ST. LOUIS — The recent flooding across the bi-state has forced snakes to seek higher ground. That has led to more snake bites.
According to the Missouri Poison Center, they’ve received around 20 calls for snake bites in June and in May they answered 40. That’s nearly double their normal call load, according to Julie Weber, the director of Missouri Poison Center.
As snakes look for higher ground, they’ve been spotted in people’s backyards and garages.
Weber said venomous snakes are the real concern. If someone is bit by a snake with fangs, it needs to be treated immediately.
“It can cause immediate pain, stinging and then swelling in that area,” said Weber.
Putting ice on a snake bite is a common mistake. However, Weber said you absolutely should not do that because the ice can make the venom stay in that spot.
If you’re bit by a venomous snake it’s important to immediately wash the area with soapy water and get to a doctor.
Instead, Weber suggests washing the bite with soap and water and then seek medical help.
If you’re moving items, be on the lookout for snakes.
“Make noise maybe even with a stick or a rake kind of poke in areas before you move items where they can be hidden in that dark area,” said Weber.
As the flood water recedes, Weber said mold will also be a concern.
Damp conditions and hot air are the perfect combination for black mold to grow. Weber said it’s not dangerous, but it can make it hard to breathe and trigger allergy symptoms.
If it’s growing on hard surfaces, she suggests using soapy water and bleach to clean it.
“We do recommend to wear a mask, impermeable gloves to really protect your skin,” said Weber.
You should wear a mask and impermeable gloves to protect your skin.
Furniture that got wet like mattresses, carpets, and couches, have to be tossed because mold can grow inside and there’s no way to clean it.
Anyone with questions or concerns can always call the Poison Center Hotline at 1-800 222-1222.