We had a busy year keeping rattlesnakes out of backyards all across Arizona! In addition to providing snake fence installation, we captured more than a thousand rattlesnakes for relocation. Here are just some of the many rattlesnake rescues we’ve been called to in 2022. Many of these encounters could have been prevented with a snake fence.
Temperatures are dropping and the regular snake season is coming to a close. Typically, it wraps up, more or less, by the end of the first week of November. This year is looking typical, with a handful of snake removal calls still coming into our hotline and a number of reported sightings, but nowhere near the frequency as a month before.
We’ve been busy, not surprisingly. Rattlesnakes are now moving freely out from their dens looking for food and mates as temperatures continue to rise. Throughout April, we an expect this snake activity to increase until temperatures stay in the triple digits for consecutive days. Then, they’ll start making progress towards summer aestivation sites, where they will remain at or near until the monsoon.
Right now peak rattlesnake activity is, as expected, between 2pm and 5pm each day.
Spring is here and we’re, predictably, extremely busy. It’s a good thing! After the winter, we are always excited to get back to work. Homeowners … they may not be so excited.
People are often surprised to learn that the rattlesnake they’ve just found in the backyard may have been there, or very nearby, for months when it’s found in the early spring. Often, the rip rap and erosion control used by newer developments is perfect for this purpose, and those snakes take notice. As soon as spring comes and they emerge, the landscaped and well-watered backyards that surround it are perfect places to hunt.
If you see rabbits, quail, and other prey-sized items in your yard, you can assume that predators see them as well. That does mean rattlesnakes. Fortunately, a physical barrier like a rattlesnake fence will put a stop to that.
Snake activity is also really picking up. In the past couple of weeks, our hotline has gone from an average of 2 calls a day to more than a dozen snakes removed each day.
We’re in the dead of winter and getting a bit of time off on the snake removal side, which gives a bit of time to catch up on some photos from the end of last year. When things get busy, it’s not possible or reasonable to post every snake we catch, so things get spaced out to make sure that we have time to eat and sleep in between social media postings, and so that you don’t get upset with 20+ photos every single day 🙂
Our first removal of the year, however, came in right on Jan 1! Marissa caught two adult Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes hanging out in a garage.
These are the last of our 2021 calls and a couple of our first of the new year. Come on, Spring!
This will be a big one … as the season winds to a close, snakes are busy. Not only are they looking for a last meal or two and mating, they have to travel to the places they plan on spending the winter. These dens, in the low and warm desert, can be just about anywhere that a snake can escape freezing temperatures and preserve the moisture they’ve been able to get during the year.
Typically, we remain quite busy through October and into about the second week of November. After that, rattlesnake activity decreases dramatically.
When do snakes go to sleep for the winter in Arizona?
Typically, primary rattlesnake activity ends in mid-November in the Sonoran Desert, and a few weeks earlier in higher elevations.