The nation’s own insane asylum, California, has something new to add to its lengthy list of problems: Rattlesnakes. Excerpt:
Southern California is known for its sun, sand, and of course, it’s snakes.
And thanks to our ongoing drought, rattlesnakes are making their way out of the hills and into our yards in record numbers.
“They’re out in full force right now,” said Bo Slyapich, who is known as the “rattlesnake wrangler.”
He specializes in snake removal, relocation, and prevention.
Slyapich has been working with snakes for more than 50 years and says homeowners are giving the rattlers exactly what they are looking for.
“If you build it. they will come,” he said. “Just because you build them a cave, leave the door open, garage door open, put a cement pond in the backyard, make it green all around, maybe throw some mice and rats around. They love us humans.”
He suggests building a box around your property, installing one-quarter-inch fencing around the entire perimeter, and reducing landscaping.
Pretty good advice, actually, speaking as one who came from the rattlesnake-friendly hills of Allamakee County, Iowa, where the Old Man’s woods and hills were populated by Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus). Smaller (just) than Californey’s Western Diamondbacks, (Crotalus atrox) the big timber snakes were not terribly aggressive, in spite of their Latin name. You had to work at it to get bitten.
We still killed them whenever we found them around the house. Up in the hills they were fine; we always allowed them to proceed with their business unmolested. But not around the house, not when the folks had legions of grandkids playing outside all summer. The biggest rattler we killed was pushing six feet long, and a serious bite by a snake like that can kill an adult, much less a child.
We never took too many chances with venomous snakes. Californians hopefully will do likewise.