Surviving Texas

Dangerous flora and fauna

by Luke Miller, Reporter

Just three weeks ago, a fifth grader in Plano ISD was bitten by an unidentified snake during the YMCA Collin County Adventure Camp.  The child was supervised and received immediate care, but it’s not the first time someone uninformed of their environment went from visitor to victim in a matter of seconds. The following are just a few of the many plants and animals people should be cautious of, both in the park and at home.

Sneaky, Slithery Snakes

These reptiles are found in the most secluded areas—from lakes, to brush, to tool sheds. Most snakes are generally friendly unless provoked, but their bite can be lethal if not attended to properly. 

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  • Water Moccasin Snake

    Photo courtesy of AP images

  • Diamondback Snake

    Photo courtesy of AP images

  • Mojave Rattlesnake

    Photo courtesy of AP images

  • Coral Snake

    Photo courtesy of AP images

  • Copperhead Snake

    Photo courtesy of AP images

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The treatment for their bite is to first: find a safe area and make sure the victim remains calm. Afterward, immobilize the damaged area and remove any jewelry. If antivenom is not available, seek medical attention immediately. Do not try to suck out the venom. It does not work and can put the one assisting in danger as well.

Itsy Bitsy Deadly Spiders

Most people already tend to despise arachnids, even the harmless Daddy Long Legs. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, always keep an eye out for these critters and make sure to avoid them at all costs.

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  • Brown Recluse Spider

    Photo courtesy of AP images

  • Black Widow Spider

    Photo courtesy of AP images

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The first step in treating the wound is to clean the wound with soap and water, then apply a cool press to it while elevating it if possible. If it’s suspected to be a Brown Recluse, apply antibiotics to the bite. Take Benadryl and/or Tylenol for the pain, and watch for an infection.

Poisonous Plants

Although there are far fewer incidents involving humans, pets are far more likely to eat life-threatening vegetation in your yard or nearby parks—especially if you have an outdoor cat. Because there are so many dangerous plants, it’s better not to risk your pet consuming any of them. 

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  • Poison Ivy

    Photo courtesy of AP images

  • Holly

    Photo courtesy of AP images

  • Morning Glory

    Photo courtesy of AP images

  • Mushroom Leaves

    Photo courtesy of AP images

  • Foxglove

    Photo courtesy of AP images

  • Poison Oak

    Photo courtesy of AP images

  • Hygrangea

    Photo courtesy of AP images

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If a human happens to come into contact with poison ivy, shower and/or bath as frequently as possible, apply lotion, use a cold press, and avoid scratching. See a doctor if the rash does not dissipate after 7-10 days.

It’s highly suggested to find a pet care center if you suspect your pet has ingested a dangerous plant or animal. If you’re unable to afford a professional veterinarian like the East Plano Murphy Pet Hospital, there are plenty of negotiable vets like Mercy Pet Clinic that are willing to set payment plans for your furry friend’s care!