Warmer temperatures leads to increased rattlesnake activity in the Valley

Apr 13, 2024, 7:15 AM

Rattlesnake activity...

As summer approaches, rattlesnake bite reports are increading, officials say. (Pexels photo)

(Pexels photo)

PHOENIX — With summer just around the corner in the Valley, the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center has seen an increase in rattlesnake activity due to warmer weather.

“As we move into the warmer months of the year, more and more of Arizona’s venomous critters become active,” said Bryan Kuhn, a pharmacist and clinical toxicologist with the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center.

Arizona is home to 13 species of venomous rattlesnakes, and the state deals with about 125 snake envenomations per year. For people who spend time outside, there’s a good chance of encountering these dangerous reptiles.

“If you see a snake in the wild, try to go around it and give a wide distance, if possible, or just turn back and find a safer route,” Kuhn said.

How rattlesnake activity impacts Valley residents

However, coming across snakes right outside home is not all that uncommon for Arizonans. According to the center, rattlesnakes enjoy hiding underneath structures such as wood, brush and rock piles. Removing piles of debris around the home can help minimize the hiding places for unwelcome inhabitants.

Residents who find rattlesnakes on their properties should call a professional pest control company to relocate it, the center said.

The center also advised adults to educate children on rattlesnake safety. According to Maureen Roland, director of the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, about 5-10% of rattlesnake bites reported to the center involve children under 13.

“We encourage parents to start early with warning their children about rattlesnakes — it’s important that kids know to stay away and not try touch snakes,” Roland said.

In the case of a rattlesnake bite, remain calm and call 911. The center said that all rattlesnake bites need to be evaluated in an emergency department, even though up to 25% of attacks are considered dry bites. A dry bite is a snakebite incident that doesn’t involve venom being injected into the victim’s body.

The center encourages people to call its 24/7 line at 1-800-222-1222 to seek information on methods of prevention, risk mitigation and treatment.

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Warmer temperatures leads to increased rattlesnake activity in the Valley