WASHINGTON — Summer is a popular time to visit parks for picnics, games and nature walks. But it’s also a time when snakes are active.
Fairfax County police offer snake safety tips to consider while you enjoy the outdoors.
Police say people are most likely to see snakes that are crossing roads, moving through the backyard or perhaps taking in the sun near habitat edges, near water or the forest line.
Police say it’s wise to give a snake safe distance — room to move away on its own. When walking or hiking, stay on trails, sidewalks and clear paths. Wear boots or closed shoes and long pants.
Simple awareness when outdoors also helps. Most snake bites happen when snakes are accidentally stepped on or touched.
Most of the snakes in the D.C. area, including northern black racers, eastern rat snakes and northern water snakes, are harmless to humans.
The northern copperhead is the only venomous snake species that is found in the D.C. area, and while its bite is rarely deadly, it can cause tremendous swelling that requires an emergency room visit.
About 2 to 3 feet long, the Copperhead is best identified by its triangle-shaped head and copper color.