Rise in snake sightings
WITH their distinctive diamond pattern and tendency to lurk in heaths and wetlands, adders have long been spotted around parts of south Wales.
And with the increase in temperature the venomous snakes have not been shy this summer with a big spike in sightings around grassy areas.
But if you are a resident in the town of Kidwelly in Carmarthenshire, like it or not, you are far more likely to spot the slithery creatures as there has been an increase of sightings in the area.
Kidwelly Town Council have confirmed they have even had to put up warning signs in some snake hotspots after a number of sightings.
The council said: “It has been brought to our attention that there have been adder sightings recently in Parc Stephens and Glan yr Afon, it is also very likely they are to be found at Kidwelly Quay and Mynyddygarreg mountain.
“Please do not disturb them. They are a legally protected species and they will not bite unless provoked. Please keep dogs under close supervision. Seek medical or veterinary advice if bitten.”
Adders are protected from intentional killing under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and are very rarely fatal – but can cause painful side effects – one woman was hospitalised in May this year after suffering an adder bite in Llangennith.
The adder is the only venomous snake in the UK and is known to be a timid species that only attacks if provoked.
There are usually around 100 reported cases a year with the majority of incidents occurring during the summertime.
Adders are grey in colour and have a distinct zig-zag pattern on their back.
They are usually around 60-80cm long and weigh from 50-100g.
Warning signs are due to be put in place this week in some of Kidwelly’s grassy areas where the snakes have been spotted and dog owners are urged to keep their pets under close supervision as bites can be fatal to them.
Expert Geraint “the Snakeman” Hopkins said these signs will allow dog walkers to be on alert in the areas.
“People just need to be careful and aware and it is really important to keep your dog near to you and on a lead, do not let them loose in these areas as dogs are curious and it is easy for them to get bitten,” he said.
Vets in Burry Port and Kidwelly are also due to be handed posters to identify snakes in the area in order to treat them accordingly.
Mr Hopkins added: “You should wear sensible footwear because they wouldn’t be able to bite through a boot.
“You should try to make enough noise and they will usually move away. Make as much noise as possible, carry a stick around with you in the grass.”
“Dogs normally get bitten on their paws or nose so keep them on a lead and make sure they walk by the side of you.”
“It is a medical emergency if you do get bitten but do not panic, the more you panic the quicker the venom will spread through your body.
“You should keep calm and go straight to A&E. Keep the area where you’ve been bitten upright and you will usually be treated with an antihistamine.
“If your dog gets bitten try to see the colour of
the snake, pick the dog up and take it straight to the vets.”
If you are bitten by a snake, NHS advice is to remember the shape, size and colour of the snake as well keep the part of your body that has been bitten as still as possible.
It is also recommended that not to put anything around the bitten limb to stop the spread of venom as it will not help and could in fact make the situation worse.
Warning signs have been put up in Kidwelly following an increase in snake sightings.