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Rumors on Garter Snake's Poison.



Have you ever happened upon a small snake slithering through the grass? There are more than 50 species of snakes living in the United States, and while a number of dangerous snakes can be found sneaking around homes, many snakes found in backyards belong to the garter snake species, which don’t pose a threat. Garter snakes are one of the most common snakes found in North America and they appear throughout most regions of the United States and Canada. In fact, many are sold and kept as pets.

are garter snakes poisonous

These Garter snakes prefer wooded areas, especially those located close to streams or pools of water. This provides easy access to their preferred meals of fish and amphibians. Garter snakes often measure between 15 and 35 inches long, though some can grow to be over 5 feet long. Most are gray, brown, or black and have three long, yellow or green stripes that run the length of their body, but these colors differ slightly among the 35 species of garter snakes. Like all snakes, garter snakes use their forked tongues to sense their prey. However, garter snakes can be identified by their two-colored tongues, in which the base is red and the tip is black.

Considering they spend the winter hibernating, a potential run-in with a garter snake will most likely occur during the late spring and summer. These pests are also primarily active during the warmer hours of the day, like the afternoon, which is when they leave their dens to hunt and bask in the warm sunlight. Before spending time outdoors during the spring and summer months, it’s important to know how to identify these snakes and know what kind of health risks they may pose.

Are Garter Snakes Poisonous?

Though a popular household pet, many still wonder if garter snakes are poisonous. The answer is, technically, no. First, poisonous means if you eat something poisonous, it will make you sick. Venom, on the other hand, is a toxin produced by an animal that will make your sick. When the teeth of venomous snakes come into contact with human skin, venom flows from the snake’s modified salivary glands and into the tissue or bloodstream of their prey. This venom contains a variety of toxic proteins and enzymes that can trigger intense reactions in their prey. However, most species of garter snakes do not contain the venomous neurotoxin needed to inflict these symptoms in humans.

That being said, some species of garter snakes, like the common garter snake, do have the necessary toxins in their saliva to make them venomous. But fortunately for humans, the venom from these bites causes little more than a slightly irritated, swollen area around the puncture wound. Having an allergic reaction to a bite from a garter snake is rare, though the Mayo Clinic recommends that anyone experiencing symptoms of anaphylaxis, which includes hives, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness, should “immediately call 911 or your local medical emergency number.”

The most significant damage a bite from a garter snake can cause is an infection. This can occur if bacteria from the snake’s mouth gets transferred into your skin tissue or bloodstream. Likewise, if a garter snake bite is not treated properly in conjunction with the guidelines listed by Dr. Troy E. Madsen, MD from the University of Utah, the bite can become infected and cause other unwanted health issues.....

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* New Words:

- to shed a falsehood (idm) /ˈfɔːlshʊd/: to cast light on something like a rumor which has lied humans for ages. 

- to happen upon (on): "run across", see something or some people by chance.

- to slither through (v) /ˈslɪðər/:move in a smooth way.

- to pose a threat (v): threaten or cause some trouble to someone.

- run-in with somebody (n): an argument with, (in the context) face to face.

- to bask in (v): enjoy lying in...

- salivary gland (n) /səˈlaɪvəri/: an organ producing saliva.

- to inflict something on (v): make somebody suffer something unpleasant.

-  a puncture wound (n): a wound that is caused by a  needle-like sharp.  

- anaphylaxis (n) /ˌænəfɪˈlæksɪs/: an extreme reaction from your body to something you have eaten.

- hives (uncountable noun): itchy spots on your skin, which appears when you have eaten some food allergic to your body.

 - nausea (n) /ˈnɔːziə/: the feeling that you want to vomit.

- in conjunction with: together with.

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