County of San Diego Communications Office
As the weather heats up, San Diego County Animal Services said residents may see more rattlesnakes out and about. The department has already received 656 rattlesnake calls since the beginning of the year, 100 more than last year at this time.
“Due to our very temperate climate, rattlesnakes can be found year-round in our county, in communities ranging from the coast to the deserts,” Animal Services Director Dan DeSousa said. “But snake sightings may spike during hot spells.”
If residents see a rattlesnake on their property, Animal Services recommends keeping an eye on it from a safe distance and giving them a call. Animal control officers will impound the snake and remove it to an area where it doesn’t pose a risk to the public.
For residents living in the county’s unincorporated areas or the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego, Santee or Solana Beach, call Animal Services at (619) 236-2341 for help removing rattlesnakes from their residence. Otherwise, residents should call the animal control agency for their city.
Find out how to avoid rattlesnake encounters and what to do if someone is bitten in these tips put together several years ago.
- Wear sturdy hiking boots with ankle support so that feet are protected.
- Stay on paths and trails. Avoid tall grass, weeds and brush where snakes may hide.
- Keep dogs on leash while hiking, and be aware of what it is doing at all times.
- Make sure to look carefully before touching anything, and be aware of what is coming up on the trail ahead. Look for concealed snakes before picking up rocks, sticks or wood.
- Consider bringing a walking stick while hiking. If hikers encounter a snake, it may strike the stick instead of a person or their pet.
- Give rattlesnakes the right of way.
- For residents who live in an area where rattlesnakes have been found, check yards before letting any pets and children out to play.