Rattlesnakes Season Underway As It Warms Up In Arizona

By on March 9, 2023 0 211Views

It is starting to warm up in the Valley and with the higher temperatures it means the time has come for rattlesnakes to emerge.

Local fire departments are reporting that the rattlesnakes calls have already started coming in, which registers a little earlier than normal this year.

If the weather feels good to you, it does so for the snakes too and it’s time to start being cautious if you live, work or play in areas where snakes are common.

Arizona is home to 13 species of rattlesnakes, which is actually more than any other state, so it is very important to be mindful when you are out and about in their natural environment.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you encounter a rattlesnake.

If you enjoy hiking, they are out on the same trails as you. It is recommended if you encounter one, to give it space. It will eventually move on. Do not attempt to poke or prod the reptile. A rattlesnake’s strike range is about a third of its body length. In most case that’s about 12-16 inches, he said. For the average adult, taking a step back will usually take you out of harm’s way.

Also if you’re out hiking, it’s important to stay on trails. Those cleared and compacted trails make it easier to spot snakes. Venturing off trail can lead to trouble.

Be aware of the possibility of snakes and always be on the lookout. Avoid reaching under rocks or shrubs without looking first. Snakes blend into their environment. It helps them hunt for prey, but it also makes them harder for people to spot. Carry a flashlight when walking outside at night.

A lot of people out exercising like to listen to music, but this time of year, it is also important to pay attention to your surroundings to listen for the potential rattle warning.

Experts warn residents to watch for areas where snakes like to hide. Around planters near front doors and patios, pool equipment and toys. Look in the areas before approaching and moving items to avoid being bitten.

Experts offer the following guidance on how to make your yard less inviting to snakes.

  • Eliminate rodents — a snake’s preferred food source — from around your home.
  • Move woodpiles and remove junk to eliminate potential homes for snakes and their prey.
  • Erecting a wall can deter snakes from entering your yard. Solid walls 4 feet high with a four-inch lip angling outward will discourage most snakes. Sink the bottom of the wall into the ground. Fill any tunnels burrowed by rodents.
  • Install gates snugly against the ground.
  • Keep walkways clear of brush.
  • Light pathways around your home.
  • If you encounter a snake on your property, call a snake-removal company or the non-emergency number for your local fire department. Keep an eye on the snake from a safe distance so you can direct responders to its location.

Another recommended is consulting with a company such as Rattlesnake Solutions who can analyze your yard and recommend and install snake barriers that prevent snakes or any wild animal from entering your backyard. They guarantee their barriers and offers residents peace of mind from the dangerous reptiles.

Those who are bit by a rattlesnake are urged to keep the bitten area still, remove any jewelry or constricting items near the affected area in case of swelling, elevate the wound area if possible, stay calm and call 9-1-1. The Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary advises against the person who is bit driving themselves to the hospital, using ice to cool the bite, cut open the wound to suck out the venom or use a tourniquet as that will cut off blood flow and the limb may be lost.

If you encounter a snake in your yard, garage or home, get away and call a professional to come and safely remove it. The Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary can remove the snake from a property for a fee. More information can be found on the organization’s website or by calling (602) 550-1090. There are also commercial animal control companies that will handle snakes.