(MIAMI, April 14, 2015) – Just as South Floridians are getting ready for summer, snakebite season is upon us – and the biting has already begun. Every year from April to October the number of reported snakebites peaks during these months because of the warmer temperatures.
South Florida is home to 47 species of snakes but only four types are venoms. They are the Water Moccasin (or Cottonmouth), Coral Snake, Pygmy Rattlesnake, and Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. These snakes are mainly seen in rural areas during their most active hours of dawn and dusk.
While most envenomations are accidental, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s (MDFR) Venom Response Team recommends the following to reduce your risk of being bitten this summer:
- Be aware that snakes tend to be more active first thing in the morning and at night in warmer weather
- Stay away from tall grass and piles of leaves when possible
- Wear closed toed shoes instead of flip-flops during peak hours
- If you are bitten, remember to stay calm and call 9-1-1 immediately
“Living with these snakes is just a part of living in South Florida,” said Lt. Scott Mullin of MDFR’s Venom Response Team. “Not all bites will be life threatening but it is our goal to not only save a snakebite victim’s life, but their affected limb as well.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports that an estimated that 7,000–8,000 people per year receive venomous bites in the United States, and about 5 of those people die.
For more information or for media availability, please contact MDFR’s Public Affairs Bureau at 786-331-5200.