To avoid bites and stings:
- Learn to recognize venomous animals in your area.
- Wear protective clothing.
- Do NOT handle venomous or unfamiliar animals.
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
- Body Length is commonly 3 to 4 feet long, but may be larger
- A series of diamond-shaped blotches runs down the length of its back, with a light border surrounding each blotch.
- The background coloration may be tan, brown, or gray.
- A series of rattles is found at the tip of the tail.
- These snakes are nocturnal.
- These snakes inhabit dry, rocky, shrub-covered terrain where they can conceal themselves inside crevices in the rocks or in mouse holes.
- When disturbed it usually stands its ground, lifts its head well above its coils, and sounds a buzzing warning.
- If you hear a rattlesnake shaking its rattle, it's issuing a warning, and if the warning is ignored it may bite.
- The pain from a bite is immediate and severe.
- The bite may be accompanied by swelling, weakness, sweating, chills, faintness, dizziness, elevated or depressed pulse, nausea, or vomiting.
- Body Length is commonly 2 feet long
- A series of reddish-brown hourglass shaped markings run down the length of its back.
- The background coloration is pale tan to reddish-brown.
- These snakes are nocturnal in hot weather.
- These snakes inhabit partly shaded areas, such as leaf piles beneath trees, or alongside logs and stones in wooded forests.
- These snakes are responsible for most poisonous snakebites, but their venom is only mildly toxic.
- Symptoms of the snake's bite are similar to that of the rattlesnake but less severe.
- Worker ants are about 1/8 inch long.
- Females sting, and are reddish brown.
- Males are dark brown.
- Mounds are above ground with loose soil, resembling gopher diggings.
- Mounds are generally numerous and conspicuous, but may not be obvious in dry weather.
- Mounds are often found along driveways, walkways, patios, and at the base of fence posts and trees.
- A burning sensation occurs immediately.
- A fluid filled pustule develops within a day or two and may persist for several days or more.
- Numerous bites usually occur.
- Secondary infection is common.
- Allergic reactions to stings are possible.
Brown Recluse Spider
- Adult Spiders are grayish to dark brown with a leg span about the size of a quarter.
- A violin-shaped, dark marking with the neck of the violin pointing towards the bulbous abdomen appears on the back near the head region.
- Both the male and female spiders are similar in appearance and equally toxic.
- The immature stages closely resemble the adults except for size and a slightly lighter color.
- These spiders are nocturnal.
- These spiders prefer undisturbed areas such as, under furniture, behind baseboards, under piles of wood, and often hide in cracks and crevices.
- Although bites are serious, there is little pain at the time of the bite.
- A red ring develops around the bite area.
- The skin begins to slough off; creating an open wound that can take months to heal.
Black Widow Spider
- Female spiders are larger and more venomous than male spiders.
- Female's abdomen is shiny, usually jet-black, rounded, and globular, often with a red hourglass mark on the underside.
- Female spiders frequently hang upside down in the web (making the red hourglass visible).
- The leg span of the female spider is about the size of a quarter.
- These spiders prefer dark or shaded areas such as under furniture, in latrines, in hollow logs, in shoes, or outside under rocks and in debris piles.
- There is little pain at the time of the bite
- Slight redness and swelling and two faint puncture marks may appear at the bite.
- Pain becomes intense in one to three hours and may continue up to 48 hours.
- Pain usually progresses from the bite up or down the limb, finally localizing in the abdomen.
- The abdominal muscles may become rigid and board-like with severe cramps.
- Scorpions have eight legs and two lobster-like claws.
- The body length averages between two and three inches long.
- The abdominal tail is segmented, can curve upward, and terminates in a venomous stinger.
- Females may carry young on their backs.
- Scorpions are nocturnal.
- Scorpions prefer dark, moist, undisturbed areas, such as woodpiles, cracks and crevices, and under rocks.
- A sting is quite painful and felt immediately.
- Swelling and discoloration at the sting may persist for several days.
page last modified on: 6/3/2014