Pest Guides

Snake Bites

Rentokil Uganda does not cover snakes as part of our service package; however you may find the information and advice below regarding snakes useful.

Identification and Treatment of Snake Bites

Uganda is said to have over 150 species of snakes and only a low percentage of these are venomous snakes. 

Night Adder

However, given the shock, distress and panic that most of us would feel on unexpectedly encountering a snake, it is highly unlikely that we would be able to easily identify whether the snake we were facing was venomous or not!

Learning and teaching ‘snake awareness’ to you and your family is an important part of protecting you and them from snakes. This awareness of snakes and snake bites has a three pronged approach:

  • Be aware of the dangers posed by snakes and take steps to avoid them 
  • As far as you are able, ‘proof’ your home and garden against snakes
  • Know the symptoms of a snake bite and the appropriate treatment

Types of Venomous Snake Bites

The danger from snake bites and the toxicity of venom that a snake injects in to its victim varies from species to species.

The recommended first aid for snake bites will also vary according to species and this underlines the importance of being able to place venomous snakes in to groups according to the properties of their venom. The required treatment for a snake bite is defined according to whether the venom is cytotoxic, haemotoxic or neurotoxic and the wrong treatment will not only be of little or no help but could even be dangerous.

  • CYTOTOXIC: An agent or process that is toxic to cells and suppresses cell function or causes cell death.
  • HAEMOTOXIC: An agent or process that kills red blood cells and prevents clotting resulting in internal and external bleeding.
  • NEUROTOXIC: An agent or process that is destructive or deadly to nerves or nervous tissue

The Snake Bite:

The venom from Adders and Vipers is Cytotoxic:

  • Generally two puncture marks at the site of the bite
  • Bite causes instant pain with immediate swelling, bruising and blistering
  • Symptoms can include nausea and dizziness
  • Immobilise the limb but do not restrict the blood flow

The venom from Mambas and Cobras is Neurotoxic:

  • Generally two puncture wounds at the site of the bite
  • The snake bite can feel more like a sting and there is little or no bruising and swelling
  • Symptoms include feeling confused, dizziness, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing and breathing
  • Immobilise the limb and do restrict blood flow between the bite and the heart
  • Administer CPR until Medical help is available

The venom from Boomslangs and Vine snakes is Haemotoxic:

  • Sometimes puncture wounds can be seen at site of the snake bite
  • The snake bite is generally not very painful but within one hour copious bleeding is likely to occur from the bite wound and any other wounds cuts or scratches the victim may have
  • Symptoms can include a severe headache, nausea and vomiting
  • Whilst it is helpful to restrict the blood and lymphatic flow it is important not to cause bruising as this could lead to subsequent bleeding under the skin

If venom is spat in to a person’s eyes use any liquid available - preferably a neutral one such as water or milk, but anything at all will do - and flush out the eye. 

Read more about the do's and don'ts of treating snake bites.

Read more about how you can minimise the risk of snakes in your home and garden.

Rentokil does not offer a nationwide service to get rid of snakes in the garden, but your local Yellow Pages will be able to provide you with details of an operator who specialises in snake control and removal.