Rattlesnakes: What Not to Do

By R. Stickney
|  Thursday, Apr 14, 2011  |  Updated 10:48 AM PDT
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Rattlesnakes reports surface in San Diego year-round, but their volume rises in the spring and summer.

Locally, the only venomous snakes are rattlesnakes with three types living in the coastal and mountain areas:  the Southern Pacific Rattlesnake, the Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake and the Red Diamond Rattlesnake.

In the desert, you may also find the Colorado Desert Sidewinder.

"It is springtime," said County of San Diego Animal Service spokesperson Dan DeSousa. "People will be seeing more and more of them out there."

On April 2, local fashion designer Jere Dean posted this picture of a snake he spotted whlie hiking in Mission Trails, describing it as a  "good size about 4."

If you come face to face with a rattlesnake, would you know what not to do?

  • Don’t stick hands/feet where you can’t see (over/under rocks)
  • Don’t hike alone
  • Don’t let your dog run loose
  • Don’t try and catch a snake
  • Don’t throw rocks at or tease a snake
  • Don’t walk around barefoot or in open-toed shoes
  • Don’t run in rocky or busy places, you may surprise a snake
  • Don’t step over a rock or log in your path, walk around it
  • Don’t stop enjoying the outdoors
     

And even if you or someone else becomes a rattlesnake bite victim, DeSousa says not to blame the snake since it was likely the human who encroached on its territory.

If you see a snake near your property, you can always call firefighters or county animal services to remove it, DeSousa said.

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