Ed Tanton N4XY n4xy@avana.net
Wed, 07 Aug 1996 17:27:36 -0300

Gary Nieborsky wrote:
> Spit, Adolf's, Aloe plants..............geez....out here in the wild west
> real hams cut a couple of X's at the sting site and suck out the venom..use
> the stingers to pick their teeth (really big wasps)......works for snake
> bite too.
> Gary 
Hi Gary... I am "into" herpetology (I keep only NON-venomous snakes) and 
wanted to comment about the cuts thing: DON'T DO IT. More people are 
much more seriously 'damaged' every year from the cuts than they would 
have been from the venom of your run-of-the-fang rattler (actually, most 
venemous snake bites are by copperheads due to their excellent 

Also, any open sore in the mouth of the would-be first-aider and he/she 
is going to have serious problems as well. By the way, more people (but 
not all that many) die every year from bee & wasp stings than snake 
bites-there being VERY few recorded cases of actual deaths due to North 
American reptiles (when there were no health complications present in 
the victim) EVER.

And finally, we are fortunate in that none of our NA snakes are 
particularly aggressive (OK... if you were swimming with no hands or 
feet across a lake, and there was this nice boat halfway across, 
wouldn't you want to climb in for a little rest?). Unlike those of 
Central & South America, Asia, and Australia. I have a friend who kept 
Cobras who said they were the smartest snakes he has ever kept, and 
sounded to me like he was genuinely a bit wary (read: afraid) of them. 
(No I cannot imagine why anyone would keep anything that could kill 
you-other than a Gila Monster... their bite is not very easy to be had, 
and they are kinda neat looking... but that's another story.)

Fortunately you don't meet too many of these things UP on towers. Most 
of our native snakes are only occasionally arboreal. Hope I didn't bore 
you too much... but to get back to the point: all the first aid 
organizations have revised their advice, and conclude that to get the 
bite/sting victim to a hospital is really the correct thing to do. 73

        Ed Tanton  N4XY  (770) 971-0436  Marietta, GA
        email: n4xy@avana.net   URL: Coming Soon