Wildlife experts are warning Texans to watch where they step.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials told Lubbock’s KLBK rattlesnakes are staying active longer because of the rising rodent population caused by recent weather conditions.
The heavy rain and the recent warmer weather have boosted rodent breeding, and the rattlesnakes are sticking around longer to feed, the station reports.
The wildlife officials recommend that if you do come into contact with a rattlesnake, to not kill it because of its role in the environment.
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Eddie Pitts with Post Animal Control also said the snakes aren’t rattling as much as they used to because they’re trying to hide from wild hogs who hunt them.
"I caught one the other day, messed with him, held him up, he never did rattle," Pitts told the station.
He also said that baby rattlesnakes can be more dangerous because it doesn’t know how to control its venom as well.
"A baby doesn't know how to regulate its venom," Pitts told KLBK. "If an adult wants to give you a little or a lot he knows, but when a baby bites you he gives you everything hes got."
The Texas Department of State Health Services estimates about 7,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes every year in the United States, but only about 0.2 percent result in death.
It also estimates that on average 1 to 2 Texans die annually from a venomous snakebite.
What to do if you do get bitten:
- Suck out the poison with your mouth
- Ice the bite
- Make incisions over the bite wound
- Call 911
- Wash the area with soap and water
- Remove jewelry, rings that might constrict swelling
- Keep bite below the heart
- Transport to closest hospital immediately