Snakes on the site - how to recognize the poisonous and protect yourself from a bite?
Prior to moving to the Kuban, my experience with communicating with reptiles didn’t even turn out to be tiny. I was born and raised in a village near Moscow and I have never seen a serpent. Familiar boys once brought from somewhere far distant swamps, but by the time I returned from bathing, he “escaped” from them. During my stay in Komsomolsk-on-Amur (within the city), I didn’t have to meet reptiles somehow. Yes, and during outings in the forest, too. On the bank of the Amur several times Amur snakes came across: handsome men 1.5 m long and thick in hand. One day, in a summer house at a friend’s path on a footpath, a small viper was caught sliding quickly into the grass. That’s the whole experience. Moving to the Kuban settlement quickly filled this gap. What snakes are and whether it is necessary to fight them, I will tell in this article.
How we fought snakes
We settled in our house in the Kuban in the second half of November, when all the reptiles were already fast asleep in secluded places. Throughout the winter, locals scared us with stories about snakes that are found here (without names) and, like fishermen, with their arms wide apart, demonstrated their dimensions. Apparently, no one has ever suffered from snakes, but the stories were scary - where is Stephen King!
Therefore, the first small adder that we found sleeping under a heap of bark near a drovok was mercilessly destroyed. Still ashamed. The all-knowing Internet clarified the peculiarities of snake life, and we decided to transport them from the site in a good way.
At the beginning of spring, the perimeter of the drovnik was generously covered with dry mustard. Blackberry thickets were cut along the perimeter of the plot (snakes love nooks). Piles of stones were raked. A friend from a nearby street complained that they had to constantly drive vipers out of an artificial pond with nymphs. From our plans, a decorative reservoir was crossed out to clarify the situation.
The mating period, which means maximum activity of snakes, falls here in April. In our country this coincided with the beginning of mowing, the grass has grown enough. During the mowing, the first to be discovered was a healthy one, about a meter long. Black with a yellow bow on the back of the head. The trimmer is electric, and he was very scared. The mowing was stopped, already given time to recover, then they kicked out of the site with a stick.
In a low and humid place under the fishing line of the trimmer came a small, 15 centimeters, yellow-bellied snake. Nearby, the water one had barely managed to escape (I prepared for the winter, having carefully studied the external signs of the snakes living here). Further, the mowing was continued more accurately to scare away, and not to injure snakes. Several times different tails flickered in the grass.
Since in the first year of life we actually had no neighbors in the new place, and there were thickets on all sides, we decided to process the perimeter with Roundup, followed by burning of the remains. Local snakes do not crawl to bare ground. The first summer, with regular mowing of grass, snakes were no longer found.
In the following years, when the bees were brought in and mowing became less frequent, so that the bees could collect everything they needed, snakes and snakes began to come across again. Rarely, closer to the forest and an abandoned neighboring area. We are not actively fighting with them, so we drive with the dog.
Poisonous snakes in Russia
When you know what to expect, it’s not so scary. Finding out that in our area the most terribly poisonous - steppe viper (we destroyed it in the first year), we calmed down. Her bite was reportedly painful, but not fatal.
I was bitten by a little snake when I, pulling the excess grass behind the fence, grabbed her by the tail. I was in work gloves, I did not pay attention to the bite - all around there were spiky blackberry shoots. The snake launched into the grass.
At home, digging out small black spines from the fingers, I found two characteristic punctures on the skin, treated with alcohol and began to observe the symptoms. There were practically no symptoms. That is, the bite site was slightly swollen and reddened, without much pain. If I had not gazed at him intently, I would not have paid attention at all. I have more complaints about blackberries.
So, now, in fact, about poisonous snakes. In Russia, the most poisonous snake - gyurza (viper family). It is found in the southeast of Dagestan, not everywhere. Greater, up to 2 meters snake, varied color, depending on the area. More often - gray-brown. It attacks, at times, without hissing or other warning, if it seemed to her that her rights had been violated. It can jump to the length of its body, strong and fast - it is better not to get involved. It is listed in the Red Book, since the poison is valuable, and the snake is terrible.
The rest of the country is populated vipers and muzzle (also from the viper family). Vipers are widespread everywhere, muzzle - from the lower reaches of the Volga to Primorye. It:
- Common viper (the most common), lives in the center and in the north of the European part, in Siberia without permafrost and Transbaikalia.
- Sakhalin viper distributed in the Amur Region, Sakhalin, Primorye, Khabarovsk Territory.
- Caucasian - from Maykop to the south.
- Steppe lives in the forest-steppe, foothills, steppes and semi-deserts from the western borders to Altai.
- Viper Nikolsky, which, like, an ordinary subspecies, is in the forest-steppe zone of the European part.
- In the Caucasus, there are several types of vipers that are rare.
The toxicity of all is different. Fatally poisonous can be a bite of an ordinary viper, a Sakhalin, Caucasian viper. The venom of vipers affects the blood and blood-forming organs, and prevents clotting.
In muzzle, the bite is painful, the poison also interferes with blood coagulation, which can lead to very unpleasant consequences, but without a fatal outcome.
Vipers choose places for life near the water, but so that the sun would be all sorts of secluded places where to hide. Snakes do not like undue anxiety. We with our trimmer for them are like a neighbor with a hammer drill. Prefer to change habitat. Fortunately, there are enough abandoned sites with impassable thickets of blackberries around.
Snakes very quickly master areas abandoned by people: thickets of grass and shrubs, in which mice, voles, shrews and other food feel at ease, provide them with fresh food and good protection. As a rule, there is where to winter.
