New Mexico has only a few poisonous snakes. But the ones we do have are very dangerous. The Rattle Snake and Coral Snake are both local to New Mexico. We are at most risk during the spring and summer when they emerge from their winter homes to look for food and water. These snakes will usually be found away from high population areas, though not always.
The easiest way to tell if you are looking at a poisonous snake is to look at the shape of their head. Poisonous snakes have triangular shaped heads.
Our pets are at a bigger risk of snakes because they will often go after them when they hear them moving in the bushes.
The best snake bite treatment is prevention. When you walk with your dog, make sure to keep him on a leash. Don’t let your dog go bounding through bushes and brush, because he might stir up a snake trying to hide from you.
If you or your dog are bitten call the Poison Help Hotline: 1-800-222-1222 immediately.
Do not try to suck out the venom.
Keep the area that was bitten immobilized and level with your heart. If your dog is struggling, do your best to keep him calm until you can get him to a vet.
New Mexico has 2 spiders you need to worry about, the Black Widow and the Brown Spiders. As opposed to snakes, these spiders can be found in populated areas. A bite from these spiders can cause serious illness and can kill smaller animals.
A Black Widow is shiny and black with a large round abdomen. A female has a red hourglass on her abdomen, making her easy to identify.
They often build their webs in dark places, like under rocks, corners of the garage or underneath chairs.
A Brown Spider is brown in color and are about an inch in length, it may or may not have the “violin” marking on their body. They live outside under logs, rocks, dead cactus, etc. They are very poisonous and can be extremely harmful to an adult and deadly to your pets or small children.
The best way to treat a spider bite is to not get one in the first place. So wear gloves when working with wood piles, rocks, and brush. Don’t let you dog run her nose through piles of wood, rock and brush. Shake your shoes before stepping in them, and if you use dog boots, shake those out too.
If you let your pets outside, it might be a good idea to have your an exterminator spray your yard. Make sure to use pet and children friendly pesticide.
If you think that you have been bitten by a spider that can cause serious illness, call the New Mexico Poison Center right away for treatment advice: 1-800-222-1222.