BELMONT -- A Belmont man was bitten by a rattlesnake in the garage of his Ralston Avenue home Thursday morning, police said.
Around 9:20 a.m., Belmont firefighters and police responded to a home in the 2900 block of Ralston Avenue for a report that a resident had been bitten by a rattlesnake. When crews arrived, they learned that the homeowner, a 74 year-old man, had been bitten on the hand while reaching for a tool in his garage. The man was taken to an area hospital for treatment.
The snake, which was captured by firefighters, went with the man to the hospital so that doctors could examine it and administer the proper anti-venom to the victim.
Police said the man's situation is a good reminder that rattlesnakes do not stick to rural areas and that startled rattlesnakes may not rattle before striking defensively.
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HOW TO AVOID A RATTLESNAKE BITE Never go barefoot or wear sandals when walking through wild areas. Wear hiking boots. When hiking, stick to well-used trails and wear over-the-ankle boots and loose-fitting long pants. Avoid tall grass, weeds and heavy underbrush where snakes may hide during the day. Do not step or put your hands where you cannot see, and avoid wandering around in the dark. Step ON logs and rocks, never over them, and be especially careful when climbing rocks or gathering firewood. Check out stumps or logs before sitting down, and shake out sleeping bags before use. Never grab "sticks" or "branches" while swimming in lakes and rivers. Rattlesnakes can swim. Be careful when stepping over the doorstep as well. Snakes like to crawl along the edge of buildings where they are protected on one side. Never hike alone. Always have someone with you who can assist in an emergency. Do not handle a freshly killed snake, it can still inject venom. Teach children early to respect snakes and to leave them alone. Children are naturally curious and will pick up snakes.
There are several ways people can avoid or reduce the likelihood of startling and being bitten by a rattlesnake.
Source: Belmont Police Department