Baltimore, MD: Copperheads are 1 of 2 Venomous snakes found in the Baltimore and Washington areas (Maryland/ DC and Northern Virginia). *the other is a rattle snake mostly in the mountains.
They are dangerous for several reasons. When scared, they do not tend to run like most snakes. Instead the Copperhead will "Freeze" in place, making it more likely to step on- then causing a bite.
Although copperheads rarely strike- when they do the bite can often be painful.
How to spot one:
|Northern Copperhead in Southern Maryland.|
- Adults can be 3.5' +/-
- Light brown body with dark brown "diamonds" or polygons on back.
What to do if you see one:
(1) Immediately clear the area of pets, family members, etc. Try to keep an eye on the snake.
(2a) If you are away from populated areas or in the woods- take note of the snake and leave it alone (it's his habitat- you are just a visitor). Then notify a park ranger (if in a park).
(2b) If you are near a populated area like your backyard, etc.- take note of the snake and contact an exterminator or animal control. Make sure to remember identifying features. DO NOT APPROACH THE SNAKE TO TAKE A PICTURE UNLESS YOU ARE A SAFE DISTANCE AWAY.
(3) If you need to re- enter the area. First check to see if the the snake has been removed (in a Park), or wear high boots and pants.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PICK UP A COPPERHEAD OR KILL IT YOURSELF.
What if you are bitten:
For all those who have been bitten- medical attention is necessary:
- Healthy adults usually do not require an anti-venom however monitoring is needed.
- Copperhead snake bites can be very harmful for children and elderly and requires and anti-venom.
- The bite can be deadly to animals or those with pre-existing health issue. (Can we make a political joke here?)
If you should get bitten by a venomous snake, immediately contact the Maryland Poison Center at 800-222-1222. The Maryland Poison Center is open 24 hours a day, and is staffed by Professionals who trained in emergency cases like this.
According to Maryland DNR and the American Red Cross:
1. Wash the area with soap and water.
2. Immobilize the area bitten and keep LOWER than you heart.
3. Immediately seek medical attention.
DO NOT ICE- DO NOT ICE- DO NOT ICE
How to prevent them:
Just like any wild animal, Copperheads have a very particular environment. Making your yard appear a certain way is a threatening place for them and will keep it clear of snakes.
- Keep lawn mowed
- Avoid landscaping "ground cover", etc.
- Make sure your home is properly sealed with no large gaps.
- Keep food and trash in secure receptacles.
- Keep your yard free of debris, wood piles, trash.
- Do not allow standing water to stay on your property.
If you need help performing any of these tasks, please contact EFynch today.
*When hiking or in the wild, you cannot control these factors however we recommend paying attention to them and exercise caution when present.
MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Photo Guide of Maryland Snakes
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*** DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE IS FOR CONVERSATION PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT TO BE CONSIDERED THE ADVICE OF A TRAINED PROFESSIONAL, JUST RESEARCH PERFORMED BY US. THE INFORMATION LISTED IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE AND YOU MUST CALL POISON CONTROL FOR EVERY SNAKE BITE. EACH SITUATION IS UNIQUE AND YOUR SCENARIO MAY BE DIFFERENT THEN WHAT WE DISCUSSED HERE.