Are cicadas driving copperheads out of the woods?
Sat, 11 Jun 2011 00:52:11 GMT —
Concerns over copperheads are running rampant in Missouri all because of a booming bug.
KRCG TMs Facebook Crew talked with conservation officials about whether cicadas are attracting copperheads.
We've heard from people concerned that the 13-year cicada phenomenon is bringing out copperheads.
The Missouri Department of Conservation said that's just myth.
"Anything that's happening out in nature right now, we get a call with somebody asking is that because the cicadas. It's not, these things happen all the time, Runge Nature Center TMs Kathy Cavender.
So why are people encountering these reptiles more than usual right now?
"Snakes of course are cold blooded. So they're less active when it's cooler. So when you have nice, warm, muggy weather like we've had lately snakes get more active, MO Dept. of Conservation Jim Low said. People see more of them and so there is the perception that there is more snakes around."
Low said a copperhead is the most common venomous snake in Missouri that bites people.
But it won't strike unless you provoke it.
"Snake are very reclusive. They recognize the danger from things that are bigger than them, and they will avoid contact with people if they possibly can, Low. Most people who are bitten by a snake are bitten in the process of handling or trying to kill it."
Snakes like to lie in shaded areas when it gets really hot outside.
So the best way to avoid getting bit by a snake is to be aware of where you're walking at all times.
"If you are out in an area where it's rocky and wooded you want to step on top of rocks and on top of logs as opposed to stepping over them. So you don't step right on a snake, Cavender said.
If a copperhead bites you, the conversation department said it's always important to get to the hospital as soon as you possibly can just in case you need the anti-venom.
Cavender said a copperhead snake has never killed a person in Missouri, but they do have a serious painful bite.
Tell us what you think. Have you been bit by a copperhead?