Know how to drive away vipers and snakes it is very important and in the first case it can even save your life. Yes why the bite of some vipers, in special cases, it can also be lethal, especially if you do it the wrong way.
The snakes instead They are NOT poisonous so they are not dangerous for humans even if their presence can be annoying and maybe scare children playing in the garden or in a lawn.
How to distinguish a viper from a snake
To immediately frame any danger correctly, it is important to know how to distinguish a viper from a snake. The vipers have a stocky body, a short tail, a triangular head, elongated pupils, a variable length of around 80 cm and a dark reddish brown color, spotted with black. If disturbed, they open their mouths and have pointed teeth. They move slowly and prefer stony and sunny areas.
Snakes, on the other hand, are longer, especially as they have a thin and elongated tail, have a rounded pupil and frequent rivers or very humid areas, such as meadows near streams. In fact, they feed on amphibians such as toads and frogs.
Both attack only if they feel unsafe or if they are disturbed.
At the beginning of this article you will find a photo of one viper. Here is the photo of a harmless person water snake.
How to remove vipers and snakes
The typical meeting point between man and vipers are walks in the countryside or in the mountains. In my case as a kid I "met" them several times when I went looking for mushrooms in Val d’Intelvi, right near stony areas and at times when the sun was very intense.
The best way to remove them is to make noise! At the time I used a stick that I beat on the stones: in this way the sound waves that propagated in the ground induced the viper to move away or to return to its den.
A pair of high trekking shoes are an additional effective protection to avoid possible viper bites. The behavior to which the utmost attention was therefore to be paid was the moment when you sat in the meadows to rest or bent down to pick a mushroom.
If, on the other hand, vipers and snakes usually frequent your garden, my advice is to use natural repellents such asKalif, a product that you can buy on Amazon for less than 10 Euros and that will keep unwanted guests away, while not being poisonous to humans.
Thanks to a convenient dispenser you can easily spray it in the most at risk areas of your garden.
What to do if you get bitten by a viper
In case you are bitten by a viper the first thing to do is not to be scared and keep calm. Move as little as possible to prevent the poison from circulating more quickly and call 118. Alternatively, if you have a friend who can transport you, get taken to the nearest emergency room.
Avoid "do it yourself" remedies such as wound incisions to try to get the poison out because you risk worsening the situation by promoting circulation and causing infections.
Contrary to what was once recommended, also avoid applying a tourniquet because it can cause a blockage of blood circulation followed by an abrupt release of poison at the time of decompression. The application of ice to the wound and the administration of anti-vandal serum is also not recommended: being of animal origin it could cause an anaphylactic shock that could aggravate the situation rather than improve it.
While waiting for help or while you are accompanied to the emergency room, also avoid taking alcohol as by favoring the dilation of the vessels they can cause faster circulation of the poison.
THE more dangerous bites are those near the face or on the neck as the poison injected into these areas of our body takes less time to enter the circulation.
Bites on the arms and legs are less dangerous immediately as the poison takes at least 2 hours to enter the circulation.
Dying from a viper bite is extremely unlikely, so much so that statistics tell us that on average only one person per year dies from a bite.
In which regions are vipers found
Species of poisonous vipers they are widespread in all regions of Italy except for Sardinia, where they are not present.
The most common species are four:
- There Horn viper (scientific name Vipera Ammodytes) is the most dangerous for the level of toxicity of its venom. It is found mainly in the regions of north-east Italy and, as already written above, prefers stony and sunny areas. It is rather shy and non-aggressive. It is recognized by the presence of a small "horn" located on the front of the head.
- The Marsh Adder (scientific name Vipera Berus) instead prefers areas closer to water, similar to snakes. It is widespread in the mountains of Northern Italy, it is not particularly poisonous but is rather aggressive when provoked.
- There Aspis viper it is the most shy species, it is not aggressive and usually runs away even if it is harassed. It is widespread in hot and dry places, both in the Alps and in the Apennines.
- ThereViper dell’Orsini (as scientific Vipera Ursinii) is the smallest and least dangerous. It is present exclusively on the Abruzzese Apennines, in particular on the Gran Sasso, and on the Umbrian-Marchigiano Apennines.