Frequently asked questions

  • Q: Will a rattlesnake attack me, my family, or my pets?
  • A: To put it simply, no. “Attack” refers to an offensive action, and snakes only bite things larger than them if they’re defending themselves. This can mean stepping on, touching or grabbing, and cornering a snake.

 

  • Q: Why do snakes chase people?
  • A: They don’t. Stories of snakes chasing people are driven from fear or hatred. If you’re in a place with little shade, if you encounter a snake but them make little movement, the snake may try to use the shade you create as a place to cool down. This is because their vision isn’t excellent, and if you stay still long enough after spooking it, the snake might think you’re a strange looking rock casting a cool shadow.

 

  • Q: I found a baby snake in my yard. Do I have a nest in my yard?
  • A: Generally, no. Birthing season is in the late summer into early fall (August – October). Often times, people find babies in the springtime during the first couple months of snake emergence from dens. Pregnant females often time seek out spots away from the dens adults inhabit, sometimes putting them closer (or further) from humans. Baby rattlesnakes are often the first snakes to be encountered in the spring, as they don’t realize it can still rain or freeze in March or April, and will leave the place they were birthed at during the first warm day or two – sometimes making their way into a yard. This can mean you’re close to a rookery, but generally it’s off the property under a long-standing object.

 

  • Q: Do all rattlesnakes rattle?
  • A: Most of the time, a rattlesnake will hold off on rattling until they’ve been approached to close proximity or touched. Some populations are somewhat used to people or animals walking around, and may in fact remain quiet and still until they’ve been touched or stepped on.

 

  • Q: Why shouldn’t I just kill the thing?
  • A: What you do in the situation where you or someone at your home comes across a rattlesnake is entirely up to you. It isn’t illegal to kill a rattlesnake. However, if you hear me out or read into the lives of these creatures, I do hope it’ll change your mind. They don’t want to hurt you nor want to find themselves in a situation where they even have to defend themselves. If you aren’t a mouse or lizard, they won’t hurt you as long as you don’t try to hurt it.

 

  • Q: Why do you do what you do?
  • A: I enjoy working with rattlesnakes; they’re some of the most interesting and misunderstood animals on this planet. I don’t enjoy seeing them get killed and grew accustom to the idea of relocating them to more suitable environments, and founded PSR accomplish both things in addition to helping people understand what’s going on in the mind of a rattlesnake the best I can.

 

  • Q: Does snake repellent work?
  • A: I’ve found rattlesnakes in yards with inches of the stuff piled up around the property line as if a snow plow scraped it all up and pushed it against every inch of the fence line. In short, not so much – at least with current snake repellent. The best thing I’d recommend is keep your yard maintained, bushes trimmed, and limit the amount of clutter in your yard or on your property. These steps can go a pretty long way to lower your encounter rate.

 

  • Q: Is a juvenile rattlesnake more venomous than an adult?
  • A: In short, no. Juvenile rattlesnake venom glands are a fraction of the size of an adults. Juveniles and adults can control the venom dispensed in a bite, too. While juvenile rattlesnakes may have slightly more toxic of venom, the added toxicity only makes up for the smaller amount of venom they have when they’re small. A bite from an adult can deliver far more venom, making the playing field in regards to venom even. Due to the fact an adult can pack more venom in a bite with equally, if not more toxic venom, bites from adult rattlesnakes generally lead to more severe symptoms and long-term ramifications.

 

  • Q: How fast is your response time?
  • A: In nearly all cases where we offer emergency service, it’s an hour or less. We respond from Rocklin where we’re based out of (unless we’re on another service call elsewhere), so the closer you are to Rocklin, the faster we come running. Only about 25% of emergency calls are 1 – 2 hours (where the distance between us and you is more than 40 – 50 miles), and even then our success rate is quite high – don’t let it stop you from at least giving us a call about the issue.

 

  • Q: Is there anything I can do while you respond out to remove a rattlesnake?
  • A: If you call me out to remove a rattlesnake, I’ll usually ask that you or someone tries to keep an eye on the little (or big) guy or girl. Generally, when you stay in visible distance of a rattlesnake, it’ll stay relatively still; it’s when you walk away after finding it they may take off while the coast is clear. This protocol has significantly increased the success of removal since implementation.

 

  • Q: Where do rattlesnakes like to hide?
  • A: Rattlesnakes are secretive creatures. They don’t care for being out in the open, and are generally seeking a cozy bush, rock, or woodpile to hangout in or setup in ambush near hoping for a mouse. However, if these places are harder to find, they may find shelter against the shady side of a home, in a garage, or under any items near our house that create some cover.

 

  • Q: I get quite a few rattlesnakes in my yard every year. Do I have a den?
  • A: To have a legitimate, multi-snake inhabited den site in your yard or property is fairly uncommon. Most of the time, in cases where some yards or properties see lots of snake activity, is because the location is in between a den and an area where snakes spend lots of time in the summer. We’ve noticed some property owners sometimes sit on long-standing routes that snakes seem to utilize every year, and this route likely contains many social places where other rattlesnakes interact with each-other, making them feel safe on their route. Den sites are almost always in sizeable rock outcrops, that have deep underground burrows keeping them dry and warm enough to comfortably survive winters.