We Asked The Bugman What to Do if We Encountered a Poisonous Snake on a Summer Hike. Here’s His Advice.

bugmancoverloshadowIf you know Richard Fagerlund, or have read his book My Path to the Bugman, with an Earth-Friendly Guide to Pest Management for your Home and Garden, then you’ll know he’s a big fan of many of the critters that scare the sanest amongst us.

So, with summer hikes on our minds, we asked him our burning question: What do we do if we encounter a poisonous snake while walking in the woods?

Here’s Richard’s response:

I recently got a non-bug question. Non-bug? How can I answer that? I think I can.

The question is what should someone do if they are hiking out in the woods—or anywhere in nature, really—and encounter a venomous snake.

First, let me say some snakes are venomous, and I recommend doing some photo research before entering the wild to see what kind of snakes you might possibly come upon. But remember, none are poisonous. Venoms are injected and poisons are ingested. Toads can be poisonous if you lick them and some mushrooms are poisonous if you eat them. Therefore, a snake can be venomous, but not poisonous.

img_1622Always carry some kind of stick when walking in the wilderness. I carry a golf club. If you see a venomous snake, just stop and see what it does. It won’t come near you unless it doesn’t see you. Let it go on its way and then you can continue on your way. Obviously this is the best outcome for all involved, because they have a right to life just like we do, and I always espouse and advocate the Do No Harm principles whenever I can.

If it is rattled (coiled up and rattling), then go a long way around it and keep going. If you accidentally step on a venomous snake and it bites you, don’t panic. You will most likely be fine. Venomous snakes usually only inject a little venom unless they are really mad, then they can give you a full dose.

[Our note to self: Don’t piss them off! Duly noted.]

Snakes don’t like to waste venom as they need it to gather food. Take a Benadryl, which you should carry with you at all times while hiking, and then go back to your vehicle and to an emergency room if one is nearby. If you have someone with you, obviously you want to let them drive while you meditate (ha!) and try to remain calm. If you are way out in the wilderness, call for help and, again, try not to panic. If you panic, your blood will flow quicker and that can cause you problems.

snake1Admittedly, I have experience with this. I have been bitten nine times by venomous snakes, but only two bites were bad enough to require medical attention. I never panicked, I just lived through the pain and swelling. When I encounter a venomous snake, I pick it up and take a selfie or have someone take a picture, then I let it go.

But I must put my disclaimer out there: never try to pick up a venomous snake in the wild. Only weird people do that. Color me weird.

Interested in reading more of Richard’s encounters with animals, and checking out his earth-friendly solutions to summer pest management? You can pick up his book at any of these links, below.

Happy—and SAFE—Summer Hiking, everyone!

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

Bug Fetish or Phobia? Got a Pest Problem and Don’t Know Where to Turn? Now’s Your Chance to Save $1 on Our Latest Book During our Kindle Pre-Order Phase

bugmancover4loDo bugs make your skin crawl, or do you share Richard “Bugman” Fagerlund’s endless fascination with all things bug? In either case, you’ll want to jump in line to pick up his new book, Richard “Bugman” Fagerlund: My Path to the Bugman, with an Earth-Friendly Guide to Pest Management for Your Home and Garden, coming out February 17th, from Who Chains You Publishing.

Got a pest problem, and don’t know where to turn? Richard’s your man. Your Bugman, that is.

Right now we’re in our pre-order phase, which is available to Kindle Users ONLY. (Don’t worry, the paperback will be available on the 17th). And, to sweeten the deal, we’re taking $1 off during the advance sales period, so it’s available for the next week ONLY for just $3.79 in Kindle!

If you’re a Kindle reader, now’s your chance to save before the book goes live. Just order now, and the book will be delivered to your Kindle or other reading device on February 17th.

Interested? Here’s that pre-sale link for Richard “Bugman” Fagerlund: My Path to the Bugman, With an Earth-Friendly Guide to Pest Management for your Home and Garden again: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NC30SBZ?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660

IMG_0027.JPGRichard Fagerlund is now widely known and respected as “The Bugman”, but it wasn’t always that way. In his third book, The Bugman takes us on a compelling journey through his early life, his struggles with alcohol and search to make a meaningful contribution to society, and his ultimate self-discovery along the path to becoming a Board Certified Entomologist (insect expert) and Dipterist (specialist in flies).

He then guides us through the best and least-harmful ways to deal with insects, other arthropods, and vertebrates which are commonly considered pests in our homes and gardens, offering detailed descriptions for over 150 species and ecologically-friendly advice on how to dissuade or remove them from your home or environment.

Richard discusses pesticides, multiple chemical sensitivity, how to find the right pest control company when needed, and bee colony collapse. He both educates and entertains with tales of meeting (and sometimes running from) some of the more formidable members of the animal kingdom: a tiger, a python, an alligator, a king cobra, and other poisonous snakes, including rattlesnakes and copperheads.

Richard “Bugman” Fagerlund has previously published two books and three scientific papers on the subject of bugs, and written a nationally-syndicated column about natural pest control.

According to former presidential candidate Gary Johnson, Richard “leads the way to a better, healthier planet, where pollution from pesticides is limited.”

About the Author:

img_1622Richard “Bugman” Fagerlund spent years in the pest management business, and then 11 years working with the University of New Mexico as a pest specialist, an Entomologist (insect expert), and Dipterist (specialist in flies). He is the co-author of “Ask the Bugman” and “The Bugman on Bugs”, as well as the co-author of three scholarly papers during his time with UNM. He wrote weekly natural pest control columns that appeared in many newspapers nationwide, including the San Francisco Chronicle and the Albuquerque Tribune.

When he retired from the University of New Mexico in 2006, Richard went into pest management consulting, and continues to help businesses control pests using least-toxic methods today. He still writes occasional columns for various papers, because he enjoys helping people solve their pest problems without having to use toxic pesticides. He has received hundreds if not thousands of letters from readers around the country.

Interested? $1 off All Kindle Sales for One Week ONLY. Here’s that pre-sale link for Richard “Bugman” Fagerlund: My Path to the Bugman, With an Earth-Friendly Guide to Pest Management for your Home and Garden again: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NC30SBZ?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660