No matter how you set up your home or yard, occasionally coming across snakes is a part of sharing their habitat. Typically, the timid creatures go out of their way to avoid human interaction by hiding in quiet places away from activity. But even if you're careful not to disturb them, some encounters with the reptiles can be entirely unavoidable. And in one recent case, a woman had a very harrowing experience when a snake bit her in the face at her home in Kentucky. Read on to see how the event unfolded and where the reptile was hiding.
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Snakes tend to be demonized despite their relatively timid nature.
Even though avoiding snakes takes awareness and preparation, accidents can unfortunately still happen. Recently, a five-year-old boy in Texas was hospitalized after accidentally grabbing a venomous copperhead while picking up leaves in his yard. And in another case, a seven-year-old boy in Florida was rushed to the emergency room after a poisonous cottonmouth snake hiding under a bush bit him on the leg while playing at home.
But despite these isolated incidents, interactions with snakes that end in injury tend to be relatively rare. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), out of the 7,000 to 8,000 venomous snake bites each year, only about five result in death, thanks to advances in medical care. And while the idea of having reptiles slithering nearby might make some people uneasy, many can be a boon to your property.
"Although they can be icky and frightening, most snakes are actually very beneficial to your home's ecosystem," Donnie Shelton, owner of Triangle Lawn Care in Raleigh, North Carolina, tells Best Life. "If you notice a garter snake or a king snake, then these can actually be your garden's biggest ally! Garter snakes eat slugs which can damage your plants, and king snakes will eat rodents as well as kill more dangerous venomous snakes such as copperheads!"
A snake bit a Kentucky woman on the face while at home.
Unfortunately, one recent event shows how some interactions with snakes can be unavoidable. After hearing her daughter "screaming bloody murder," Kentucky resident Mara Jo Thomas says she ran to the front door of her home to check on the situation, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. What Thomas didn't realize at the time is that her daughter was yelling about a snake that had managed to climb up the home's front door and wrap itself into a door hanger ornament.
Thomas explains that since her front door opens inward, she didn't notice the snake at face level until it was too late. "It bit me before I ever saw it, but I knew instantly that it did bite me," she told local Lexington ABC affiliate WPSD.
Thomas brought herself to the hospital to have the snake bite examined.
After being bitten, Thomas brought herself to the hospital as she wasn't sure whether or not the snake was poisonous. Fortunately, while pictures show the bite did leave two bloody puncture wounds on her eyebrow and socket, she didn't require antivenom or further treatment after being assessed by doctors, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.
"Thankfully, it wasn't venomous and it didn't get my actual eye," Thomas said in her Facebook post.
However, she did clarify that she would be making one change to her home from now on. "I'll never have another door hanger," she wrote.
Thomas says that while she comes across one or two snakes hiding on her property each year, she's never had such a literal face-to-face encounter with the reptiles. "The heat, and the landscaping, just a combination, it was probably just trying to find somewhere cool to hide out," she told WPSD.
Local authorities pointed out that such encounters are rare despite the area's easy access to nature, but certain organizational habits could help homeowners avoid them. "It's probably hard to keep them away, but you can limit the places they have access to. They'll find lots of places that you wouldn't expect them to be, especially in this heat," Sgt. Daniel Richardson, an agent with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, told WPSD.
If you come across a snake on your property that needs to be removed, other experts advise you not to take matters into your own hands. "The number one way people get bit by a snake at home is by trying to try to catch or kill snakes themselves," Ray Mitchell of Mitchell Pest Services told Best Life. "If you see a snake in your home, the best thing to do is to leave it alone and let it go back outside or call a pest control expert!"
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