Rattlesnake safety tips
Spring in Arizona is the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful weather and outdoor activities. The l desert also holds some hidden dangers that you may encounter along the way, including bike/walking paths, hiking trails and even around your home.
March through October is considered rattlesnake season in Arizona, and knowing how to avoid a dangerous rattlesnake encounter for both you and your pets, and what to do if you do get bit, can be the difference between life and death.
- Keep your eyes open for rattlesnakes basking in the sun, especially in the cooler months
- While hiking in the late afternoon or evening, remember to bring a flashlight to guide your way after the sun goes down
- Rattlesnakes are typically more active at night during the hot summer months
- Always keep your pets on a leash while hiking
- Pay attention to where you’re walking and placing your hands
- Listen for their “rattle” warning
- Don’t reach into bushes, holes or areas you can’t see
- Eliminate rodents from your property, since they are a major food source for all types of snakes
- Cover drainage holes with a ¼-inch hardwire screen
- Perimeter walls and fences around your property should be solid, a minimum of four-feet high, with no holes or areas for them to tunnel underneath
If a rattlesnake bites you:
- Call 9-1-1 and seek medical assistance immediately
- Remain calm and decrease movement, if possible
- Remove all jewelry from the affected area
- Immobilize the bite area and keep it below your heart
- NEVER apply ice, cut the bite area, use a tourniquet or administer drugs or alcohol
You can download a rattlesnake fact sheet from the Arizona Game and Fish department website.
If you encounter a rattlesnake on your property, please contact 9-1-1.