Myth Busted: The Truth About Garter Snakes and Poisonous Bites - Snake

Myth Busted: The Truth About Garter Snakes and Poisonous Bites


For many years, the myth about garter snakes being poisonous has spread throughout North America. This myth has caused many people to fear these harmless creatures, who often inhabit gardens and other outdoor spaces. However, it is time to bust this myth once and for all and set the record straight about garter snakes and their bite.

Firstly, it is important to understand that a poisonous creature injects poison into its prey in order to kill it. However, a venomous creature injects venom into its prey in order to subdue or kill it. Contrary to popular belief, garter snakes are not venomous, and therefore their bite cannot be poisonous.

Garter snakes do have small teeth that are used for catching and holding onto their prey. However, these teeth are not designed for injecting venom, and as a result, their bites are considered harmless to humans. In fact, even if a garter snake were to bite you, it would not be able to break your skin due to the small size of its teeth.

Another common myth about garter snakes is that they release a toxic substance when they are scared or threatened. This is also false. Garter snakes do release musk when they feel threatened, but this substance is not toxic to humans in any way.

It is important to note that while garter snakes are not venomous, it is still important to treat them with respect and caution. These snakes are still predators, and if they feel threatened, they may bite as a form of self-defense. However, in the unlikely event that a garter snake does bite you, it is important to wash the affected area with soap and water, and seek medical attention if there are any signs of an allergic reaction.

In conclusion, the myth that garter snakes are poisonous is simply not true. These harmless creatures play an important role in our ecosystem, and should be appreciated and protected rather than feared. By busting this myth and spreading accurate information about garter snakes, we can help to dispel unnecessary fear and promote a greater understanding and appreciation of these fascinating creatures.

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