Copperhead snakes are highly venomous, and the bad news is that they might be living in your backyard. These snakes are found in many U.S. states and bite many people every year. Here's what you need to know about them.
What do copperheads look like?
Copperheads usually range between 24 and 40 inches long, but their wide bodies make them look larger than they are. They are light brown and have darker brown hourglass markings along their backs. They are the only type of snake within their range that have these hourglass markings, so if you encounter a snake with this pattern, it is definitely a copperhead.
Where do they live?
Copperheads have a very large range within the United States. They are found in the eastern and central states, and are common within much of this area. Copperheads are rarer at the edges of their range and are protected in some areas.
Within their range, copperheads aren't very picky about their habitat. They are equally happy in dry rocks, hardwood forests, and swamps, and don't mind living in close proximity to humans. They can even be found on the edges of large cities.
Will a bite kill you?
A bite from a copperhead probably won't kill you, but that doesn't mean that it will be a pleasant experience. The bite is very painful, and many people require morphine to handle the pain. Swelling in the area is common but it's not usually severe enough to require surgical intervention. Tissue damage is common and you may even lose some tissue, even with antivenom treatment.
How can you keep yourself safe?
Most bites happen when someone accidentally steps on a snake or tries to pick it up. Copperheads are experts of camouflage, so it's easy to step on one while you're walking around your yard or doing work in your garden. If you are going to be doing work outside, make sure to wear thick leather boots. If you are walking around at night, always take a flashlight and stay alert for snakes on the ground near your feet.
Copperheads are dangerous snakes, but they will only bite if you get too close. Pay attention to where you walk, and if you get bitten, seek medical treatment right away. If you see a lot of copperheads on your property, have them removed by a pest control company like Accurate Termite & Pest Control to keep your family safe.