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Warmer Temperatures Likely to Bring More Snake Sightings

As people look for ways to appreciate nature during a season of quarantine, it’s a good time to remember that snakes are starting to become more active with warmer weather.

Here are a few ways you can be prepared for a snake encounter:

  1. Wear sturdy shoes or boots when hiking, gardening, or doing other yardwork.   Gloves are also recommended when working outside.

  2. Be mindful that snakes can hide in yard debris and overgrown brush.  Keep your yard free from clutter.

  3. Look where you are stepping when you’re outside—including when you’re doing familiar tasks like taking out the trash or getting something in the garage.  The majority of venomous snake bites in North Carolina occur near a home.

  4. Use a flashlight if you’re walking at night to see what’s in front of you.

  5. If you see a snake, don’t panic.  Back away from the snake slowly. DO NOT try to kill it.  It can bite you while you are trying to kill it, and not all snakes are venomous.

To see the venomous snakes native to North Carolina, click here.

If you’d like to order a free copy of North Carolina Poison Control’s snake brochure, click here.

Follow these steps if someone is bitten by a snake:

If a snake bite victim is having chest pain, difficulty breathing, face swelling, or has lost consciousness, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Otherwise, call NC Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 for assistance.  The poison control center can help determine if treatment for a snake bite is needed and what treatment would be needed.


  • Cut the bitten area and suck out the venom.

  • Ice the area.

  • Make a tourniquet

  • Panic


  • Wash the area with warm soapy water.

  • Remove all restrictive jewelry.

  • Keep the bitten area still and raise it to heart level.

Anyone can call NC Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 with questions or for treatment advice related to a snake bite.  Often, doctors and nurses at healthcare facilities call poison control for advice on how to treat snake-bitten patients.  About 75% of our calls about snake bites come from healthcare professionals, and a significant number of snake bites in North Carolina can be managed without antivenom.

Last Updated on 12/04/2023