SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - As the weather heats up, the snakes come out. It is now rattlesnake season.
Experts say that doesn't mean you can't go out for a hike or play outside with your children, but you do have to take some precautions.
It certainly is warm out there, but this weather is perfect for rattlesnakes. And with the upcoming Easter holiday, wildlife experts are warning people to be on the lookout.
You never know what may be lurking in the bushes. This holiday weekend, it could be more than just some hidden Easter eggs, because rattlesnakes, as venom experts explain, often pick some of the same hiding spots.
"They love being inside pots where condensation builds up near pumps, or AC units. Those are some of our biggest hot spots," said venom curator Joe Hymes. "This is when we start getting calls around the clock to get rattlesnakes out of backyards."
The warm weather is ideal for rattlesnakes.
Hymes says the Phoenix Herpetological Society in Scottsdale is now getting a couple of rattlesnake calls per day. The center rescues and tries to release reptiles back out into the wild. He adds that this recent spike certainly doesn't mean you have to cancel your egg hunting plans, just make sure to hide the eggs off the ground, and especially avoid places like rocks, bushes, or behind flower pots.
"Know that it doesn't want to hurt you. And as long as you give yourself three feet of space.. that's the rule of thumb.. you're outside of the strike range of any rattlesnake in Arizona and they won't chase you. I promise you can walk around and continue your Easter fun," said Hymes.
If you do happen to get bit by a rattlesnake, just know that those bites typically won't kill a person. You do need to go immediately to a hospital.
If you find a snake in your backyard, you can call the center's snake hotline at (602) 550-1090.