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.
Late September and early October are usually pretty busy for us. As the monsoon wanes, we see snakes of all kinds getting ready for cooler conditions. That means there’s a lot to do: eating, mating, and traveling to wherever it is they want to wait out the winter. That can often mean they end up in a backyard or garage, and we’re called out to help.
A spike in calls usually happens right after dark. This will likely continue throughout October, dropping off dramatically in the first week of November. Of course the weather and conditions will largely determine how long this lasts, but this is a trend we see every year and we have no reason to believe it will be any different now.
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Likewise, October is a time that many homeowners realize that the fear of having a rattlesnake in the yard is something that can be stopped at any time. Things like making landscaping changes and having a snake fence installed can make a huge difference.
As always, we’ve been busy. Not only with snake removals, but all sorts of field work. That includes travel all over the country, and even into Mexico, looking for wild snakes of all kinds.
That means I’m a bit backed up on some of our social media communications, so here’s an attempt to get caught up. Here are a good amount of the recent snake removal jobs we’ve done in the past few weeks.
With temperatures starting to look like Fall, we expect an uptick in activity that will last throughout the month. With all of the recent rain and what looks to have been a great monsoon, the baby rattlesnakes born this year will likely survive in great numbers. We expect to continue seeing those pop up in Arizona yards through October, into November.
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Rain! We finally had good rain, after years without (much). The result? Snakes are going to become VERY active. We’ve already seen the start of it, with more snake removals than ever before in such a short time. Here are just some of the snakes we’ve removed since the last update, with many more yet to process.
Moisture not only brings a much needed drink, but cooler and more stable temperatures. Snakes can easily die if their body temperature is above 105˚F, so these late July temperatures that don’t even get to triple digits are a great time to move. It’s also the start of baby rattlesnake season. Monsoon moisture triggers this event, so watch for baby rattlesnakes in our feed soon.