Avoiding and Responding to Venomous Snakebites

The chances of being bitten by a venomous snake are very low, and the chances that a bite from a venomous snake will be fatal are even lower--you are more likely to die from a dog bite! Nonetheless, the following tips and fact sheets will help you be prepared in the event that you or someone you are with is bitten by a venomous snake. Check out the fact sheets listed below to learn how to avoid being bitten.

In the unlikely event of a venomous snakebite--thumbnail photo of snake identification guide cover


  • Call 9-1-1 immediately! Do not wait until symptoms develop!
  • Keep the victim calm and comfortable.
  • Remove rings, watches, or restrictive clothing near the bite.
  • Keep the bitten extremity (Finger, hand, foot, etc.) below the heart
  • Record the time of the bite and symptoms as they develop..


  • DO NOT wait for symptoms to develop - call 9-1-1 immediately and get medical care!
  • DO NOT try to catch the snake! This is not necessary for treatment, and you will probably get bitten!
  • DO NOT make an "X" incision to suck out the venom or apply ice, heat, tourniquet, or electric shock!
  • DO NOT give the victim alcohol, caffeine, drugs, or other stimulants!

For more information about venomous snakebite preparedness, read:

Dealing with Snakes in Florida's Residential Areas (Series)


Preventing Encounters

Identifying Commonly Encountered Snakes

Emergency Planning

Emergency Snakebite Action Plan