Safety Tips - Insects Rodents & Snakes

Insects, Spiders and Ticks

  • To protect yourself from biting and stinging insects, wear long pants, socks, & long-sleeved shirts.
  • Use insect repellents that contain DEET or Picaridin.
  • Treat bites and stings with over-the-counter products that relieve pain and prevent infection.
  • Avoid fire ants; their bites are painful and cause blisters.
  • Severe reactions to fire ant bites (chest pain, nausea, sweating, loss of breath, serious swelling or slurred speech) require immediate medical treatment.

Rodents and Wild or Stray Animals

  • Dead and live animals can spread diseases such as Rat Bite Fever and Rabies.
  • Avoid contact with wild or stray animals.
  • Avoid contact with rats or rat-contaminated buildings.  If you can’t avoid contact, wear protective gloves and wash your hands regularly.
  • Get rid of dead animals as soon as possible.
  • If bitten/scratched, get medical attention immediately.


  • Watch where you place your hands and feet when removing debris. If possible, don’t place your fingers under debris you are moving. Wear heavy gloves.
  • If you see a snake, step back and allow it to proceed.
  • Wear boots at least 10 inches high.
  • Watch for snakes sunning on fallen trees, limbs or other debris.
  • A snake’s striking distance is about 1/2 the total length of the snake.
  • If bitten, note the color and shape of the snake’s head to help with treatment.
  • Keep bite victims still and calm to slow the spread of venom in case the snake is poisonous. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Do not cut the wound or attempt to suck out the venom. Apply first aid: lay the person down so that the bite is below the level of the heart, and cover the bite with a clean, dry dressing.