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Hot weather has snakes on the move

With hot weather comes the weekend trip to the river, lakes and creeks. However, with hot weather also comes the danger of snakes.

Snakes are slowly becoming more active in Butler County and not only crashing the river outings but also visiting the backyard barbecues.

“It’s gotten pretty bad here lately,” Animal Control Officer Janeen Mosley said. “We’ve killed two or three just in the last few weeks.”

The most common snake in the area is the rat snake.

“If you’re walking in the yard or moving something around, be very cautious because there could be one under a board or a pile of trash,” Mosley said. “If you are out in the yard cleaning, picking stuff up and moving stuff around, be extremely cautious.”

If an individual were to come across a snake, the best possible solution is to walk away from it and leave it alone.

“Approach (the snake) from the front,” Mosley said. “The more you mess with it and poke at it and disturb it, the more aggravated the snake is going to get. If you see the snake, walk away and don’t sit there and poke it because you’re going to get bit.”

The summer is a common time to see snakes because of the heat. Mosley said land snakes are constantly looking for a water source.

Common places for snakes to hide are sheds and barns where small rodents might be hiding.

“When (people) call and tell us, we try get out there and have them tell us where they last saw it and we move very cautiously,” Mosley said. “We have snack tongs, which is a long stick with grabbers on the end to move things around a and keep our distance. If we do locate the snake we get it and kill it.”

Preventing snake bites

* Do not try to handle any snake.

* Stay away from tall grass and piles of leaves when possible.

* Avoid climbing on rocks or piles of wood where a snake may be hiding.

* Be aware that snakes tend to be active at night and in warm weather.

What to do if bitten 

* Seek medical attention as soon as possible.

* Try to remember the color and shape of the snake, which can help with treatment of the snake bite.

* Keep still and calm. This can slow down the spread of venom.

* Lay or sit down with the bite below the level of the heart.

* Wash the bite with soap and water.

* Cover the bite with a clean, dry dressing.