Rattlesnakes becoming active again as it warms up in Phoenix

Warmer weather in the Valley means rattlesnakes are coming out a little earlier than usual, and Scottsdale Fire says it's already seeing a spike in calls.

As always, there are a few tips to keep in mind if you see a rattlesnake.

Cale Morris, venom manager at the Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary says they get about 300 calls a year about these dangerous critters.

"I heard multiple people tell me, ‘Oh it feels so good out here.’ Snakes think so, too," he said. "There are 13 species of rattlesnakes in Arizona. More than any other state, so we are in the hot spot for rattlesnakes."

Morris says the snakes are typically in city outskirts, but that anyone with a home near the desert will likely see some.

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As for the Scottsdale Fire Department, it says it's averaging two to three calls per day about a rattlesnake near someone's home.

"We live in their environment right now, so they're coming out to get warm, they're cool at night, so you'll see them laying in the sun out by the road," Captain Dave Folio with Scottsdale Fire said.

He says you can also expect to see rattlesnakes on hiking trails this time of year.

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"We have had people approaching on Pinnacle Peak, and they're running into a snake or two. Give it its space, it will go back in its hole, it's maybe just crossing the path, let it cross and then continue on your way," Folio advises.

Morris has worked with venomous snakes for nearly 20 years and his advice to stay safe remains the same.

"Leave them alone, and they'll leave you alone. It's very easy," he said.

If you get bit while hiking, head straight to the hospital to get anti venom treatment. Try to get there soon because the longer the venom is in you, the more damage it could do.