Do Snake Bites Hurt?

Snakes are popular pets in many countries- the US, UK, Asia, and Africa. There are thousands of species and options for snakes to pet but there are several things you need to know and understand before choosing a snake.

Among all the questions that we might have regarding safety and protection, the most common one would be, “Will my snake bite?” or “Do snake bites hurt?”. Although snakes are often known to be harmless, especially the non-venomous species, there may be times that the snake may try to bite you. But this is only when the snake is caught off-guard or feeling sick and doesn’t want to be handled.

There is a zero or little chance of dying from a snake bite if they are non-venomous or venomous and proper treatment could help you recover soon. In the case of venomous snakes, you should seek immediate medical attention before there is any more damage to your body. Snakebite is preventable and only causes pain and swelling around the bite area.

How Do You Know If You Have Been Bitten By Snake?

There are different signs for different snakes after biting. The wounds, bite marks, and the after-effects of the snake bite vary in venomous and non-venomous snakes.

Here are some symptoms of each kind:

Non-venomous snakes:

  • Pain near the bite area
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling and redness near the bite area
  • Itching near the bite area

Venomous snakes:

  • Two puncture wounds
  • Swelling and pain around the bite area
  • Redness and bruising around the bite area
  • Numbness of the face, especially in the mouth
  • Faster heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fever
  • Thirst
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fainting
  • Convulsion

Any kind of bite will need immediate medical attention be it venomous or non-venomous because you have no clue of what kind of snake bit you. At certain times snakes just bite and escape through the wild. You may have no time to observe which kind of snake has bitten.

Do Snake Bites Hurt?

As mentioned before, most snake bites could cause pain and swell around the bite. Some bites do not hurt that much but cause allergic reactions. Snake bites may or may not be painful depending on what species of snake has bitten you.

Bites from non-venomous snakes cause pain and swelling around the bite area. Whereas, if it’s a venomous snake it will cause fever, headache, convulsions, and numbness. Venomous snakes can also give dry bites that do not cause any poison to enter your body.

Pain and damage from bites will vary also from one species to another. For example, the cottonmouth snake or water moccasins’ bite causes extreme pain, hemorrhaging, and permanent tissue damage. While the coral snake’s bite affects nerve tissue and disrupts the communication pathways between the brain and other parts of the body.

On the other hand, copperhead snakes are not as aggressive as these snakes. These are all venomous snakes. In the case of non-venomous snakes, the bite causes pain and itching sensations near or around the bite area.

Does A Python Bite Hurt?

Pythons are known to be common, especially in the wild, and will ambush their prey or hunters waiting to attack as soon as it comes into its vicinity. There are not many cases of people being bitten by pythons but once in a while.

Such a case was found in Singapore where a patient was taken to the hospital after being bitten by a reticulated python. This python is commonly sighted in the forests and natural reserves of Singapore. Python bites are not very common though around 1 to 2 cases have been reported in a year in Singapore.

Ball pythons on the other hand are small in size and their bites do not hurt that much and leave minor marks on your hand or skin. Although the ball python has sharp teeth its jaws are not that strong like the reticulated python’s. It will feel like a few pricks. It doesn’t cause significant damage.

The reason why a python may bite you may be because it mistakenly took your hand or fingers as prey. Also, if it feels threatened it might bite you in self-defense. But then again if it’s a ball python or any other non-venomous pet snake it will cause very little harm.

Which Snake Bite Kills Fastest?

According to the WHO, there have been 81000 to 138000 deaths due to snake bites in a year. Snake bites have 5.4 million people in a year. All this happened due to unexpected appearances of venomous snakes that not only threatens humans but also took their lives as well. Venomous snakes can kill humans with their toxic saliva produced in their glands that is injected into their prey using fangs. Venoms have many kinds of severe reactions in their prey such as immobilization and hemorrhage to tissue death and inflammation.

These are some of the deadliest snakes whose bite can kill fast or within hours and cause immediate death with their effects on the human body:

1.    Black Mamba

Two or three drops of its venom can be lethal. Once injected the venom interferes with nerves and muscle activity which results in paralysis. It also causes cardiac arrest with its cardiotoxic venom.

2.    Fer-de-lance

A bite from this snake causes the tissue to become black and will begin to die. These are known as pit vipers and cause half of the percentage of snake bite poisoning. The venom can cause the blood to stop clotting which may cause hemorrhaging.

3.    Boomslang

This snake’s bite causes a reaction after 24 hours, that started internal bleeding from the eyes, lungs, kidneys, heart, and brain and ends up in the death of the person bitten.

4.    Eastern Tiger Snake

This snake’s venom can cause poisoning in humans within 15 minutes. It will soon end up in death. This snake causes at least one death a year.

5.    Russell’s Viper

Around 58000 deaths occur in India due to snake bites and this snake is responsible for the majority of them. It is considered one of the deadliest vipers. In Sri Lanka, this snake lies in paddy fields all night and has caused the highest mortality rate from snake bites. Its venom leads to acute kidney failure, severe bleeding, and multi-organ damage. Sometimes its venom can cause acute strokes and failure in producing hormones in the pituitary gland. People have died from renal failure a lot of times.

