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Rattlesnake season officially begins in Southern California, Department of Fish and Wildlife warns

Total Lunar Eclipse Passes over California Desert
Posted at 10:31 AM, Apr 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-07 13:31:46-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- As the weather across San Diego County warms, rattlesnakes are out if full force.

Rattlesnakes live throughout Southern California and live in the deserts as well as along the coast, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The department says most bites happen from April to October when the snakes and people are most active outdoors.

RELATED: Deadly backyard encounter could point to dangerous snake season

“Snakes really get an unfair bad rap, when they actually play an important role in California’s ecosystems,” said CDFW’s Keep Me Wild program coordinator Lesa Johnston.

The potential of running into a rattlesnake shouldn’t deter anyone from enjoying the great outdoors, the department adds.

According to the California Poison Control System, the chances of being bitten are small when compared with the risk of other environmental injuries.

RELATED: What to do if you or a pet are bitten by a rattlesnake

“Like most wild animals, snakes prefer to keep to themselves and are not naturally aggressive. Taking the time to learn about safety precautions before going outdoors can make all the difference,” Johnston added.

The department says rattlesnakes generally aren’t aggressive and will likely retreat if given room and not provoked or threatened.

“Most bites occur when a rattlesnake is handled or accidentally brushed against by someone walking or climbing,” the department says on their website.

If you are bitten by a rattlesnake, the department recommends the following:

  • Stay calm but act quickly.
  • Remove watches, rings, etc., which may constrict swelling.
  • Transport the victim to the nearest medical facility.
  • For more first aid information call the California Poison Control System at (800) 222-1222.