pet news

March 23, 2016

Don't hide Easter eggs where rattlesnakes may curl up

Phoenix Herpetological Society provides advice on snake safety as calls to remove snakes increase

SCOTTSDALE – If you're having an Easter Egg hunt later this month, be aware that rattlesnakes may like the same hiding spots you are planning to stash those eggs. 

With the warm weather, snakes have been very active lately. The Phoenix Herpetological Society (PHS) reports that it is receiving multiple calls to remove snakes.

PHS is offering some safety tips to avoid incidents with snakes that could spoil your Easter Egg fun:

·   Don't hide eggs on the ground where children will have to reach where they can’t see. That includes under bushes and rocks, behind flower pots, or under pool toys. 
·   Snakes especially like to curl up in shady damp areas, such as under plants with drip systems, during the day, so those areas should be off limits.
·   Instead, hide eggs off the ground, such as in tall flower pots or hanging baskets, and on decks or outdoor furniture
·   If you do find a snake, walk away and don't try to move it yourself. An estimated 80 to 90 percent of rattlesnake bites happen when homeowners try to deal with the snake themselves.  

What to do if bitten by a rattlesnake:
·    Call 911 and stay calm.
·    Keep the bitten area still.
·    Remove any jewelry or constricting items near the affected area in case of swelling.
·    Elevate the extremity that’s bitten.  

·    Drive yourself to the hospital.
·    Use ice to cool the bite.
·    Cut open the wound and try to suck out the venom.
·    Use a tourniquet. This will cut off blood flow and the limb may be lost.
·    Bring the snake or a photo of the snake with you to the hospital; all rattlesnake bites are treated with the same antivenin so identification of the snake is not necessary.

At least 13 species of rattlesnakes and a few other species of venomous reptiles make their home in Arizona. However, far more non-venomous snakes are found in the state.

Phoenix Herpetological Society also wants people to understand that killing a snake or other reptile isn’t the best way of dealing with these creatures. “Wildlife plays an important role in our world,” says Russ Johnson, President of Phoenix Herpetological Society. “We can co-exist if we understand them better.”

For a fee, the Phoenix Herpetological Society will humanely remove a snake from your property. Call 602-550-1090.

For more information about Phoenix Herpetological Society, call 602-513-HERP (4377), or go to