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Snake, Spider Bites On The Rise In Missouri

(KTVI)– The warm weather has unleashed some dangers for folks who enjoy the outdoors. Snakes are waking up early this year and biting.  People at the Missouri Poison Center at Cardinal Glennon are busy.  Dr. Anthony Scalzo is with the center, he said, ‘It is is a little unusual to have this many snake bites by this time.’

He said there have been sixteen snake bites reported since the first of the month in Missouri, most of them are believed to be copper head snakes.  The snake bite cases are about a month ahead of schedule.

They may not kill, but the snakes can make a person`s life miserable.  Doctors say a bite on the finger can lead to a swollen hand and arm for two weeks.  Scalzo added, ‘The snake venom itself actually does cause nausea, vomiting.’

The unusual weather is causing woodland creatures to wake up early.  Not just snakes, but all kinds of insects and spiders that sting or bite are on the move.  Turkey season may be a little annoying for hunters like John Larson this year, Larson said, ‘I`m expecting a lot more ticks and a lot more bugs and things like that.’  Dan Zarlenga a spokesman with the Missouri Department of Conservation said ticks will be a problem, ‘We`ve had so much warm weather that they`re out in full force now.’

The poison center has also received 29 other bites calls involving brown recluse, black widow and other spiders and insects.  The weather has been beautiful but it has also created some ugly problems.