IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) — An Iredell County man is still recovering after he says he was bitten multiple times by copperheads.
Lenny Cook is used to dealing with creepy critters. He says he worked as an exterminator in the area for years, and was called upon to do away with many different animals.
“All sorts of things. Everything from squirrels to snakes to even rabbits before,” said Cook.
Thursday afternoon might have been one of Cook’s closest calls with creatures from the wild. He said he was laying down rat poison in his garage when the incident happened. He claims he was checking dresser drawers when he came across a group of copperheads mating.
“As soon as I opened them [dresser drawers], bam, bam, bam – they start striking,” described Cook.
Because of his background in exterminating, he knew what to do.
“Just step back, don’t panic, make my way up [to the house], called the wife and as soon as the symptoms started hitting me I just dialed 911,” he said.
Related: Snakes in the Yard? What You Can Do
He said paramedics were quick to respond to his address. Iredell County dispatchers told WBTV they did get a call for a reported snake bite from Cook’s residence.
“I was starting to kind of go in and out of consciousness, having trouble breathing, pouring sweat and was already blistering up,” said Cook.
He said he spent a couple hours sedated at the hospital, and then started to come to.
“I just looked down at my arm to see if I still had it,” said Cook. “I honestly thought that was it.”
Cook is now home from the hospital and is recovering from the injuries he has. He thinks he received five different bites from the copperhead snakes.
His left arm is still covered with blisters from where the bites happened.
“It’s pretty painful and it’s still running a fever, still bruised,” said Cook.
He said he’s been bitten by a snake before and advises members of the public to avoid snake encounters as best they can.
“I don’t care what kind of snake it is, back away from it,” said Cook.
© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.