There are many hidden threats lurking in the wild.
A feral animal or a weather event can put your life in grave danger.
But there’s one bit of information you need to know to avoid serious harm in the wilderness.
Snakes play an important role in the ecosystem.
They feast on pests and mice and other creatures that can spread disease.
But snakes are dangerous to humans in their own right.
A bite from certain kinds of snakes can result in serious damage and even death.
Here are a few tips in identifying dangerous snakes and how to deal with them.
First, one of the clearest ways to identify a snake is by the eyes.
If a snake has slanted eyes, he’s all but guaranteed to be venomous; the only venomous snake in America that doesn’t have slanted eyes is the coral snake.
The coral snake is one of four venomous snakes found in the United States.
Coral snakes are colorful, but they have non-venomous cousins who look very similar.
An old saying that helps distinguish a coral snake from its non-venomous counterpart goes: “Red touches yellow, kill a fellow. Red touches black, safe for Jack.”
If the snake has red patterns touching yellow, you’re very likely dealing with a coral snake, and you should keep your distance.
Coral snakes are rare, but they have the most potent venom of all snakes found in the United States.
And unlike other venomous snakes found in America, the coral snake lays eggs as opposed to birthing litters live.
Next is the rattlesnake, which is the most popular of venomous snakes found in America.
Rattlesnakes vary widely in size and color patterns, but the rattle on their tail is unmistakable.
You may likely hear a rattle if you’re in close proximity of one.
Rattlesnakes typically are not aggressive and their bites are rarely fatal, but they still should not be taken lightly.
Next, copperhead snakes use camouflage to their advantage.
Copperheads have tan and dark-brown bands that blend in well with their preferred habitats of rocky and wooded areas.
They’re not aggressive, but they’re known to bite in ambush attacks.
Copperheads may hide under rocks, and strike quickly if their shelter is uncovered.
The fourth common venomous snake found in America is the cottonmouth.
Cottonmouth snakes are black and dark brown, but have a white band in their mouth, hence the name cottonmouth.
If you see the white band, be on high alert because cottonmouth snakes open their mouths wide to display the “cotton” band when they feel threatened.
Cottonmouth snakes are good swimmers, and they can also be aggressive.
The dark colors can make them very difficult to spot in the water.
It goes without saying that you should seek medical help immediately if you’re bitten by a snake.
They will administer anti-venom if they have it on hand.
Most American snake bites aren’t fatal, but the wounds can fester and become serious problems if not properly treated.