Snakes, Spiders and Seeds—Oh My! An Atlanta Parent’s Guide to Natural Dangers

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For those of us who grew up in the South, we’ve all had our run ins with nature. Whether you were plagued by chiggers, poison ivy, or just the creepy crawly thoughts of the time you almost stepped on a snake—you know what we mean. And with your own kids running around now, your memories of Calamine lotion or trips to the ER can consume your conscience. While the following collection of toxic, venomous, and just plain villianous plants and creepers is not inclusive of the dangers present in the Georgia outdoors, it is certainly a start. Get out there, but keep your eyes open!

Cottonmouth Snake

These snakes are commonly known as “water moccasins” and can vary in appearance from dark crossbands to solid brown or black. While they are most commonly found in freshwater habitats, these snakes can travel over dry land. Often confused with non-venomous water snakes, the cottonmouth can be differentiated by its swim (nearly the entire body seems to swim on top of the water as opposed to the more submerged swim of a water snake) and its moxy (these snakes generally stand their ground when confronted, not that you’d ever really want to confront one). Opinions differ about how common cottonmouths are in the Atlanta area, but they are certainly found in the region. Seek medical attention immediately if bitten.

Got any tricks that keep your tots safe? Share below!

–Shelley Massey

All photos courtesy of Creative Commons via Flickr