December 5, 2023

Pet Life Today

Professional Pets Experts

Do copperheads smell like cucumbers? Looking at some spring snake tips

The arrival of spring has occur with a warning in some pieces of the United States: Appear out for copperhead snakes. 

But nestled amid some practical world wide web advice — like go to a clinic if you have been bit — are some exaggerations. You will locate a number of in a recent Facebook write-up that shares a list of guidelines that’ve been on the internet for at minimum many many years. 

This publish was flagged as section of Facebook’s endeavours to combat fake information and misinformation on its Information Feed. (Read through far more about our partnership with Fb.)

Let’s just take the tips one by just one. 

1. “If an grownup bites you, it is possible you’d only get a dry chunk. But go to the medical center as soon as doable anyway.”

This is primarily precise.

A venomous snake can chunk with out injecting venom, and these dry bites can consequence in reasonably gentle signs such as swelling, redness and irritation. But a copperhead bite that injects venom can induce extreme accidents and, in rare instances, dying. And the odds possibly are not in your favor: Estimates display that only 20-25% of all bites from pit vipers, such as copperheads, are dry bites, according to the University of Florida’s Division of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. 

If a venomous snake, including a copperhead, bites you, get in touch with 911 quickly. 

2. “If you scent cucumber for no reason, you are within just putting length of a copperhead and you have previously disturbed him.”

This is not correct.

Copperheads and most other kinds of snakes release a defensive odor. To some persons, it could scent like cucumbers, but other individuals have never skilled it. 

“To me it just smells horrible,” Sean Foley, director of herpetology at the Riverbanks Zoo & Back garden in Columbia, S.C., instructed The Condition newspaper. 

3. “Juveniles usually have a yellow idea on the tail and they Usually DUMP ALL THEIR VENOM.”

This is partially precise.

Youthful copperheads have “sulfur yellow tails,” according to the Missouri Section of Conservation, and in some scenarios, they can’t command the quantity of venom they launch, North Carolina herpetologist Fred Boyce has stated

But they are not more unsafe than adult snakes. 

“Adult snakes are as dangerous, or extra dangerous, than a youthful snake,” David Steen, a snake researcher at Auburn University, told Stay Science. “Adult snakes can have more venom than juveniles.”

4. “Possums eat all snakes they locate including copperheads, so depart the possums by yourself.”

This is typically correct.

Opossums are acknowledged to take in at the very least 12 species of snakes, among other points, according to the University of Florida, and they prey on copperheads. There are extra than 3,000 snake species around the world. 

5. “Other snakes these as rat snakes contend with copperheads for food items and have been seen consuming juvenile snakes just like kingsnakes consume copperheads, so do not get rid of other snakes. They are harmless, depart them be.”

This is mostly correct.

Occasionally rat snakes will try to eat other snakes, like copperheads, in accordance to the College of Kentucky. They also consume mice, rats, bats, birds, salamanders, frogs and lizards.

Rat snakes are not venomous and they do not pose a hazard to folks or animals, although they will protect them selves if provoked. Kingsnakes are also unvenomous, recognized copperhead predators, and they are popular animals themselves.

Of study course, lots of other snakes are venomous, and can harm people, but these two species aren’t between them.