Warmer Weather In AZ Has Officials Warning To Watch Out For Snakes

By Ginny Reese

March 4, 2021

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Just because it is technically still winter, doesn't mean Arizona residents are in the clear from spotting snakes.

KGUN 9 reported that officials are sending out reminders to keep an eye out for the reptiles.

Rural Metro Battalion Chief John Walka stated, "80 degrees- that's a good temperature for everybody, for us, and the reptiles as well too."

According to Walka, hikers should be keeping an eye out for where they step any time the temperatures are above 80 degrees. He explained that bites may be rare, but they're often the result of people doing the wrong thing.

Walka said, "If you do see a rattlesnake the best thing to do is walk away from it, don't poke it with a stick or touch it in any way."

Because snakes do not actually hibernate, they "brumate," they can sense the warm weather and will come out to bask in the sunlight.

Walka stated, "We [commonly] use the term hibernation, but that's not truly what reptiles do, they don't actually hibernate, it is not the correct term."

Because of this, snakes can be seen any time the weather is warm, even in the winter months.

"Those snakes typically don’t stick around very long. They are just passing through looking for a heat source," said Walka.

Walka said that the best thing to do is to leave the snakes alone, but if one is seen in a dangerous area, such as a school or home, it is best to call the local fire department's non-emergency number or pest control.

Photo: Getty Images

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