Let me guess, the first thing you said was, “EWWWWWW!!!!!”
But snakes get a really bad rap.
Did you know that scientists have shown that young children do not fear snakes, but are very good at finding them? Yep. It’s only when us grown-ups teach them to fear snakes that they do.
So why do we fear snakes? We’re taught to do so. And media doesn’t help- with movies like Snakes on a Plane. But many of our problems with snakes are of our own making, such as with pythons taking over the Everglades.
There are approximately 6,000 snakes bites in the US each year. Compare that to over 4 million dog bites. Most of those bites occurred because the human was the aggressor and tried to catch, move, kill, or otherwise harass the snake. An average of 60 people in the US die from snake bite each year.
So why are snakes good to have around? Snakes keep down rodent populations. Rats and mice can reproduce rapidly. Without snakes to keep their numbers in check, we’d soon have them everywhere. Smart farmers know this and encourage snakes to live on the farm. Where do you have problems with rats? Where snakes don’t live.
Oh, here’s an interesting bit of trivia for you. Snakes are not poisonous. What? Of course they are! Nope, snakes are venomous. Poisonous creatures produce a toxin that is ingested or absorbed. Venomous creatures inject a toxin into the victim. Did you know that snake venom is only toxic if injected into the bloodstream? You could, theoretically, drink the venom and the acids in the stomach would break it down. But don’t do that, because if you had a sore in your mouth or stomach lining, it would be curtains for you!
So what should you do if you see a snake? Leave it be. If it’s somewhere it’s not supposed to be, such as in your house or car….. or a plane…… get an expert to remove it.