PREVENTION OF SNAKE BITES

Leave snakes alone:
– Do NOT try to catch, frighten, or attack a snake.
– Back away and do NOT try to touch the snake. They do not attack man unless they are handled, threatened, trapped or cornered or their body parts are touched unintentionally (such as pressed down or crushed with the foot inadvertently).

green snake
green snake


– Do NOT pick up a dead snake or that appears to be dead. Even an accidental scratching from the fang of a snake’s severed head may inflict deadly poison.
– Even dead snakes can deliver venom through their fangs. Rattlesnakes shake the ends of their tails to make a rattle sound that warns that it feels threatened. If you hear a rattlesnake, move away quickly.

Learn what poisonous snakes look like
– People of a locality should know what sort of snakes (both venomous and non – venomous) are existing there, the habits of those snakes, their living and hiding places, at what time of year and at what time of day or night they are most likely to be out and active.
– Snake charmers and snake handlers carry greater risk of snakebite. Avoid free hand handling of venomous snakes; adequate equipment must be used for handling.
– In snake restaurants, staff and customers may sometimes be bitten by snakes accidentally.
– Sea snakes may sometimes be caught in nets. Fishermen are advised not to touch those snakes.
– Venomous snakes are born fully equipped with venom and fangs. Young snakes are more pugnacious and ready to defend themselves, so do not discount a snake going by its size.

Dress to protect yourself:
– Wear shoes or boots and pants to protect your feet and legs.
– Always check footwear before wearing them.
– Identify major situational sources of bites; walk at night with sturdy footwear (preferably with high boots) and use a torch while walking outside the house or visit the latrine (outdoor) at night.

Outdoor
– Light your path: Use a flashlight or lamp when you walk outside at night.
Do NOT walk in areas where you cannot see the ground.
– Do not step or reach into an area where you cannot see the ground.
– When walking, walk with a heavy step as snakes can detect vibration and will move away.
– Carry a stick when grass cutting or picking fruit or vegetables or clearing the base of trees. Use the stick to move the grass or leaves first. Give the snake a chance to move away. If collecting grass that has previously been cut and placed in a pile, disturb the grass with the stick before picking the grass up.
– Keep checking the ground ahead while cutting crops like millet, which are often harvested at head height and concentration is fixed away from the ground.
– Pay close attention to the leaves and sticks on the ground when collecting wood.

Bed inside the net
A bet covering the bed


– Try to avoid sleeping on the ground. Use bamboo cot and scrupulous use of a mosquito net can prevent snakebites, scorpion stings, and mosquito bites alike. If you have to sleep on the ground use mosquito net that is well tucked in under the mattress or sleeping mat.
– Avoid defecation in open field. If unavoidable carry torch or lamp.
– During trekking, etc. through forests or mountains, stay on clearly marked tracks.
– Step on to rocks or logs rather than straight over them – snakes may be sunning themselves on the sides.
– Avoid handling dead snakes, or snakes that appear to be dead. They can still inject venom!
– If you see a snake, do nothing; let it go. Keep a distance, it is better to run away. Snakes cannot attack when it is about 25 – 30 ft away.
– Do not try to pick it up or kill it. Snakes prefer not to confront large animals such as humans so give them the chance to slither away.

Indoor
– In the house: Do not keep livestock, especially chickens, in the house, as snakes may come to hunt them.
– Regularly check houses for snakes and, if possible, avoid those types of house construction that will provide snakes with hiding.
– Store food in rat-proof containers.
– Also keep animal feed and rubbish away from your house. They attract rats and snakes follow.
– There is no chemical/onions which can effectively repel snakes. Bleaching powder or gammaxane may be spread which may to some extent prevent the entry of snake in the house as they repel small creatures like rat and frog; snakes would not come following them.
– Seal any rat hole in and around the houses.
– Meticulously observe heaps of fire woods, cow dung cakes and similar
materials at first and then handle.
– Keep plants away from doors and windows. Snakes like cover and plants help them climb up and into windows.
– Do NOT have tree branches touching the house. Keep grass short or clear the ground around the house and clear low bushes in the vicinity so that snakes cannot hide close to the house.
– Inspect mud made ovens or chulhas at first before cleaning.

During construction of new house
– Indoor toilets should be made compulsory at the time of issuing permission for new housing construction.

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