: --Previous Message--
: It won't make a home under your deck.
: Copperheads are, however, very
: lethargic snakes and they will often
: stay under the same rock or in the same
: area for 8 or 9 days. They especially
: like to camp on the scent trail of mice
: and just wait however many days it
: takes for the next mouse to come by and
: then grab a meal with little effort.
: Given that you can probably expect the
: snake to be around for a week or so and
: then move on.
: Also are you certain it is a
: copperhead? Did the cat suffer any
: noticeable side effects? I'm guessing
: you are sure it was a copperhead but I
: only ask because so many people mistake
: other species for copperheads. If you
: see it again and get a picture I'll be
: glad to confirm the id.
: Copperheads are usually very mild in
: disposition (though less so in warmer
: summer weather) and their bite is the
: mildest of our venomous snakes and
: rarely requires antivenin or any
: medical treatment beyond something to
: numb the pain (it still hurts and
: swells like crazy and usually involves
: a brief emergency room visit to be
: monitored and given pain killers) but I
: can see not wanting one right under
: your deck. I'd keep the kids and pets
: away from the deck for a few days and
: then check the area carefully to see if
: the snake has moved on and clear out
: hiding spaces and put down a mouse trap
: or two (you may not have a mouse
: problem as it could also be voles or
: shrews that the snake is after).
: I have an occasional copperhead near my
: house in Missouri and I just leave them
: be and they eventually move on.
: Hope this information helps.
: --Previous Message--
: I live in Central Arkansas and have a
: question concerning copperhead snakes.
: My husband and I were doing yardwork
: yesterday when we saw a copperhead
: snake beside our back deck. We believe
: it went under our deck to hide. Later
: the same day our cat showed up with
: what we believe is a snake bite on her
: shoulder. I have two small children
: that I worry about and was wondering if
: you could tell me if copperheads
: generally leave areas quickly or
: whether they generally make a home
: (like under my deck)? Any info would
: be appreciated.
: We have had neighbors spot copperheads
: on a fairly regular basis. My cats
: shoulder did swell and she is limping
: from the bite. I do believe it was a
: snake bite. I was previously told by a
: vet that cat's do not react the same as
: humans and that a snake bite generally
: does not kill them it only makes them
: sore for a while. We will keep a close
: watch out for the snake and if seen
: will take a picture to post. It was
: not aggressive when we saw it, just
: lying between our deck and 1/2 whiskey
: barrell in some weeds. We were in the
: process of trying to clear out the
: weeds when we saw it. We just backed
: away and it slowly moved off but we
: just didn't see where exactly it went.
: I don't think it is after mice with us
: having three outside cats but I think
: it might be after frogs, which we seem
: to have an abundance of. Thank you for
: your input.
Wayne is telling the truth, and your Vet might not have a total understanding of human reactions to Copperheads; I called the local Poison Control Center here once when someone was arguing with me about the relative danger of Copperhead bites. They (the person arguing with me) were of the opinion that Copperhead bites were deadly. The Poison Control Center disagreed. They said that Copperheads were only dangerous to the very elderly; that in an adult or even a child, the treatment was overnight observation.
I know a fellow that was teaching at a camp one year, went jogging, stepped on a Copperhead, got bitten in the ankle, caught the snake, was taken to the hospital, refused any treatment (even pain killers), went back to camp, his ankle swelled up, was grouchy for a few days (he was grouchy before, so who could tell?), and quickly recovered. Three days later the snake died. The teasing about that made him even more grouchy.
I have walked right next to a Copperhead in the field, and several other people walked by it, and it never even moved, not even when discovered and everybody (20 of us) gathered around.
By the way, Wayne is a professor at a university, and studies and photographs snakes for a living. I would hazard the guess that he has photographed and even played with more Copperheads than I have ever seen... Wish I had a job like that.
Have fun, and hope you get some nice pictures.
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