2 most populous North Carolina counties tops in snake bites
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s two most populous counties lead the state in snake bites, and experts say increased development and a mild winter are to blame.
The Charlotte Observer reports the Carolinas Poison Center says Wake County has reported 82 venomous bites since March 1. During the same period, Mecklenburg County is next with 60 bites.
Rounding out the top five are Orange County (29), Guilford County (28) and Forsyth County (26). Cumberland and Durham counties reported 16 bites each and Catawba County reported 11.
The latest data through Oct. 15 reveals Mecklenburg County has a drastically higher number of venomous bites than surrounding counties, despite the fact that those counties are more rural.
Experts say venomous snake bites were up in North Carolina as a whole last spring over the previous year, and the mild winter weather was a factor. The center said the number of North Carolina residents bitten by snakes in April increased nearly four-fold over the same period in 2016.
According to media outlets, the Poison Control Center got 71 calls in April about snake bites, up from 19 calls in April 2016, media outlets reported.
Four copperhead bites were reported around Charlotte earlier this month, including three adults and a child who was pushing her bike in the street.
Experts said the chances of snake encounters are even greater in communities that have popular greenway systems, which provide snakes with water and rodents to feed on.
Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com