Michigan is home to one poisonous breed of snake: the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake. Personally, I give all nope ropes an extensive and respect-filled berth. I suggest doing the same if you encounter this Lower Peninsula danger noodle. Should you be unfortunate enough to cross paths with and be bitten by an eastern massasauga rattlesnake, is its venom potent enough to kill you? The short answer is yes.

Related: The Deadly 7: Michigan's Most Venomous and Poisonous Threats

The eastern massasauga's venom is considered primarily cytotoxic and hemotoxic. Cytotoxin kills cells, while hemotoxins target and kill red blood cells, causing clotting issues. Their venom induces extreme pain and swelling, excessive bleeding, nausea, swelling of the mouth and throat, drooling, and collapse in its victims. For some Michiganders, this can be enough to cause death. It's enough reason to leave these creepy ick sticks alone.

Michigan's Most at Risk for Fatal Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Bites

Michigan's Has One Poisonous Snake: Will It's Bite Kill You?

The first step in surviving the bite of an eastern massasauga is to avoid it entirely, which could be difficult if you live in a moist grassy area in Michigan's Lower Peninsula near a food source and water. Though there haven't been confirmed sightings in many years for several counties, it's safe to assume that this shy species of ick stick could be slithering nearby.

I prefer to leave the area where any nope rope has appeared immediately, thus avoiding potentially venomous bites. However, if you're inclined to identify it from afar, the eastern massasauga is grayish brown with dark blotches that are edged in white, covering its thick body.

Michigan's Has One Poisonous Snake: Will It's Bite Kill You?

They can grow between 18.5 and 30 inches long, with the longest recorded length measuring 39.5 inches. You'll be disappointed if you rely on hearing the distinctive rattlesnake 'rattle' warning if you approach it. The eastern massasaugas do sound their rattle when alarmed, but it's described as sounding more like a buzzing, similar to a bee caught in a spiderweb.

Related: New Fear Unlocked: There Are Venomous SHREWS in Michigan

While its venom is enough to cause significant pain and discomfort in a healthy, full-grown Michigan adult, the bite is survivable. However, for the Mitten's younger, older, and those whose health is questionable, a bite from an eastern Massasauga, left untreated, could be fatal. Anti-venom is the first course of treatment following a bite. Fortunately, only 75 eastern massasauga bites have been confirmed since 2003, and none were fatal. Steer clear and stay safe.

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Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

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