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Posted on: May 11, 2020

Be Rattlesnake Safe

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Be Rattlesnake Safe

Many of our neighborhoods and areas within our community lie adjacent to wildlife areas or open spaces and inevitably can lead to encounters with various species of wildlife, including snakes. The start of spring and warmer weather conditions makes human encounters with snakes more likely.

Snakes, but especially rattlesnakes are widespread throughout California, they have been known to turn up around homes and yards in brushy areas, under wood piles or near rocks and other vegetation. While generally, not aggressive, rattlesnakes will likely retreat if given room or not deliberately provoked or threatened. Most bites occur when a rattlesnake is handled or accidentally touched by someone walking or climbing too close.

The following safety precautions can be taken to reduce the likelihood of an encounter with a rattlesnake:

  • Be alert, especially during dawn and dusk hours when snakes are moving around. Generally during the heat of the day snakes will retreat to shady areas to cool.
  • If going outside or hiking in areas prone to snakes wear sturdy boots or shoes and loose-fitting long pants. Never go barefoot or wear sandals when walking outside, especially through brushy, wild areas.
  • When walking around your neighborhood, stick to well-used paths of travel. Avoid tall grass, weeds and heavy underbrush where snakes may hide during the day.
  • Check your yard spaces and outside equipment or play structures before allowing children and pets outside to play.
  • Check around your home, especially close to doorways, along open crevices or near areas of clutter or debris, these make great hiding spaces for snakes.
  • Teach children to recognize snakes and to leave them alone.
  • Leash your dog on walks. Dogs are at increased risk of being bitten due to holding their nose to the ground while investigating the outdoors. Speak to your veterinarian about canine rattlesnake vaccines, rattlesnake avoidance courses, and what to do if your pet is bitten.
  • If you spot a snake, avoid it by giving it a wide berth to move away from you. It is best to leave them alone and let them go about their business. If you find a snake in your yard space or close to your home, you can contact Animal Services at 951-769-8500 and an animal control officer can respond to try to relocate the snake to another area.

Bites from snakes are rare, but it is best to know how to avoid encounters with snakes to keep your family and your pets safe.

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