Watch out for snakes

Keep in Mind When Outdoors…

Ticks and Lyme Disease

Spending more time outdoors increases the likelihood of a tick encounter. As tick bites can transmit Lyme disease and other germs, it’s important to thoroughly inspect your body for any hitchhiking ticks once you return indoors. If you do discover an unwelcome passenger, 

  • Use clean, fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible and pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. 
  • After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  • Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by: putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet.

Even though Lyme disease isn’t common in Texas, be on the lookout for the following symptoms after a tick bite: 

  • Bull’s-eye pattern rash
  • Joint stiffness and swelling
  • Weakness in limbs
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

Symptoms usually appear within 30 days after being bitten by an infected tick. If you experience the symptoms above, contact your healthcare provider to determine if you contracted Lyme disease through a blood test. Lyme disease is treatable with antibiotics and most people who are treated in the early stages recover completely.  


Venomous Snakes 

With 105 different species and subspecies of snakes that call Texas home, it’s important to be aware of venomous snakes in our area, as well as how to proceed if bitten. 

Most Common Venomous Snakes

  • Rattlesnakes: gray, black, brown, olive, or yellow scales and banded, diamond, or spotted patterns are the most common. Known for the rattling noise made by the segmented joints on the ends of their tails 
  • Cottonmouths: dark brown or gray background color with a black or brown belly and a white-lined mouth 
  • Copperheads: chestnut or reddish-brown crossbands against a lighter-colored body 
  • Coral snakes: red and yellow bands that touch each other

If you’ve been bitten by any snake, remain calm. NEVER try and capture the snake, but if you can safely get a picture of it with your phone, that is the best course of action. Do NOT put ice on the bite or apply a tourniquet. Likewise, trying to ‘suck out the venom’ as seen on TV is useless at best and dangerous at worst. Elevate the affected area as soon as possible and seek immediate medical attention.