Vipers hibernate in the ground below the freezing layer, in burrows of rodents, moles, cavities. They can settle for the winter under haystacks or piles of garbage - depending on the climate and the heat capacity of the heap. Moss, dry stalks of grass, boards, logs are preferred. They choose places protected from the wind, unsinkable, heated by the sun. If in the fall people or ungulate animals hustle at the site of the alleged wintering, the vipers will not go there.
In spring, snakes emerge from shelters at temperatures from 0 to +5 ° C. Due to the natural cold-bloodedness, an external heat source is required to warm them. Therefore, in sunny weather, snakes gain heat in warm places. There they are most often found. “Warming up” lasts three weeks or less, if the weather is constantly very warm and sunny.
Having warmed, they fade, and already in a new guise pass to mating. Some, especially temperamental, mate before molting. This event takes one or two weeks with vipers.
Little vipers will be born by the end of summer. Kites develop in the eggs, but the shell of the egg dissolves even in the mother’s body closer to the time of birth, or breaks in the process. The snake crawls onto a short bush or tree (up to half a meter) and, moving its tail like a pendulum, releases snakes down to the ground, which immediately hide in a shelter. There is even a saying - “it’s already laying eggs, and the viper climbs on a birch.”
Then the children take care of themselves. Poison acquire after a few hours.
The basis of the dining table of the viper is small mammals: shrews, mice, voles, small water rats. As an addition - toads, lizards, chicks of small birds, insects and slugs. Snakes living near water quite successfully feed on tailless amphibians, newts.
In general, depending on the habitat, species and population, their diet is different. Digestion of snakes is slow, they can eat once a week and for a season they have enough food 100-200% of their own weight. In the beginning of summer, they eat more, by the end of summer - less (except for females bearing cubs).
Before wintering, unlike, for example, bears, they stop eating at all. Immediately after wintering, they also don’t eat. Not because the mice are skinny and tasteless, but because nothing works in the cold body, including digestion. First you need to warm up. Also, snakes hardly eat during molting. Apparently, they are losing weight, so that old skin peels off more easily.
How do snakes behave when meeting a person
When meeting a man, the viper tries to crawl away. A bite can only be prevented, and actively: grabbed by the tail, by the torso, stepped on or cornered.
Deadly dangerous can be a bite in the neck, artery or vein, a bite in the face is dangerous. In other cases, one or another degree of intoxication should be expected, which will pass in a few days. Toxicity depends on the age (size) of the snake and the size of the bitten.
In most cases, men predominate among the victims and the place of the bite is the hands.
According to doctors, typical bite situations:
- “I caught the viper by the neck, dabbled, it burst out and bit”;
- "Played with the snake while intoxicated";
- "When trying to put a snake in a bottle";
- "While trying to grab the snake."
The list goes on, but it’s clear that the number of candidates for the Darwin Prize is not decreasing.
Vipers are more afraid of people than snakes, biting more often from fear. There are times when a bear disease occurs in the hands of vipers. In some cases, when a snake is caught, it pretends to be dead, although it may be a swoon from fear.
There are cases when vipers, confused with other snakes, were picked up, sometimes kept in the house - and they did not bite.
Venom for a snake is an important resource necessary for hunting and for an emergency, it will not waste it, let alone chasing an unlucky mushroom picker with the goal of biting it.
When are snakes the most dangerous?
Everyone alone knows: if there is some annoying factor, aggressiveness increases, and even minor troubles can cause an inadequate response. So snakes have the same thing. In the spring they have molt (and not only in the spring, but also in the summer), it is unpleasant, uncomfortable, hungry, and here the mushroom pickers roam, stick sticks in the foliage, grass, climb into the thicket ...
After spring molting, having a bite to eat, you need to urgently find a couple - the season is running out, you can’t keep up with the warm weather, and now summer residents have run up. With dogs, cats, stinky cars, from which the earth is terribly vibrating. There are no conditions for personal life. In general, they can also be understood.
Moreover, snakes do not see well and do not hear at all, reacting only to vibrations. The snake will do everything possible so as not to get caught on the road, if, for example, stomp heavily. Mutual courtesy: we warned - she cleaned.
How to distinguish venomous snakes from non-venomous ones
It’s a pity to see dead snakes or yellow-bellows on the paths or on the road. And if a snake is a snake, although not poisonous, then the yellow-bellied puppy is generally a lizard! Only a legless family.
Instead of poisonous vipers, yellow-bellows, water snakes, fragile spindles (also legless lizards), and copperfish often suffer. Ordinary snakes also fall.
It should be borne in mind that vipers have zigzags or rhombuses of various colors on their backs, although there are purely black vipers (Nikolsky's viper, or forest-steppe). Shchitomordniki have a striated color.
In water snakes and coppers, the color is checkerboard, in legless lizards (spindles) it is monophonic or with longitudinal stripes, ordinary snakes of even black or gray color with light spots behind the eyes.
In vipers and muzzle, the heads are triangular, in contrast to oval-headed snakes, and from legless lizards, in which the head, in general, is not distinguished and smoothly passes into the body.
If you suddenly have a chance to look into the snake's eyes, then the round pupil should calm, because the pupils of elves are elongated, slit-like. There are still cardinal differences on the underside of the tail, but there will probably be few people looking there.
Dear readers! "The World Wide Web ”gives us a wonderful opportunity to get information from knowledgeable people about the living creatures that live in a particular region. And then - according to the situation: unwanted - decisively drive out, useful to lure. Suddenly, someone has a friendship with a snake ...