6.    Saw-scaled Viper

This viper is one of the members of the four dangerous vipers of India which makes a sizzling sound with its serrated scales. Once bitten by this viper the person will have localized swelling and pain followed by potential hemorrhage. It hinders the ability to clot blood which leads to internal bleeding and acute kidney failure.

7.    Banded Krait

This snake usually roams around in the dark which is a reason why there could be a chance of many casualties from its bite. Its venom can paralyze muscles and prevent the diaphragm from moving, which stops air from passing through the lungs resulting in suffocation.

8.    King Cobra

This is one of the world’s longest venomous snakes according to the Natural Museum in London. This snake can spot a moving person from 100 meters away. This snake bites not only once but tends to attack three or four times. Every single bite can kill a human in 15 minutes.

9.    Coastal Taipan

This snake can bite multiple times and with incredible speed. It uses its fangs with a jump toward its prey and injects venom into its enemy. Before it was fatal to humans until its antivenom was produced in 1956.

10. Inland Taipan

This snake is known to be the most venomous of all. The slightest bit of its venom can kill humans or any prey. When threatened the taipan coils up and aims at its prey with multiple or quick bites. This snake’s venom contains a substance called hyaluronidase enzyme that increases the absorption rate of toxins in the victim’s body.

Where Do Snakes Usually Bite?

Most snakes bite in defense or when threatened by something. Most of the bites were on the hand, feet, and ankles. Usually, it’s not always predictable when you can be bitten by a snake. Especially, when you are in the water or tall grass you may not be able to know or feel it until it starts to hurt or swell around the bite wound.

Can You Survive A Snake Bite Without Treatment?

Snake bites can vary from one species to another and there is a major difference between venomous and non-venomous snake bites as well. In the case of non-venomous snakes, the risks of getting bitten are much less than venomous, although both will bite you when threatened or in defense only. When bitten by venomous snakes it is always best to take precautions and immediate attention from the nearest medical center. If the snake is by any chance a black mamba, inland taipan, or a saw-scaled viper then there are very narrow chances to survive. For all venomous snake bites, it is compulsory to seek medical attention unless there is an antivenom available if the victim wants to survive.

What Should You Not Do When A Snake Bites You?

Although snake bites could be a life and death situation and need immediate attention but there are a few things that you need to note before taking action. Here are some of these points you need to know:

  • Do not try to hold or pick the snake
  • Do not use a tourniquet
  • Do not slash the wound with a knife
  • Do not suck out the venom
  • Do not apply ice or wash the wound in water
  • Do not drink alcohol to use as a pain killer
  • Do not drink caffeinated drinks

How Does A Snake Bite Looks Like?

Snake bites differ from one species to another and so do their wounds or bites. Pit Vipers have two clear marks with other small marks due to their smaller teeth or fangs. While other snakes like non-venomous snakes leave two puncture wounds.

How Long Do You Have After A Snake Bite?

The time for a snake bite, especially venomous snakes, take effect either immediately, after a few mins or 15 minutes, and even up to 24 hours. This again depends on the kind of snake that has bitten someone. Some snake bites are lethal and have little time to take care of, like the Inland Taipan or Black Mamba. It is not always possible to tell what snake bit you as sometimes the snake escapes away very quickly after biting someone so it is best to give as little time as possible.

Can You Suck Out Snake Venom?

Although this has been a trend shown in many animal movies or cartoons but sucking out the venom of a bitten person is just a myth. If anyone tries to do that it would spread into the mouth. In fact, you should not suck the venom out even with a device either, as it could just damage more tissue and often more blood comes out than the venom. So it’s better not to advise anyone to try sucking out venom or anything to probe or disturb the wound which can make it worse.

Do A Non-Venomous Snake Bite Hurt?

Non-venomous snake’s bite doesn’t always hurt but in some cases, it can damage tissue depending on how much the person has been bitten. If the snake has been able to bite too deep into the flesh, then it would leave some damage which needs some treatment or possibly antibiotics if the doctors recommend it.

How Long Does It Take To Feel The Effects Of Snake Bite?

The effects of a snake bite could take place immediately and so you will see the symptoms soon and it will get worst as time passes. You need to reach medical help within half an hour after being bitten. But if you leave it untreated for a longer time soon your body function will break down for a few days and there may be severe organ damage or even death.


Most snakes will bite you in defense and when they feel threatened by a sudden movement. But if you leave it alone there is no reason it will bite you. Snake bites can cause injuries to humans from mild to severe, and they can hurt more or less, mostly localized pains. As long as you are aware of the snake that has bitten you there is no big danger. If it’s a venomous snake you should seek medical assistance as soon as you can. The symptoms will vary from one snake species to another based on whether they are venomous or non-venomous snakes. Overall, very few snakes show aggressive natures and usually avoid humans. But be aware of any bites or symptoms for you or anyone without any due.

Leave a Comment