Our desert snakes become more active. Here are a few nuggets of information to keep you safe.
WHAT TO DO IN SNAKE COUNTRY:
1. Look at the ground ahead of you as you are walking.
2. Avoid placing your hands and feet where you cannot see clearly.
3. Scan the immediate area around patio furniture and barbecues before using them.
4. Be especially careful around landscape and potted plants.
5. If you find a rattlesnake, notify the Drexel Heights Fire District at 520-629-9200, and keep an eye on the snake until they arrive.
6. If you see a snake you cannot identify, give it plenty of room and leave it alone.
You may hear the rattlesnake before you see it. A rapid vibration of its tail makes a buzz much like sizzling grease. This is how the rattlesnake warns you when it feels threatened by your presence.
The gopher snake makes a sound similar to a rattlesnake by hissing and rapidly moving its tail in dry grass or leaves. If you hear either of these warning signals, stop until you have located the snake, then slowly move away.
WHAT TO DO IF BITTEN BY A SNAKE:
1. If bitten by a rattlesnake, stay calm and CALL 911. The victim should remain calm by laying down with the affected limb lower that the heart. DO NOT waste precious time on constriction tourniquets, “cutting and sucking,” or snake bite kits. These methods often cause more damage.
2. If bitten by any other type of snake, leave the snake alone, wash the wound with soap and water or an antiseptic and seek medical attention.
All snakes can bite if abused, but the rattlesnake is the most venomous snake in our area. If you see a rattlesnake, maintain a distance. CAUTION: For your safety and that of the snake, do not attempt to handle, relocate, or harass any snakes.
The dangers of snakebite are not to be taken lightly. While the bite of a gopher snake may not be serious, rattlesnake bite requires medical attention as soon as possible and may result in permanent tissue damage. The danger of death is often exaggerated.