June Industry Highlight: Summer Adventure Tips
Have you ever found yourself near a snake, wasp, or bee and gotten startled, wondering what to do next? We’re here to help.
Hear from our Director of Risk Services, Kaitlin, as she recaps her story of a recent run-in with a snake: “I was hiking with my family, and because it was a warm summer day, snakes and lizards were soaking up the sun everywhere we looked. You had to look hard because they blended in really well. Our dog was leading, and even he didn’t notice the rattler on the trail. As our dog walked over the snake, it woke up, startled. The dog was blocking our view, so the next person tripped on the snake, and then there was me… shuffling my feet because I was hot and tired. The snake ended up tangled in my feet. Thankfully, I didn’t get bit, but it was a scary experience nonetheless.”
As the summer months approach and the weather gets nicer, we tend to find ourselves outside enjoying the beautiful weather. As we do, it’s good to remind ourselves of the natural wildlife that lurks in our daily lives, such as spiders, snakes, wasps, and bees.
Here are some ways to prevent encounters with these wildlife creatures:
- Watch your step: Shake or inspect material before using it. Be cautious and attentive when walking in areas where snakes may be present, such as tall grass, rocky areas, or brushy terrain.
- Clear Vegetation: Remove tall grass, bushes, and other vegetation near heavily populated areas. Keeping them clear reduces potential hiding spots.
- Regular Cleaning: Keep heavily populated areas clean and free from debris. These critters may be attracted to areas with discarded materials or piles of rubbish. Regular cleaning and maintenance will deter them from staying in the vicinity.
- Wear appropriate footwear & clothing: Avoid bright colors and floral prints.
- Be cautious: Exercise caution around bodies of water, as snakes may be near rivers, lakes, or marshy areas. Be careful around flowering plants, as bees/wasps tend to be near.
- Don’t provoke (swat, handle): Avoid touching, handling, or disturbing them. Call professionals if removal is needed.
- Seal Entry Points: Inspect buildings, structures, and fences for any gaps or holes that snakes could use to enter the site. Seal these entry points with appropriate materials, such as caulk or wire mesh, to prevent snake infiltration.
If you get bitten or stung, it’s best to remain calm.
For snakes, wash the bite area with soap and water. Apply a cloth dampened with cold water or fill a bowl with ice and submerge the bite area to reduce swelling. Elevate the bite area (if possible) and move the victim to a medical facility without delay. Do NOT attempt to remove the venom, don’t apply ice, don’t make any incision of any kind, don’t constrict the area, don’t administer alcohol or drugs, and don’t use electric shock treatment. Remove all watches, jewelry, etc., from the affected area.
If you get stung by a wasp or bee in the mouth or nose (even if you aren’t allergic), seek immediate medical help as swelling could block airways! Gently scrape the stinger out using a blunt object such as a credit card. Remove the stinger as soon as possible. Wash the area with soap and water and keep it clean until healed to prevent infection. Ice packs can be used to reduce swelling.
In summary, remember that most snakes are harmless, and the majority of snakebites are not fatal. Usually, a snakebite results in only minor injury. However, people with underlying health problems may be at greater risk even when facing a non-lethal snake, so be sure to see a doctor just in case.
The best way to avoid stings from animals is to stay away from their territory. If there’s a nest, don’t disturb it. For honeybees, call a professional to relocate them as they’re protected. If they’re a different type of bee or wasp and you have no other option, you may have to eliminate them to prevent stings. And don’t forget, keep an EpiPen nearby if you or someone close to you has a severe allergy to insect stings.
It’s important to exercise caution when encountering spiders, especially if you’re unsure of their species, and to seek medical attention if bitten by a potentially venomous spider.
Keep your family safe this summer with these essential wildlife tips!