Local news- Press Release
Draper City Utah - Snake Awareness 31 May 2022 ( news )
Draper City , state Utah ( By Press Release office)
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Utah is home to 31 different species and subspecies of snakes , of which seven are venomous rattlesnakes . All snakes are cold - blooded and regulate their body temperatures by basking in the sun or retreating to the cool shade . Snakes hibernate during the winter under rocks and in burrows . In the summer they are most active at dawn and dusk . Rattlesnakes can be found in all types of habitats , from grasslands , lakes and rivers , to deserts or forests . In other words , rattlesnakes can potentially be found anywhere in Utah!
People have been fascinated by and fearful of snakes for centuries . Snakes are depicted in ancient artwork and have been revered in worship and used in symbolism throughout the world . Snakes are very important in controlling the population of rodents and insects , although they will also eat birds and other reptiles . Having snakes around can be helpful for farmers , since rodents and insects can decimate crops and stored food supplies . Rodent - borne diseases can adversely affect more people a year than those bitten by snakes .
The venomous snakes in Utah have broad , triangular - shaped heads , and vertical eye pupils . There are heat sensory “pits” on each side of the snake’s head between the nostrils and eyes . Most venomous snakes in Utah have rattles on their tails , and one set of underside scales . Non - venomous snakes have longer snouts and round pupils , with two sets of underside scales . If you can’t tell if the snake is venomous from a distance , leave it alone and retreat as if it were venomous .
Some species of non - venomous snakes mimic rattlesnake behavior to protect themselves from predators . One such species is the bull snake , also known as a gopher snake , which is frequently found in Utah . Yellowish cream in color with blotches on their backs that can be black or brown , bull snakes will hiss and shake their tails like rattlesnakes do . This is intended to fool predators into thinking they are venomous snakes . Bull snakes are often mistaken for rattlesnakes and killed by humans out of fear .
Under Utah law , indiscriminate killing of snakes and all other reptiles is prohibited . It is also against Utah law to allow dogs to harass wildlife . Although most encounters with snakes in Utah are not dangerous and rattlesnakes in particular are rarely aggressive , it is important to learn how to keep yourself , your family and pets safe .
Never try to poke , handle , corner or harass a snake . Whether venomous or not , all snakes can bite if they feel threatened .
Be aware of your surroundings . Look carefully where you place your hands and feet , especially in the summer .
Be alert when living in snake country . Snakes hide well .
Wear closed - toed shoes , preferably high boots , when hiking .
Stay on paths and cleared areas . If you must travel in brush or tall grass , use a stick to sweep the area as you walk .
Do not gather firewood at night when snakes are more active . Be careful reaching into woodpiles , stacked building materials or brush piles .
Use a floored tent with a zipper door when camping . Don’t walk around the campsite in the dark without a flashlight . Keep shoes and clothing inside the tent .
Look carefully before sitting on the ground , rocks and logs .
Supervise pets when outside and leash dogs while recreating .
If you hear a snake’s rattle , don’t jump or panic . Try to locate where the sound is coming from before trying to move . When the source of the sound is identified , back away slowly and make sure you have a clear space to exit and not trip or fall . Warn others if they are around .
If you encounter a venomous snake away from human developments leave it alone . It is in its natural environment .
If you are unsure if a snake is venomous , do not try to pick it up .
Teach children to leave snakes alone .
Purchase a snake bit kit to take with you when hiking or camping . These kits can be purchased from most outdoor gear companies .
Dealing With Bites
If threatened , rattlesnakes will coil , begin to hiss , and shake their rattles . This is a warning to leave . Rattlesnakes can strike quickly in any direction , from any position . Striking in defense is their last resort . It is important to know that deaths from snake bites are very rare . However , injuries require proper treatment:
If bitten , treat the bite as if it were venomous . Seek medical treatment immediately . If pets are bitten , seek veterinary treatment immediately .
Treat for shock and temperature extremes .
Remove tight clothing or jewelry from the bite area .
Keep the affected area below the level of the heart .
Get a description of the snake if possible .
Do not try to cut and suck the venom from the wound . Do not apply cold packs to the wound . Never use a tourniquet .
Snakes and Your Home
As mentioned above , snakes can be found in any environment throughout the state . While more likely to be discovered in the wild , snakes can be found in neighborhoods and suburbs , gullies and backyards . To help deter snakes at your home and protect your family and pets:
Supervise children and pets outside .
Trim vegetation and remove wood and rock piles to reduce hiding places .
Control rodents on your property; remove bird feeders , an attractant of rodents .
Seal any cracks in building foundations , porches , pipes and windows .
Install a snake - proof fence around your property .
If you encounter snakes on your property , contact Animal Control at ( 801 ) 840 - 4000 during business hours to safely have them removed . During the weekend , contact the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources at ( 801 ) 538 - 7200 .
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