food and looking for things to get in to," explains Dr. Gaylord Lopez, the director of the Georgia Poison Center.
In fact, according to the Georgia Poison Center, in the last three and a half years, over 1400 snakebite calls came in to their center. More than half of those were venomous snakes.
"The ones we get called about primarily are copperheads and rattlesnakes," Lopez says. "We've had a high volume when it comes to copperheads, I think they are our leading snake, and then followed by rattlesnakes."
If you do happen to get bitten by a snake, Dr. Lopez emphasizes things you should NOT do:
- First, don't try to cut and suck the venom out, it doesn't work.
- Second, don't put on a tourniquet on, it could make it worse by cutting off the blood flow.
- Finally, don't use ice to cut down on the swelling. Surprisingly, ice makes the venom move faster through your system.
"The number one anecdote that we have for snakebites at home are carkeys. Get to a hospital because that's what you need to do," Lopez points out.
The best measure in making sure you don't get bitten is to take preventative measures. Many pest control companies will come out to spray snake repellent in your yard to deter them. Also, be vigilant when out in the yard. Look inside your shrubs and bushes BEFORE you stick your hands in there because those are great hiding places. Once you see a snake, go the other way!
One final thing Dr. Lopez notes, if you are trying to remember snake skin coloring to know whether it is venomous or not, use this famous phrase:
- "Red on black is a friend of Jack" (meaning it is non-venomous).
- "Red touch yellow will kill a fellow" (that one describes poisonous snakes, most commonly the coral snake).