What To Do If You Spot a Snake

Depending on where you live, chances are, you’ll encounter a snake at least once in your lifetime. The good news is snakes rarely attack unless they are provoked.

Mar 23, 2023By Adeline Ee
what to do if you spot a snake

Snakes are generally shy, so it is always best to let them be and walk away so they know you aren’t harmful. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at snake encounters and what you should do if you have one.

What To Do If You Chance Across a Snake


Whatever you do, do not try to kill the snake. Snakes will not attack unless provoked. Even the smallest of snakes can be dangerous, so it is always best to leave them alone and watch where it goes. When they move into some grassy area or a bush, it is not likely you will see the snake again. If it goes towards a place like underneath a vehicle, you might want to call animal control or a forest ranger.

When you are walking in an area where it is likely to have a snake encounter, try to make some noise while walking along the path or trail so that if a snake is heading your way, it will change its direction.

Make sure the grass around your house, whether in your front yard or backyard, is cut so snakes and rodents cannot hide in it. Where there are rats and rodents, there will most likely be snakes looking for food.

If you identify it as a venomous snake, contact and inform experts immediately.

What To Do If You Got Bitten by A Snake

snake bite

When a non-venomous snake has bitten you, treat the wound just as you would treat a normal wound and let a physician know immediately. When a venomous snake has bitten you, inform the police and ambulance immediately whilst staying calm and inactive.

Staying still will reduce the speed of the venom traveling in your body. If you have a first aid kit, apply pressure immediately over the bite site. Do not cut the wound open to treat it or suck out the venom. Leave it as it is and let the experts take care of it and try getting a picture of the snake so that the medical professionals know what treatment to administer.

Applying a high-pressure bandage over the bite and then wrapping the bandage around the whole limb is necessary to slow down the speed of the venom traveling to other parts of your body.

Why Shouldn’t You Move If Bitten by A Snake?

compression bandage

The calmer you are after being bitten, the better your heartbeat will regulate. The faster the heartbeat, the faster venom will travel in your blood. You need to make sure you are calm so that your heart rate stays controlled. Keep in mind what the snake looked like so you can let the experts know what to look for in the area and so you can tell your doctor.

A compression bandage around the entire limb the bite is on also helps in reducing the speed of the venom traveling in your blood. Do not wash the bitten area, as the residual venom will help identify the snake.

What To Do If You See a Dead Snake?

snake playing dead

As tempting as it may be, never touch or go near a dead snake unless you are 110% sure it is completely n

on-venomous. Just because the snake is dead, does not mean it is no longer venomous. The slightest prick from its fangs is enough to get you.

A few species can play dead when they sense they are in danger. So, the snake you think is dead may not be dead at all. If you poke it or pick it up and it will protect itself by coming to bite you. This reflex can exist even after the snake is dead.

There was even a case of a severed head of a rattlesnake biting a man long after it was dead!

What To Do with A Snake in Your Home

snake in home

If you see a snake in your house, inform everyone in the house but stay away from it. Leave the area, close the room door, and block the bottom gap with a towel or any cloth big enough. Make sure there are no pets or children near the snake and contact an expert snake catcher immediately.

If the snake is in your yard, try taking a picture so you have a record for the authorities and can be sure it isn’t venomous. No matter what, do not frighten the snake. Move back very slowly and calmly so that it knows you aren't a threat to them.

If you are sure that the snake isn’t venomous, you can leave it alone and keep children and pets out of the yard until it leaves. If the snake is venomous, you’ll have to call the authorities.

Adeline Ee
By Adeline Ee

Adeline graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Marketing. Originally from Singapore, she is a fanatic dog-lover and volunteers her time to help strays whenever she can, participating frequently in spay and neuter programs.