A friend took our oldest son on a walk that other day and they came across a baby rattlesnake! When I heard that it sent chills up and down my spine. Baby rattlesnakes mean there could be bigger ones nearby! So I took to the internet and researched everything I could to keep my kids and myself safe during rattlesnake season.
Some websites claim that roughly 8,000 people are bitten by snakes in the U.S. each year. That is a terrifing number! So I will be keeping a sharp ear and eye out for rattlesnakes and be applying these tips whenever I can!
If you or your child are bitten by a rattlesnake call 911! Do not use a tourniquet! This may cause that part of the body to become dead and need to be amputated. Do not suck poison out! Keep snake bite location lower than the heart. Try your best to remain calm.
With that out of the way…
How to stay safe during rattlesnake season
1) Leave them alone!
This one seems pretty obvious but some kids are curious and haven’t learned a healthy fear of snakes yet. I showed my son a video of a rattlesnake sound and told him that if he ever heard this sound to run the other way as fast as he could.
2) Get rid of clutter by your house.
Snakes love to hide in cool places to wait for food to come along. Don’t let stuff pile up near your house, especially near doors. Things like shoes or potted plants should be away from the front door so the rattlesnakes don’t have a place to hide.
3) Check for openings into your house and garage
Any holes or gaps in the foundation of your house is an open invitation for rattlesnakes to hide under your house. Rattlesnakes can also get in through improperly sealed vents. Rattlesnakes also like hiding in places in the garage so try to keep it clutter free. Do a perimeter check around your house and garage and make sure that there are no ways for rattlesnakes to get into.
4) Keep grass short and remove lawn clippings
Keeping your lawn grass short will discourage rattlesnakes from wanting to hide there. It doesn’t give them enough cover to hide for prey. Also, make sure to put your lawn clippings into the yard waste can right away so they don’t have a place to hide. (Seeing a trend here?)
5) Dump those kiddies pools
When it is hot, rattlesnakes are looking for cool places near bodies of water. This one I tend to forget because after I bring the kiddos inside to dry them off I don’t think about going back outside to dump the pool. Also, make sure you dump your buckets of water if you wash your own car. But onto some flowers so you don’t waste it. 😉
6) Keep trash can lids closed tight
Mice are a rattlesnakes favorite food so keep the lid to your trash can tightly closed to keep the mice away. Keep your compost pile covered up so mice don’t find any goodies in there. Also, make sure not to leave any pet food out so the mice don’t get into it. And if you have chickens, keep the feed in a tightly sealed container because mice can easily chew through a plastic bag. Which brings me to my next tip.
7) Remove bird feeders in the summertime
Those little birdies are cute to watch but for rattlesnakes bird feeders attract mice so it is best to just remove the birdseed altogether. The only kind I would recommend keeping up are the ones high up on a METAL pole. Snakes have a more difficult time climbing up smooth surfaces. Again, keep the extra bird food in a sealed container.
8) Check under your car tires
Ever since my friend and son found the rattlesnake under the car tire I have checked mine every time I get into the car. Obviously check from a distance so that you are not in reach of the rattlesnake.
Share this with friends and family you care about and keep them safe! Do you have any other tips?