Rattlesnakes enjoy this year’s weather - Your West Valley News: Topstory

Rattlesnakes enjoy this year’s weather

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Monday, April 8, 2013 12:09 pm

PHOENIX • After two straight winters with enough rainfall to create good conditions for rattlesnakes, hikers, hunters and golfers have extra reason to be on alert as temperatures warm, experts say.

But that doesn’t mean they should be afraid to head outdoors. Rattlesnakes want to be around people as little as people want to be around them, and with a little care it’s relatively easy to avoid an encounter.

“The No. 1 thing is to always know where you’re putting your hands and your feet,” said Zen Mocarski, the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s information and education program manager for the Kingman region.

Randy Babb, information and education program manager for Game and Fish’s Mesa region, said rattlesnakes are defensive by nature.

“What most people don’t realize is if they spend a lot of time outdoors, they have walked literally within inches of these animals many times and never had a negative encounter,” he said. “People feel like these things are out to get them or that they’re waiting for an opportunity to pounce upon the unsuspecting hiker, when in reality these animals go through great lengths to avoid conflicts with human beings.”

Russ Johnson, president of the Phoenix Herpetological Society, said wet winters give snakes more to feed on in the spring, increasing the population.

“Two years in a row we’ve had sufficient rain which helps with the quality of the grass seed,” he said. “This helps the rodents and the birds feed, which become the food source of the snakes.”

According to Game and Fish and statistics from Banner Health, injuries and fatalities resulting from snake bites are rare.

“If you get bit you’re probably going to live, you’re just not going to want to,” Johnson said. “It’s very painful, but only a few people die. So it’s a lot less than dog bites.”

For those who do encounter a rattlesnake, backing away until the snake stops rattling its tail is a safe way to avoid conflict. Giving the creature a wide berth and staying out of its striking range is the best strategy.

Mocarski with Game and Fish said a large number of people bitten are males in their 20s.

“Partying in the desert can definitely lead to people doing stupid things like trying to pick up a rattlesnake,” he said. “And then they’re trying to impress the females and that also leads to some bad decisions.”

Ann Marie Krueger, education and community outreach coordinator for the Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center, said the demographics of people being bitten are starting to change, however.

“What we’re seeing now is the age of people coming in with a snake bite is starting to get older,” she said. “More elderly people seem to be recreating outdoors and are getting bit, like golfers who are looking for their ball and forget to be aware they’re still in the desert.”

Babb with Game and Fish said people should know what to do if they encounter snakes but shouldn’t be paranoid about finding them everywhere.

“When you look at statistics, you’re far more likely to die by slipping in the bathtub or getting struck by lightning than you are to die from a venomous snake bite,” he said. “In a 10-year period we had 1,912 bites and only four fatalities, so these animals are venomous to acquire their prey, not to kill you or your pets or your children.”

Even if a bite victim isn’t showing any symptoms, Mocarski said it’s important to contact poison control.

“Forget everything you ever saw in the old movies because you cannot suck out venom,” he said. “Contact the medical professionals and let them make the decision because everyone reacts to a bite or a sting differently.”

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • zeeshan1 posted at 4:52 am on Sun, Dec 21, 2014.

    zeeshan1 Posts: 84

    Mmm.. good to be here in your article or post, whatever, I think I should also work hard for my own website like I see some good and updated working in your site.

  • babhsa posted at 12:01 pm on Sat, Dec 20, 2014.

    babhsa Posts: 5

    When the pocket size re submit values on the leverage on the swim line to refresh the straight margin with the simple power shape. An ancient power circle for sure combination. how to treat eye floaters

  • zeeshan1 posted at 11:31 pm on Fri, Dec 19, 2014.

    zeeshan1 Posts: 84

    Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for such kinda informative post and your post looks very interesting for me.

  • zeeshan1 posted at 9:25 pm on Thu, Dec 18, 2014.

    zeeshan1 Posts: 84

    I would also motivate just about every person to save this web page for any favorite assistance to assist posted the appearance.
    income tax preparation

  • babhsa posted at 2:04 pm on Thu, Dec 18, 2014.

    babhsa Posts: 5

    The highest working marks from the entire scale to work on the switch margin on the clean stroke to replace the circle option using steady new platform. Way to get diet for type 2 diabetes

  • zeeshan1 posted at 7:03 am on Thu, Dec 18, 2014.

    zeeshan1 Posts: 84

    I likewise profit from taking in the appraisals, however discover that alot of individuals should stay on article to attempt and include worth toward the real weblog discharge.
    airport parking in chicago

  • zeeshan1 posted at 10:08 am on Wed, Dec 17, 2014.

    zeeshan1 Posts: 84

    "This is just the information I am finding everywhere. Thanks for your blog, I just subscribe your blog. This is a nice blog. "
    Fifa 15 Hack

  • babhsa posted at 11:52 pm on Sun, Dec 14, 2014.

    babhsa Posts: 5

    Your quality posts have high number of shares on social media and it fits with your actual margins to step new conditions on the super quality surface data. Very good share and buy online votes

  • las posted at 1:13 am on Thu, Dec 11, 2014.

    las Posts: 2

    In retrospect, the definition of chemistry has changed over time, as new discoveries and theories add to the functionality of the science. The term.james

  • hina posted at 1:35 am on Tue, Dec 9, 2014.

    hina Posts: 6

    dampvask Aalborg I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the excellent work.

  • hina posted at 3:36 pm on Wed, Dec 3, 2014.

    hina Posts: 6

    rengøring af bil Aalborg Years of civil war, multiple military coups and almost thirty years of military governance 70-485 have severely hindered infrastructure maintenance plans

  • zeeshan1 posted at 12:12 pm on Tue, Nov 25, 2014.

    zeeshan1 Posts: 84

    I also benefit from learning the assessments, but learn that alot of people ought to stay on essay to try and add worth in the direction of the authentic weblog release.
    foreclosure data

  • KenwayKenyon posted at 5:16 am on Mon, Nov 24, 2014.

    KenwayKenyon Posts: 32

    its really fantastic blog . its realy informational and a such a good job. i love this

  • zeeshan1 posted at 7:14 am on Sun, Nov 23, 2014.

    zeeshan1 Posts: 84

    Glendale Tile Cleaning Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking. Chandler Tile Cleaning | Laundry Detergent Fundraiser

  • zeeshan1 posted at 8:38 am on Mon, Nov 17, 2014.

    zeeshan1 Posts: 84

    This is so beautiful and creative. I just love the colors and whoever gets it in the mail will be smiling.
    Best HTML5 Software

  • zeeshan1 posted at 2:15 pm on Fri, Nov 14, 2014.

    zeeshan1 Posts: 84

    Thanks for creating the page! Im positive that it will be very popular. It has good and valuable content which is very rare these days.
    blog commenting



YourWestValley.com on Facebook


YourWestValley.com on Twitter


Subscribe to YourWestValley.com via RSS

RSS Feeds


Glendale Police Teach DUI Enforcement to Students

Glendale Police team up with the Law Enforcement Club at Ironwood High School to teach student...

Tell Us What You Think!