Rattlesnakes not practicing physical distancing
The weather is warming up, waking up rattlesnakes and other desert critters. Physical distancing guidelines are still in effect for humans, but these critters and rattlesnakes will not following Governor Ducey’s Executive Order.
Whether you are in your backyard or at Skyline Regional Park, the desert also holds some hidden dangers along bike/walking paths, hiking trails and even around your home.
Knowing how to avoid a dangerous rattlesnake encounter for both you, your family and your pets, and then what to do if someone is bitten can be the difference between life and death.
- Keep your eyes open for rattlesnakes basking in the sun
- 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 are walking and placing your hands
- Listen for their “rattle” warning
- Eliminate rodents from your property; 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 for proper removal.