The Texas Poison Center blog is here to provide useful information and tips on dealing with toxins and poisons that we are sometimes unintentionally exposed to in or out of the home. This blog is not meant to replace calling a Poison Control Center. Poison centers offer free medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222.
Summer time is in full force which means the bugs and snakes
are out and about! While no one ever wants to have encounters with dangerous
bugs or snakes, sometimes it cannot be helped. The important ones to keep an
eye out for are the ones that can be harmful and are considered venomous. The
Texas Poison Center Network wants you to be aware of dangers you and your loved
ones could come across this time of year.
Snakes to Look Out
for in Texas
A cottonmouth snake
can reach lengths of up to five feet long. Commonly called a water moccasin,
these snakes enjoy being near bodies of water and are usually are dark black
color with wide bands on its body. This type of snake can be aggressive so keep
your eyes open when playing by lakes, ponds and rivers.
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Diamondback rattlesnake is one of the most common snakes you will find in
Texas. It can reach lengths of up to seven feet and has a triangular shaped
head. They will often times spend their days hiding in low-growing shrubs or
rocks. The most identifiable part of this snake is their rattle but it is also
covered in a diamond-shaped pattern, hence its name. They are not usually
aggressive unless their habitat is disturbed or threatened, so watch where you
are walking when out on hikes!
These snakes reach
about 30 inches long and have a reddish-brown head with coppery bodies. These
snakes are usually not aggressive and most people only get bitten by accidently
stepping on them. The reason it might be easy to step on one is because they
blend in so well with oak leaves and other vegetation. Make sure you are aware
of your surroundings and where you are walking when in wooded or park areas.
This snake is the
most colorful of the bunch, only reaching about 2 feet in length. They are not
too hard to miss with their bright red, black and yellow rings on the body.
Coral snakes can be extremely dangerous due to their venom, especially in
children. Their mouths are quite small so they have an easier time of biting
young children than they do an adult. It is best to avoid these snakes and
remember the saying: Red touching yellow, kills a fellow, while red touching
black, venom they lack!
Creepy Crawlers to
Look Out for in Texas
Bugs love the heat, especially the ones that bite! From
mosquitoes and bees to flies and fleas, here is a list of the ones you should
really keep your eye out for!
Bees and Wasps
You might see some
wasps, yellow jackets, bees or hornets buzzing around your home. If so, they
most likely have built a nest somewhere on the outside of your home or in
hollow places that do not get disturbed. When it is light out, look around your
home to see if you can find the nest. If
so, you should call a professional to take care of it.Never try to remove the nest yourself. Keep in mind that if the nest is not dealt
with properly, there can be dangerous consequences up to and including death
from multiple stings.Anyone with a
possible allergy to these bugs can find themselves in a life-threatening situation
from even a single sting.
The good news is most
spiders are not dangerous to humans.In Texas, the two spiders to keep an eye out
for are the brown recluse and the black widow. Both of these spiders like to
hang out in dark areas where there isn’t much draft. The only time they might
bite is if they feel threatened. Unfortunately,with
most spider bites, you won’t even feel them. That is why it is important that
anytime you find a suspecting bite on your body or your child’s, that you call the
poison center for treatment recommendations.
Mosquitoes are peskier than anything, but they can also
carry some icky diseases including West Nile Virus and malaria. The best way to
avoid mosquitoes around your home is to get rid of any standing water,
including bird baths. Standing water is the perfect breeding spot for
mosquitoes. The best time to stay indoors to reduce your chances of being
bitten is at twilight/during the evening when they are most active. If you must go out at this time, make sure you
use mosquito repellent on all exposed areas.
Ticks can be found in dense brush and wooded areas. If you
plan on taking a hike or going around heavily wooded areas, make sure to cover
your skin with clothing and use tick repellent where skin is visible to
eliminate chances of being bit. If you do find a tick embedded in your skin,
the best thing you can do is remove it with tweezers.Call the poison center for information on how
to remove the tick or treat the open wound it may leave behind.
Remember, if you run across any of these snakes or bugs and
happen to get bitten or stung, please do not hesitate to contact a poison
center for help at 1-800-222-1222.
They are always there and always free and can provide help on how to treat the
bite and more.
It’s been all over the news lately. Case after case of kids
ending up in the emergency room due to use of K2 or a similar synthetic compound.
In Austin, Texas alone, officials have treated roughly 390 patients and
responded to 355 calls regarding K2 only within a month’s time frame (May 29 to
June 29, 2015).
K2, also referred to as “Spice” is a mix of dried plans and herbs
that have been sprayed with a compound similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient
found in marijuana. Cases of people using K2 have increased exponentially in
the past several months which is why we want to warn you of the dangers of
using this dangerous drug. Below are some common symptoms that come from using K2:
·Heart rate and blood pressure both get to low
·Higher body temperatures
·In some cases seizures
·Violent and aggressive behavior
·Anxiety and paranoia
When it comes to K2 and other synthetic compounds, you
should protect yourself and stay away from these very harmful drugs. If you or
someone you know has used K2, please do not hesitate to contact a Texas Poison
Center today for help. It could potentially save you emergency room visit fees
and your health. Do you have questions concerning these drugs? Call us about
that too- 1-800-222-1222. Poison
Control is here to help!