Human Bites and Treatment

Rattlesnakes do not always rattle before they strike, nor must they coil before they strike. If they feel threatened, they may coil, strike, retreat or do nothing at all. Each snake is a unique individual and responds accordingly. In spite of the snakes� lethal potential, fewer than 1 percent of the people bitten in the United States by venomous snakes die. Many bites to adult humans are the result of human provocation.

If you are bitten, remain calm and get to a hospital as soon as possible. Most first-aid treatments suggested many years ago are no longer recommended.

Important Note: Do not attempt to capture or kill the snake. In modern medical facilities, all rattlesnake bites receive the same antivenin.

Rattlesnake Rules

Here are a few simple rules that will help keep you from having an unexpected, and potentially dangerous, encounter with a rattlesnake.

  1. Identify everything before you pick it up.
  2. Don�t touch anything that can hurt you. If you don�t know if it can hurt you, don�t touch it.
  3. Always look under things before picking them up, and whenever possible, before stepping on or around them.
  4. Look under things from a distance (use a tool to lift, then look).
  5. Always use a flashlight when you are out at night.
  6. Do not pick up a �dead�rattlesnake. It may not be dead, and even if it is, it may still bite (reflexively) and envenomate.
  7. Don�t walk barefoot or in open-toed shoes in the desert.

Guidelines for Removing a Rattlesnake from Your Yard or Home


There are two reasons for attempting to remove (rather than kill) a rattlesnake from your property:


To successfully remove a rattlesnake you need the right technique as well as the right mental and emotional state. You must remain calm when dealing with venomous animals. You must be in control of yourself to be in control of the animal.

Tiger rattlesnake

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