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What you should do if you see a rattlesnake

Posted at 9:05 PM, Sep 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-14 01:17:06-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- — TUCSON, Ariz. -- You may have noticed rattlesnakes coming out of hiding the last couple of days, and there's a reason for that.

Hibernation season for snakes is right around the corner, and with temperatures expected to cool down soon, they'll be coming out to find a warmer spot -- which could be inside your home.

Andy L. Fisher, the Chief of Interpretation at Saguaro National Park told KGUN9 that even though she has worked at the national park for the last 20 years, she sometimes gets a little rattled when she sees one.

“Yeah my adrenaline spikes when I see one, especially when I am not expecting to see one there. In this case we were up in when we saw it and it was hanging out in manning camp cabin and it was warm and....it caught us off guard when we reached down to do some maintenance on the cabin,” she added.

Now, given that a cooler temps are on the way, you may see more rattlers slithering your way. Brian Keeley with the Northwest Fire District says they may be getting closer to you than you think.

“So we're starting to get in that time of year where around our patios, our front walkways, our driveways, our roadways we can start to see snakes a little more than we have seen in the last couple of months. You may see them inside your garage, under a rack outside or inside your home, or even inside of a barbecue grill.”

Earlier this week, the Northwest Fire District posted a picture of a snake inside of the rim of a tire. As it appears, snakes will be looking for heat as temperatures drop.

So what should you do if you run into an uninvited guest?

“The key is not to turn around and run, but to stop, slowly backing away and keeping your eyes on it so you know where it is at...until you are in a safe position, and then move away and take a different route,” Keeley told KGUN9.

Also remember that keeping a good distance from a snake is important, especially if they feel threatened.

“When it strikes, it can reach a ways out so if you are even within a couple of feet of a snake, you could get bitten. So you just have to be aware,” Deputy Chief Keeley said.

If get bitten by a snake, call 911 so they can rush you over to the hospital and give you the anti-venom treatment. In this situation, time is of essence, so do not delay to call first responders.