Warmer Temps Bring Snakes Out of Hibernation
San Diego County has reported an increase in snake sightings. April and May is rattlesnake season in the southern California area due to the warmer temperatures. As the reptiles come out of hibernation, it is not uncommon to spot them locally, though bites are rare. Most sightings are likely to happen between now and through the month of October.
To avoid encounters with rattlesnakes, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife suggests these safety steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of startling a rattlesnake:
- Never go barefoot or wear sandals when hiking. Wear sturdy hiking boots with loose-fitting long pants to protect feet and ankles.
- Stay on paths and trails, avoiding tall grass, weeds and brush where snakes may hide.
- Keep your dog on leash while hiking and be aware of what your dog is doing at all times.
- Make sure you can see where you are reaching and that you can see ahead of you. Look for concealed snakes before picking up rocks, sticks or wood.
- Be careful when stepping over doorsteps as snakes like to crawl along the edge of buildings where they are protected on one side.
- Never hike alone. Always have someone with you who can assist in an emergency.
- Teach children early to respect snakes and to leave them alone. Children are naturally curious and will pick up snakes.
If bitten or you feel a snake or other animal is dangerous, call 911 immediately. For more information about rattlesnakes in California, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/News/Snake.