Prairie Rattlesnakes (pictured above; aka “nope-ropes” and “buzz tails”) are now more active overnight, or perhaps even late in the day and early morning. Like us, it’s just too hot to be active during the heat of the day. Great, no issues then, right? Well, not necessarily.Overnight, rattlesnakes may hunt for their favorite prey items, which are mostly rodents. If there is considerable rodent activity around your home, then a rattlesnake may find itself near there the area. Be mindful of rattlesnakes seeking cooler areas and prey in places like garages, underneath home foundations and sheds, and near water features. It’s very likely that an area that was snake-free in the evening could now have a snake in the morning. It may stay in this cool place to avoid the heat of the day before moving on again.
What can you do?
- Leave the snake alone and wait for it to move on. (Please notify others if there’s a snake in the area so they are not startled.)
- If you cannot leave it be, please contact a snake removal expert (US!!!) Our expert biologists arrive within 1-hour, capture your snake, continue searching for other snakes, and then spend time working with you by offering safety and snake prevention tips.
Do you have a plan if you or your pet is bitten by a rattlesnake?
For people we recommend following CDC instructions, which we simplify below:
- Call 911
- Remain calm
- At a safe place, sit down and keep the bitten area at or below heart level
- [NOTE: Some medical experts are recommending elevating the area bitten, but the CDC recommendations are not yet aligned with this.]
- Remove any rings, bracelets or other items that could restrict blood flow with severe swelling
- Draw a circle around the bite site and record the time the bite occurred. Monitor for severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing.
- DO NOT: cut skin, suck puncture wounds, apply a tourniquet, apply ice or water, use a venom extractor, consume food or fluids, attempt to drive yourself to a medical facility
- Immediately transport to a veterinary medical facility
- If possible, carry your pet to reduce activity and the overall effect of venom
- Call ahead and ensure the veterinarian is prepared for a snakebite emergency
Of course, there are many other kinds of harmless snakes living and working in this area. More common ones encountered are Bullsnakes, Racers, and Gartersnakes (pictured below).
-Photos by Matt Cage and Adaptation Environmental Services
Wandering Gartersnake (below)
- No rattle present…and if they wiggle or shake their tail it’s usually against the ground
- The tail tapers, and often to fine point
- The head is usually the same width as the neck
- The pupils are rounded…but you may be too close if you can see this without binoculars or through a zoomed photograph
- Lack white facial stripes that rattlesnakes have
Regardless, we love snakes! You don’t have to. Now you have options.
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