You may not have an eye out for copperheads in Tennessee just yet, but we have a few reasons why you may want to. This year they will be more abundant so read why and what you should do if you encounter one.
From the article:
The beauty of Tennessee truly goes unmatched here in the American South, but even the beauty of the Volunteer State hides a bit of danger in the brush. We’re referring to snakes – specifically, the copperhead. You can learn more about this Tennessee dweller below, and maybe do a little research on your own regarding how to stay safe this season. The cicadas are chirping and they sound like a tasty snack to the copperhead, so we’d recommend keeping your distance and learning how to identify each of the poisonous snakes in Tennessee.
The wilderness of Tennessee is truly beautiful, but amidst all the wildflowers and blooming trees full of heavy fruit there are a few dangerous little additions to the landscape. Most notably, copperhead snakes.
The copperhead snake is a reddish-brown color, which is where its name comes from. You can tell you’ve run into a copperhead in Tennessee by its triangle-shaped head that is larger in proportion to the snake’s narrow neck and color.
Copperheads are venomous and are actually one of only four types of venomous snakes in Tennessee: the Northern and Southern copperhead, the Western cottonmouth, the timber rattlesnake, and the Western pigmy rattlesnake.
Although copperheads may be scary to run across in the wild, folks should keep in mind that they are generally not very aggressive snakes. Make sure you stay safe while keeping your distance!
Copperheads in Tennessee tend to be most active during the warmer seasons, and are most likely to be found near water. This, of course, means you should watch your step when you head to the river for a dip.
Why are we worried about copperheads in Tennessee this season? Well, the Brood X cicadas are emerging after 17 years underground, and they’re one of the top treats that this venomous snake likes to eat. If you’re hearing those wild cicadas chirp up the night, you can be certain snakes are not far away.
Right Wire Report: ( h/t Bekah Lyons)
Steps to take if bit by a venomous snake:
- When applicable call 911 or your local emergency number immediately to seek prompt medical attention.
- Locate you and those with you beyond the snakes striking distance.
- Keep affected limb, and body as still as possible and remain calm to slow the spread of venom.
- Asked to be carried, if possible, because any exertion may increase venom absorption.
- Remove jewelry and tight clothing before you start to swell.
- Move into a position that places the bite at or below the level of the heart.
- Clean the wound with soap and water or lightly (designed for bites) antiseptic solution and cover it with a clean, dry dressing. If no dressing available use a clean dry cloth torn from shirts or pants.
Steps you should NOT do if bit by a venomous snake:
- Don’t cut the wound or attempt to remove the venom.
- Don’t use a tourniquet or apply ice or immerse the wound in water.
- Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol, which could speed your body’s absorption of venom.
- Don’t try to capture the snake. Try to remember its color and shape so that you can describe it, which will help in your treatment. If you have a cell phone with you and it won’t delay your getting help, take a picture of the snake from a safe distance to help with identification.
Again each person’s experience with a venomous snake bite may differ dependent on the amount of venom injected and the person’s medical status at the time of getting bitten. Getting medical attention is not an option but a necessity.
A note on snakebite first aid kits can be found here. Many emergency room physicians feel snakebite first aid kits at best, don’t work and at worst, delay care.
Summer has arrived and getting out in nature to sit, garden , travel , walk , or hike is both a physical and mental gift to oneself. Hopefully after reading this article you can do so with a peace of mind and preparedness.