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Summer Safety: Rattlesnakes Waking Up In Santa Clarita, Ways To Avoid Venomous Bites

Rattlesnakes in the Santa Clarita area are starting to come out of hibernation with the warmer temperatures, and residents are being warned to avoid the reptiles, and seek medical attention if they are bitten.

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“During the summer months, Henry Mayo treats two to four rattlesnakes bites a month,” said Bud Lawrence, Medical Director of the Emergency Department. “The most common age range of snake bites is in adult males from 18 to 34 years of age. Most of the bites are on their dominant hand and a handful of the patients are intoxicated.”

With rattlesnakes being out it is important to know how to act around these venomous creatures and what to do if someone is bit by a rattlesnake.

If somebody sees a rattlesnake, they should slowly walk away from the animal and call 9-1-1 if it is a threat to nearby residents, according to fire officials.

“Even though it is not an emergency, the fire department will come out and remove the snake,” said Capt. Randy Gee with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. “But if you do call, please keep your eye on the snake until we arrive, so that it is easy for us to locate the snake.”

There are a few ways residents can distinguish a rattlesnake from other snakes that look similar, such as gopher snakes.

Rattlesnakes are shorter, and have a broader body than gopher snakes.

“The average adult gopher snake measures between six and nine feet long, while (depending on the species) rattlesnakes come in between three and six feet long,” according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “However, while the gopher snake is longer, its body is slender and whip-like compared to the rattlesnake’s heavy-bodied, broad appearance.”

Another way to identify a rattlesnake is they have a flat triangular head, in comparison to a gopher snake’s narrow, rounded head, according to officials.

It is important to quickly and calmly note the differences when encountering a snake in the wild, because unlike gopher snakes, rattlesnakes are dangerous to humans.

“If someone does get bit by a rattlesnake it is very important to call 9-1-1 immediately and remain calm,” Gee said. “As soon as a rattlesnake does bite, use a marker or a pen and circle the area where the bite happened.”

This is a technique paramedics use to determine how fast the venom is traveling, he said.

“Do not try doing anything to remove the venom, such as cutting open the area where you got bit,” Gee said.

Living in Santa Clarita, residents are more than likely to see a rattlesnake in their yard, according to officials.

“When you go out to do gardening, don’t just dive your hand into the bushes to pull weeds without checking for snakes, because that is an area that they like to live,” said Gee.

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Summer Safety: Rattlesnakes Waking Up In Santa Clarita, Ways To Avoid Venomous Bites

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About Louie Diaz

Louie was born and raised in Santa Clarita. At the age of two Louie lost his vision due to a brain tumor. However, Louie doesn't let blindness stop him from doing what ever it is he wants to accomplish. Growing up some of his favorite hobbies were wood working, fishing and riding bikes. Louie graduated from College of the Canyon in December of 2017, with a Broadcast Journalism degree. Growing up Louie has always wanted to be a fire fighter or a police officer, but because of his blindness Louie knew that wouldn't work. Louie has always loved listening to police and fire radio traffic, using a scanner, and he figured if he was going to listen to the scanner so much, he should do something with it.