Watch Out for Rattlesnakes This Spring

It is time for Arizonans to be on the lookout for rattlesnakes. Rattlesnakes are more active when it gets warm, and they’re hungry when they come out of hibernation.

There has already been reports of rattlesnake bites in the state this Spring.

“When they’re hungry, they’re very unpredictable,” said a source from the Phoenix Fire Department, Capt. Rob McDade.

“In the middle of the summer they’re dangerous, but right now they’re even more dangerous because they’re in that absolute feast mode.”

While the forecast calls for cooler weather and rain this week, McDade cautions that rattlesnakes become more active during mid-March.

“It’s beginning to be snake season,” he said. “Just be alert, be aware. Make sure you keep your eyes and ears open.”

There are ways to avoid getting bit by one of these poisonous snakes.

Never reach blindly into bushes and under vegetation, and use all your senses, not just your ears, when you’re out and about.

“People always rely on ‘Well they’re going to rattle before they strike. But that’s not true. So they have times where they will just strike you reaching in,” he said.

“Be looking for them, because they’re out there. Sometimes people say, ‘Oh my goodness, I stepped right over the snake. I wasn’t even looking where I was walking.’”

It’s also important to wear heavy duty footwear, preferably leather, and stick to established trails and walkways.

“If you’re off the trail, you’re cutting through an area, walking through bushes, you’re going to find them; they’re not going to find you,” he said.

Rattlesnakes aren’t going to bother you unless they feel threatened, so it’s best to stay out of their habitat when possible.

“If you get struck by a snake, it’s a defense mechanism from that snake that feels that you are a threat to them,” he said.

McDade also recommends keeping your furry friends on a lease so they won’t encounter a dangerous situation. There are even services that can help train your dog.

When speaking of training services, McDade said, “They’re highly recommended. From what we’ve been told there’s a great success rate with them.”