The Diamondback Rattlesnake prefers to avoid humans, but will bite if threatened.

Despite the many beauties of Arizona’s deserts, there are dangers a visitor must learn to avoid or, when encountered, learn to treat.

Laura Morehouse, poison education specialist with the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center (APDIC), will give a talk on “Desert Dangers” in the Arizona Senior Academy’s Phyllis and Henry Koffler Great Room on Wednesday (July 11).

She will provide an overview of Arizona’s venomous snakes, scorpions, bees, spiders and Gila Monsters, describing their habitat, behavior, bite/sting symptoms, along with first aid treatment tips and how to prevent poisonings.

Morehouse conducts education and outreach for the APDIC, She is a certified health education specialist with interests in curriculum development, program design and evaluation. She holds a master’s degree in public health with an emphasis in health behavior and health promotion from the University of Arizona.

Before working with the APDIC, she was involved in state nutrition program evaluation and health education curriculum development for youth. As the educator for the poison center, she is available for presentations on poisoning prevention, venomous desert creatures, elder adult concerns, and is a resource for toxic hazard concerns. Additionally, she is available for “Train the Presenter” programs catered towards healthcare professionals, community organizations, and adults who want to learn how to educate others about poison prevention.

Written by Charles Prewitt, Academy Village Volunteer

More Info on attending an event
Academy Village is an active-adult community located off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East. Its residents support the Arizona Senior Academy, a non-profit charitable organization whose mission includes offering free concerts and lectures to the public.

These events are held in the Great Room of The ASA Building adjacent to the Academy Village Community Center. Due to the popularity of cultural events, non-residents who wish to ensure priority seating are advised to make reservations by email at or by phone at (520) 647-0980. To learn more about the Academy, go to

Parking for visitors is in the lot behind the Community Center. All parking spaces in front of the Academy building are reserved.

Coping with the Desert’s Dangerous Critters: July 2018