Mpumalanga is home to some 75 species of snakes, many of which are found at Likweti Estate occasionally, but luckily only seven of these are considered dangerous to humans. Snakes are a vital part of nature and are responsible for keeping many other animal numbers at bay, but this doesn’t mean that you have to like them.
Most people would much rather prefer to steer clear of snakes entirely. This is also what snakes prefer and the more we are able to stay out of each other’s way the better we will be able to co-exist in peace.
Avoiding snakes is by far the best option and there are several things you can do make the chances of encountering one at your home much slimmer. Here are some handy tips:
- Keep the grass short – snakes don’t like to feel exposed
- Keep your yard clean – rubbish heaps and building material makes for nice hideouts for snakes
- Keep pests under control – snakes can smell mice and rats from far away
- Close gaps under doors and keep doors closed – so snakes don’t wonder in by accident
- Walls work better than fences – snakes aren’t good wall climbers
What to do when you encounter a snake
In most cases where people encounter a snake you can simply stand still and wait for the snake to move off. If you are not dangerously close to the snake you can move away and the snake will quietly be on its way. If however it is in your house it is advisable to have it removed. You can try Chris Hobkirk on 082 372 3350, or Johan Louw on 072 299 8455.
What to do if you are bitten
- Keep calm and don’t move around a lot
- Get to a hospital right away
- Let someone check you breathing and pulse regularly as some snake venom can stop your breathing
- You can also call the Poison Information Centre Helpline for advice +27 21 931 6129
Don’t do the following
- apply a tourniquet
- cut and suck the wound
- apply ice or hot water
- give the bite victim alcohol
- apply electric shock
- inject anti-venom unless you are qualified and knowledgeable