There's an increase in rattlesnakes in Lubbock County and surrounding counties. But never fear. Here's some solid and welcome advice to keep you and your family safe, courtesy of Game Warden Aaron Sims of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Sims actually came face to face with the snake featured in the pictures above.

He said to remember to look before you step, be ready to back away slowly, try not to panic and wear your snake boots. Sims spoke with me to follow up after a local news report about the increase in rattlesnakes.

Sims said that the increase is due to the warmer weather and additional rain that we've seen in Lubbock this fall, which has caused growth in a prime food source for rattlesnakes: rodents.

He said many rattlesnake bites can be prevented with the right boots and snake gaiters like Kevlar. He confirmed that most bites happen below the knee. He advised to take special precaution in high grass and when stepping over logs and boulders.

Rattlesnakes aren't rattling as much due to colder weather, which causes then to grow lethargic and slow down, Sims said. He said even though they don't have the energy to rattle, they still have the energy to bite.

The picture above is of a rattlesnake that Sims encountered in the Terry County Public Hunting Area.

If faced with a rattlesnake, Sims advised to do your best not to panic and back away slowly for two reasons: 1) So you don't startle them, and 2) so you don't trip and find yourself next to them on the ground.

If you're bitten by a rattlesnake, there is one more important reason not to panic. Sims explained that panic increases your heartbeat and the flow of the venom in your system. Do what you can to identify the snake and take a picture if possible. You will need to do your best to identify the snake that bit you when you receive medical attention because there are different types of anti-venom treatments available based on species.

Call 9-1-1 immediately if bitten, Sims advises. An ambulance will try to reach you, a helicopter or life flight may be called in if you're in the wilderness. You want to work to reach medical attention as quickly as possible.

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