24 Hour Support: 888.705.0999

Media Center

Resources and Guides - Securing Knowledge

Snakebite Procedure Safety

A return to warm weather means snakes are resuming activity. An afternoon of yard work or a leisurely hike in the woods could end disastrously by surprising a snake. Before disaster strikes, learn the best practices to avoid snake bites and how to treat them when a bite is unavoidable.


  • Know the types of venomous snakes in your area or the areas you visit.
  • Snakes typically avoid people. Don’t attempt to pick up or agitate a snake. Snakes bite when they are threatened or surprised.
  • Avoid walking through tall grass and piles of leaves.
  • Avoid climbing on rocks or piles of wood where a snake may be hiding.
  • Don’t step in or put your hands in ground holes.
  • When hiking, look before you step, especially in rocky areas, thick brush, or over fallen logs.
  • Wear boots and long pants when working outdoors.
  • Wear leather gloves when handling brush and debris and working in the yard.
  • Carry a snake bite kit when hiking or camping during warm seasons when snakes are most active.

Symptoms of a Snake Bite

A snake bite is a medical emergency if the snake is venomous. Seek immediate medical attention in the event of a venomous snake bite, if you do not know what type of snake the bite came from, or if you suspect a snake bite but did not actually see a snake.

  • Fang marks or puncture wounds
  • Burning
  • Sweating
  • Fever
  • Rapid pulse
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Convulsions
  • Weakness
  • Loss of muscle coordination
  • Blurred vision
  • Extreme localized pain
  • Swelling
  • Diarrhea
  • Tingling or numbness

First Aid Procedures

  • Remain calm.
  • Stop the bleeding by applying pressure with gauze.
  • Clean the wound with mild, unscented soap and warm water several times. Pat the wound dry with clean gauze.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment and a clean bandage.
  • If able, note the distinctive features of the snake (its coloring, markings, size, and head and eye shape) to help identify it to medical professionals and emergency responders.
  • Do not attempt to capture the snake. You risk having another bite trying to capture a snake. If you don’t know if the snake was venous, treat the bite as if it is from a venomous snake until you learn otherwise.

For a Venomous Snake Bite:

  • Call 911 and seek medical help immediately.
  • Remove tight clothing and any jewelry. The affected area may swell quickly and severely.
  • Position the bite below heart-level.
  • Do not use a tourniquet or apply ice.
  • Do not attempt to handle the wound as far as removing venom or cutting around the wound.
  • Clean the wound by wiping away.¬† Do not flush with water.
  • If assisting someone else who has been bitten, keep watch for signs of shock.
  • Do not eat or drink anything, including medicine, unless directed to by a professional.
  • Do not allow the victim to become over-exerted.
  • Call ahead to the emergency room so that anti-venom may be obtained.

About U.S. Security Associates

U.S. Security Associates (USA) is one of North America's largest security companies, with 160 locally-responsive offices providing premier national security services and global consulting and investigations to customers in a range of industries. Recognized for world class customer service, leading-edge technology, and an enterprise approach to risk management, USA offers optimized security solutions to meet specific customer needs. USA is committed to building quality security and risk management programs that are Safe. Secure. Friendly.® The Securing Knowledge series is part of the extensive and growing library of reference and training tools that contribute to USA's award-winning customer service and benchmark security programs. USA's investment in training and development resources is reflected not only by BEST Awards from the American Society for Training & Development, consistent ranking on the Training magazine Top 125, and technology-driven quality management system, but also by the company's leadership team, security officers, and service excellence on a daily basis.

©2017 U.S. Security Associates