(KTXL) — Summer’s a great time for enjoying nature, but you should exercise caution, since rattlesnakes are sharing those same natural spaces.
These snakes can also be found in urban areas, riverbanks, parks, golf courses, under wood piles and in bushy yards.
According to California Fish and Wildlife, rattlesnakes are generally not aggressive and will avoid people if possible. They’ll retreat if they’re given space to move and are not provoked or threatened.
A rattlesnake may not always rattle before it strikes and may not deliver a venomous bite as a warning because venom creation takes a lot of energy from the snake.
Here are some tips on ways to be safe during rattlesnake season:
- Stay alert when outdoors
- Wear sturdy boots and loose-fitting long pants
- Do not wear sandals or flip-flops in bushy areas
- Stay on well-used trails
- Check rocks, stumps or logs before sitting down
- Shake out sleeping bags and tents before use
- Do not grab sticks in water because rattlesnakes can swim
What to do if you are bitten by a rattlesnake:
- Stay calm but act quickly
- Remove items which may constrict swelling
- Transport victim to the nearest medical facility
- Do not apply a tourniquet
- Do not pack the bite area in ice
- Do not cut the wound with a knife or razor
- Do not use your mouth to suck out the venom
Although rattlesnakes can pose a threat to humans, they play a vital role in their ecosystems by maintaining a healthy rodent and small mammal population, according to Fish and Wildlife.