Dealing with rattlesnake encounters and what steps you should take

LEWISTON, ID - A six-year old boy who was bitten by a rattlesnake a few days ago along the banks of the Snake River is now out of the hospital.

Because of this incident, we checked with an Idaho Department of Fish and Game biologist to see how common rattlesnake bites are in our area. We found that out, and some other interesting information.

Did you know you're nine times more likely to be struck by lightning than die from a rattlesnake bite? In fact, only five or six people die every year around the nation from a venomous rattlesnake bite.

Rattlesnakes are common in the LC Valley but they'll generally leave you alone unless you try to pick them up or kill them.

"A fair number of rattlesnake bites are what you call dry," said Wildlife Diversity Biologist, Joel Sauder. "That means there isn't any venom in the bite. When a rattlesnake bites a human it's not trying to eat you, it doesn't want to kill you, it's just trying to defend itself."

Sauder said even though only a few bites are venomous, you should still go to the hospital immediately if you've been bitten by a snake.

You can help prevent rattlesnakes from coming onto your property by keeping it green. Snakes like to be in dry, bushy areas, so keeping your grass and plants watered will help.