Copperhead bites cost an arm and a leg

A trip to the home improvement store can have a lot of hidden costs- delivery fees, extra parts, and sometimes- several vials of antivenom. A customer was attacked by a 4.5 foot long Copperhead in the Garden Center at the Lowe's in Denver, North Carolina.

Copperhead bites can cause severe pain, bruising and swelling, and tissue damage. The man was rushed to the hospital for treatment. He's expected to recover- but that may not be the end of the ordeal.

Antivenom costs an arm and a leg- you know- the ones you're trying to save from that snakebite. Hospitals pay an estimated $2,300 per vial. The final cost is even higher for patients.

Last summer, a man in California with a rattlesnake bite got a bill for $153,000. A woman bitten by a copperhead in Oklahoma was charged almost $200,000.

Why is treatment so expensive? A single bite could require more than 18 vials of anti-venom. And it isn't easy to make. Snakes have to be milked, the venom is injected into sheep in Australia, and then the antibodies are harvested and flown to the U.S.

Add on the insurance-related hospital mark-ups and you're feeling dizzy and panicked all over again.

Avoid the bite and the bill this summer. Do NOT attempt to pick up a snake, avoid piles of rocks and wood, and wear long pants, boots, and leather gloves when working outdoors- or picking up a few things at Lowe's.