Spring in Arizona is the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful weather and outdoor activities. The desert also holds some hidden dangers that you may encounter along the way, including bike/walking paths, hiking trails and even around your home.
March through October is considered rattlesnake season in Arizona, and knowing how to avoid a dangerous rattlesnake encounter for both you and your pets, and what to do if you do get bit, can be the difference between life and death.
- Keep your eyes open for rattlesnakes basking in the sun, especially in the cooler months
- While hiking in the late afternoon or evening, remember to bring a flashlight to guide your way after the sun goes down
- Rattlesnakes are typically more active at night during the hot summer months
- Always keep your pets on a leash while hiking
- Pay attention to where you’re walking and placing your hands
- Listen for their “rattle” warning
- Don’t reach into bushes, holes or areas you can’t see
- Eliminate rodents from your property, since they are a major food source for all types of snakes
- Cover drainage holes with a ¼-inch hard wire screen
- Perimeter walls and fences around your property should be solid, a minimum of four-feet high, with no holes or areas for them to tunnel underneath
If a rattlesnake bites you:
- Call 9-1-1 and seek medical assistance immediately
- Remain calm and decrease movement, if possible
- Remove all jewelry from the affected area
- Immobilize the bite area and keep it below your heart
- NEVER apply ice, cut the bite area, use a tourniquet or administer drugs or alcohol
You can download a rattlesnake fact sheet from the Arizona Game and Fish department website.
If you encounter a rattlesnake on your property, please contact 9-1-1.