When it rains it’s more likely a snake will slither up your garden path, and quite possibly – into your home! Because it’s a risk for them to go out on a really hot day as they could dehydrate snakes become more active during the rainy season. With the expectation of snake sightings, Johan Marais from the African Snakebite Institute said puff adders and snouted cobras are quite common on the fringes of Johannesburg and advised residents to keep a lookout for these scaly creatures.

He went on to say that in the Johannesburg area one of the biggest problem snakes is the rinkhals (also known as ringhals or a ring-necked spitting cobra), which is especially common on smallholdings.

Speaking to Talk Radio 702’s John Robbie, Marais said 80 per cent of all snakebites occur during the rainy season.

Marais also provided these handy tips:

  • If a snake spits in a person’s eye, it’s best to get their head under a tap for around 15 minutes to flush as much venom out as possible. Then get them to a doctor.
  • For snakebites, Marais said a person must be taken to the nearest hospital as soon as possible. "If a snakebite victim is taken to hospital within 30 minutes to 2 hours, it’s perfectly safe [for them]."

- Faiza Mallick


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