Warmer temperatures bring out the snakes

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- The temperatures are heating up and that means the snakes are coming out.

Snake experts say the desert starts to come alive when the temperatures hit 80 degrees.

The Phoenix Herpetological Society went on two snake calls on Monday and with temperatures approaching 90 this weekend, you have to watch your step.

There are more than a dozen species of rattlesnake found in our neck of the desert and all of them have the potential to kill if you're not careful.

While snakes would rather bail out than bite, they will strike if they feel threatened or if you step on one.

This time of year, their biggest concern is finding food after their winter hibernation.

Many times, they like to curl up in your backyard, absorb the heat off your cement patio or slither across your favorite hiking path.

"We have a really good chance of running into snakes this weekend if we're out and about in the Arizona desert or just enjoying our backyards," said Daniel Marchand with the Phoenix Herpetological Society. "The snake's just going to be cruising around looking for a meal. He's not eaten for months, he's hungry. He wants nothing to do with us. It's just we might have a bad interaction if we're not careful."

There are a couple general rules for avoiding a snake bite. Never walk outside in the dark without a flashlight and don't put your hands or feet in brush you can't see into.

If you do find a snake call a professional. Some 80 percent of snake bites happen with people who think they can remove the snake themselves.