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Adders (1 Viewer)

LizandDave

Well-known member
We have seen more Adders this year than for many years. It could be because I am wandering about in their habitat more now looking for wildflowers, but my question is:

What is the minimum level of protection from an adder bite? I assume they can bite through jeans but not leather walking boots? What protection would you wear for above the boots to the knee?

We were at Cliffe Marshes today, a not very "addery" environment and one of us nearly stepped on a female Adder of about 2' long! On another occasion recently we came within a few feet on one, too close for comfort.

Thanks
Dave and Liz
 

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Farnboro John

Well-known member
You are probably worrying too much. My understanding is that a snake can only strike to about 1/3 of its length and can't get a lot of height, so a leather walking boot should suffice.

However they rarely bite at a leg, I've scared hell out of myself by putting a foot down next to one a few times over the years and had nothing worse than hisses (though that was bad enough!)

I talked to an Army doctor about adder bites some years ago. He said that in all his time in the Army he'd treated maybe a dozen or so, and under questioning almost all the soldiers admitted they had been bitten because they'd picked the snake up and been playing with it.

No doubt others will have other things to say....

John
 

LizandDave

Well-known member
Ok thanks, although I am not convinced they wouldn't bite an ankle or shin. There have been 2 cases in recent weeks of adder bites without the snake being trodden on, ie it reacted to a nearby footfall. One was a guy walking two toddlers on a tarmac path in a country park,"luckily" it bit the Dad and not the toddlers.
Think it's boots at least from now on even though they're not needed until it gets wet.
Dave
 

rosbifs

Well-known tool
France
We were mountain biking last year and disturbed one when we stopped. He wasn't happy and had a go and the bike tyre and foot on pedal very aggressive. He was small but was striking at about ankle height if not a bit higher.

I hate snakes so would air on the side of caution and wear boots and jeans.
 

LizandDave

Well-known member
Thanks for that, can they bite through denim though? Two pointed fangs I would have thought would penetrate denim if it hits the weave head on?
Dave
 

Mike Richardson

Formerly known as Skink1978
Adders are very reluctant to bite and will only do so if they feel threatened. I've come across hundreds and never had one show the slightest sign of aggression (the same can be said for many species of venomous snakes). Obviously standing very close or actually on a snake may result in a strike but watching where you step should be enough to avoid a bite.

If your walking through areas of thick vegetation stomp your feet and any snake will move out of your way (at least most species will including Adders. Puff Adders tend to stay put!). As far as protective clothing goes then leather walking boots and jeans should be adequate protection should you be unlucky enough to step on an Adder.
 
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666taz

Phill Wain
You can get gaiters that go over the top of your boot up the chin if you get the ex army ones there better because there hard cloth the walking shop ones are usually made of nylon so no good there supposed to help stop ticks getting into your clothing to bite and stop you getting cut by thorns so sure they would protect you from adders .Don't be to worried about them they will usually get out of your way rather than have a go, I've seen a few now and there usually off the other way when they see you.
 
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LizandDave

Well-known member
Ok thanks for the advice. Whilst they are obviously not aggressive as such, the people bitten each year should remind us all to take extra care. After all, when you spot an unusual butterfly settling on an orchid you forget about danger and just try and get as close as possible and as quietly as possible to get a great photo.
Dave
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
We were mountain biking last year and disturbed one when we stopped. He wasn't happy and had a go and the bike tyre and foot on pedal very aggressive. He was small but was striking at about ankle height if not a bit higher.

I hate snakes so would air on the side of caution and wear boots and jeans.

Ah now that was a French Adder. Totally different matter. ;)

John
 

harv 1

Member
Lived in Shropshire all of my life and never been lucky enough to see Adders.
Did see my first Grass snake this year.
 

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