’Tis a season for sssssnakes
THE FOLLOWING TYPICALLY FOUND IN SA HOUSEHOLDS Learn about SA’s serpents, colours, behaviour and levels of danger to you.
From November to April, most notably after the first rains, certain areas experience snake season. This is according to accredited destination management company Siyabonga Africa, and snake expert Jason Arnold.
This week, Arnold received a call-out for a 2.2m black mamba at a home in Durban’s northern suburb of Avoca. This was one of five he rescued in the past week.
Following an influx of snake-related incidents, The Citizen has compiled a list of snakes typically found in a household.
The most common snake found in homes is the brown house snake, which is found throughout southern Africa. It is uniform redbrown, with larger, older snakes becoming significantly darker.
The African rock python is Africa’s largest snake. It has a large spearhead mark on the crown of the head, with dark and light bands radiating from eye to lip. It is found in the Lowveld, KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, Limpopo and the Northern Cape.
Large, robust with a non-flattened nose and long tail, the olive grass snake occurs in the northern parts, extending south along the KwaZulu-Natal coast. Although not venomous, a bite
Haemotoxic venom destroys red blood cells, disrupts blood clotting, and cause organ degeneration and tissue damage. Human symptoms to haemotoxins include nausea and disorientation.
Neurotoxic venom destroys nerve tissue and affects the central nervous system. Symptoms include drooping eyelids, slurred speech and excessive salivation.
Cytotoxic venom destroy cell membrane, which results in tissue necrosis. Immediate swelling and tissue necrosis will begin at the site of the bite.
Cardiotoxic venom cause cellular injury, causing local tissue or muscle injury. may cause pain and nausea.
A large snake, with large, round pupils, the boomslang may be leaf-green, bright green with dark grey, black-edged belly scales, or brick-red to rusk-red, with an orange-pink belly. They are found along the east and south coast to Cape Town. The black mamba, despite its name, only has a black mouth lining. The rest of the body is gunmetal to olive-brown. Their venom is neurotoxic and cardiotoxic.
Found throughout SA, the puff adder’s head is flattened and triangular, and its venom is cytotoxic. It is responsible for the most bites and fatalities in Africa. – Citizen reporter