Snake bites in the US on the rise

HOUSTON- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, estimates around 8,000 people are bit by venomous snakes each year, but only about five of those bites are fatal.

According, to the North Texas Poison Control Center, snake bites have increased 100 to 200 a year in the past few years.

“We have had warmer winters these past two years, reptiles are cold-blooded, so the warmer the weather, the more active they’re going to be,” said Iliana Mock of TWRC Wildlife Center.

So, what kind of snakes are slithering around Houston?

“Some of the most common snakes we have in Houston are this guy right here, this is a western hognose, they’re oftentimes mistaken for venomous snakes, but they’re completely harmless. Garter snakes, also King snakes are pretty common around here,” said Mock.

But don’t stress, only a few are venomous!

“All the different species of rattlesnake, a couple different species of copperhead, and the cottonmouth. The coral snake as well, is also venomous, but they are generally very docile, they’re not aggressive. If you leave them alone, they are not gonna bite you,” said Mock.

Do you  remembers the childhood rhyme?

"Red touches black, you’re ok Jack! Red touches yellow, kill a fellow."

But think again!

“There are numerous Mexican species that are just as venomous as our coral snake, where red touches black,” said Mock.

What should you do if a snake manages to sink its fangs into you?

“If you’re bitten by a snake, definitely do not try to fix it yourself. Do not try to suck the venom out. Go to the hospital,” said Mock.

Even if these scaly critters give you the creeps, believe it or not, having a one slithering around your yard can be a blessing!

"That's free pest control, there's really no reason to relocate any snake that's in your yard that isn't venomous," explained Mock.

For more information on your local wildlife, or for ways to volunteer, visit: www.twrcwildlifecenter.org