Central Texas is no stranger to snakes. But thanks to a warm winter and spring on the horizon, a large number of rattlesnakes are waking up early from hibernation this year.
Fortunately, they probably aren't out for good yet. Annaliese Scoggin, a Wildlife Biologist with Texas Parks & Wildlife, explains that the rattlesnakes will come out during warmer days. There will still be cold nights in the upcoming weeks where the rattlesnakes will slither back to where they hibernate for the winter.
Scoggin gave a surprising warning regarding the snakes' behavior during the winter. "Sometimes when they're cool, they're less active and less likely to rattle," she told KTXS. "So if they're caught out on a cold day, you need to be more vigilant compared to a hot day when they will rattle." Keep watch where you're walking outside, and pay attention to where you put your hands.
The wildlife biologist also explains ways remove incentives for the rattlesnakes to visit your home. "To prevent them from being around your home, remove things that attract rodents that then attract snakes, like brush piles, trash, abandoned cars," Scoggin advises. Take your trash out, clean your cars, and watch the gaps beneath the doors of your home.
But what should you do if you find yourself with an unwelcome visitor?
Snake removal experts encourage people to leave the snakes alone. Call Animal Control or a Department of Wildlife organization which is equipped to deal with the snake. They can capture it and then relocate the snake to an appropriate habitat.