Copperhead Snake Bites in Southeast

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘forestgladesiwander’

Let’s just assume I have a witty “I am so tired of these m-f-ing snakes on this m-f-ing [noun]!” joke and move on, okay?  Fox5 reports that there have been two unrelated incidents of copperhead snakes biting pedestrians in SE. Copperheads are an indigenous species in this area, so this is the kind of thing that can happen, so here are some quick facts:

You’ll never remember all the specific details about copperhead coloring, so just remember that it’s supposed to help them blend in with dead leaves on a forest floor. So lots of different shades of brown, including, you know, copper. At the head.

Copperhead venom is not usually deadly, but can cause tissue damage and pain and all that stuff. So if bitten, seek immediate medical attention, but don’t panic. Panicking will cause your heart to race, which will just accelerate the venom circulating in your system. Keep the bitten body part lower than your heart, and get to a hospital.  Same deal with a bitten pet- try to keep your animal from thrashing around a lot, and get him to an emergency vet.

Keeping your yard (if you have one) free of debris and other attractive snake-sized hiding places will keep your yard mostly snake-free. Don’t reach into dark spaces with your bare hand. The snake will prefer to retreat, or freeze in place, rather than attack, unless you’re reeeeeeally close to it. Or poking it with a stick. In other words, don’t be a moron, this is a wild animal we’re talking about here.

Read more about copperhead snakes, including fun science facts! (Did you know pit viper is an actual subtype of snakes? I sure didn’t…)

Tiffany Baxendell Bridge is an Internet enthusiast and an incurable smartass. When not heckling the neighborhood political scene on Twitter, she can be found goofing off with her ukulele, Bollywood dancing, or obsessing about cult TV. She is That Woman With the Baby In the Bar.

Tiffany lives in Brookland with her husband Tom, son Charlie, and two high-maintenance cats. Read why Tiffany loves DC.

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3 thoughts on “Copperhead Snake Bites in Southeast

  1. Important to note that copperheads usually do a dry, warning bite first. They are agressive snakes, but not major threats.

  2. I did know about pit vipers before this. The “pit” part of that refers to the heat-sensing pits near their eyes. These guys can be menacing but are rarely deadly. I remember some genius at Boy Scout camp picking up a copperhead because he was less of a genius than I just gave him credit for being. Even out in the woods, an hour from a hospital, he was fine, if a bit sore for a while.

    Don’t pick up snakes. Ever. Unless you are a dumbass or a trained expert.

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