Warm temperatures mean rattlesnakes are out in full force, not just on trails, but also around Valley homes.
Glendale firefighters found one Monday evening at the home of a mom in Peoria while she was alone with her four daughters.
“Ever since the heat started up, the phone has just been going crazy. A lot of snake calls," said Russ Johnson, president of the Phoenix Herpetological Society.
According Johnson, western diamondbacks, speckled rattlesnakes, along with non-venomous gopher and king snakes, are active right now.
“People are coming home, they’re finding them on their front porch, they’re going on the patio to relax, they’re finding them in the backyard,” said Johnson.
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Johnson says they're attracted by the smell of rodents, which are attracted to pet food, water and bird seed.
“If you don’t pay attention, you’re going to get bit," said Johnson.
According to Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, 11 people in Maricopa County have been bit by rattlesnakes so far this month. That’s up from just four people last month.
“You’ll find that most of your bite people are male, 17 to 27, large amounts of alcohol involved. They get crazy and do stupid things. You won’t get women doing that," said Johnson.
Johnson warns people to be aware of their surroundings.
"Turn on a light when you step out of your door, look down before you step out because they like to be along the edge there. Snakes can’t hear you coming, so it doesn’t matter how much noise you make, they have no ears," said Johnson.
If you find one, stay calm.
"The biggest rattlesnake in Arizona can’t strike three feet, so if you take one step back, you're out of strike range," said Johnson.
Don’t try to remove the snake yourself. If you feel threatened, call the Phoenix Herpetological Society. If they can’t respond, Johnson says they will refer you to someone who can.
If you’re bitten by a rattlesnake, Johnson advises to call poison control and have someone immediately take you to Banner Health where they have experts on hand to treat you right away.
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