Watch out, the snakes are back

William Hermann The Arizona Republic Mar. 25, 2006 12:00 AM

Snakes of all kinds, including rattlers, find the warmer weather to their liking and are emerging from hibernation.

When daytime temperatures climb into the high 70s, snakes come out to eat and breed.

So people on desert hiking trails and homeowners on the Valley's fringes are beginning to cross paths with reptiles.

Russ Johnson, Phoenix Herpetological Society president, says snake calls have begun.

Scottsdale Fire Department Deputy Chief Garret Olson said his department is also getting calls. Last year, it took almost 1,600 snake calls.

A little common sense is all it takes to avoid a snakebite. Obviously, do not chase or pick up any snake. And in desert areas, "don't put your hands and feet where you can't see where they're going," Johnson said.

He also advises against killing any snake. "Would you rather have a snake or a rodent?" he asked. "Snakes are very effective rodent control."

Scottsdale fire officials recommend people call the Herpetological Society, "unless there is a threat to human life."

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