HUNTERSVILLE, NC (WBTV) - After such a warm winter, the Carolinas Poison Center reports snake bites have nearly quadrupled so far in 2017.
The latest snake bite happened Tuesday, after a snake bit a man near water at the Latta Plantation Nature Center and Preserve.
Experts are saying snake bites like this could go up as summer approaches.
In April this year, the center received 71 calls, versus only 19 last year.
Michael Burt is a wildlife removal specialist for A All Animal Control. He told WBTV he has received significantly more calls than in previous years.
"I get ten to 15, easy [per day]," Burt said. "Our phones are ringing. I'm working seven days a week. I know my competitors are busy also. This is a busy busy time."
Poison Center officials offer the following tips to avoid snake bites:
- Check boots and shoes that are laying in the garage or outside before putting them on.
- Wear sturdy boots or shoes when outside, especially when gardening or hiking.
- Watch your step when outside and watch where your hands go—use a flashlight if it’s dark.
- Back away slowly if you see a snake. Don’t try to pick it up or move it. Snakes can bite when they feel threatened.
Burt said trimming bushes around the home will help keep snakes out.
Officials say doing the following after a bite can make the situation worse:
- Cut the bitten area and suck the venom out. This can cause infection.
- Ice the area. Icing causes additional tissue damage.
- Apply a tourniquet or tight bandage. It’s better for the venom to flow through the body.
- Attempt to catch or kill the snake. You might get bitten again
If you are bitten by a snake, Poison Control recommends you call them first, because you may not need to go to the hospital.