It's far better to walk around the snake or avoid it entirely.
- Thirteen species of rattlesnakes have been identified in Arizona and extra caution should be taken when being outdoors when the daytime temperature stays above 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rattlesnakes can be encountered at anytime during the year but in March and April, rattlesnakes become more active and move to areas where they can soak up the sun.
- During hot summer months, they are more active at night. After the start of the August monsoons, they become the most active of the year.
- The shaking of the rattle can serve as a warning but not always: rattlesnakes can strike without warning or making a sound.
- They can strike 1/4 to 1/2 of their body length. The rattlesnakes in Arizona can be of different lengths.
- Babies are typically born at the end of July and are capable of biting from birth.
Symptoms of a bite
- Immediate pain or a burning sensation occurs at the site of the bite; fang marks are usually visible
- Victims may experience a metallic or rubbery taste in the mouth
- Significant swelling usually occurs within minutes, and symptoms may progress to weakness, sweating and/or
- Chills, nausea and vomiting
- A small percentage of rattlesnake bites are "dry," meaning that the snake has not injected venom. But do not count on being one of the lucky ones: seek help immediately. Only a doctor can determine if you have a "dry" bite.
- Snakes' venom can cause severe tissue damage, blood thinning and other effects.
- If you are bitten by a rattlesnake, seek emergency medical attention immediately.
- Use your cell phone to call for help if there is coverage in the area.
- While it is important to get treatment as soon as possible, if you are a great distance from your car or other help, move slowly if necessary to get help.
- You have time to reach medical care.
Here are a few guidelines to help in the event you are bitten:
- Don't panic: Stay as calm as possible. If bitten on the hand, remove all jewelry immediately before swelling begins
- Don't apply ice to the bite site or immerse the bite in a bucket of ice
- Don't use a constricting band/cloth/belt or tourniquet. Do not restrict blood flow in any manner
- Don't cut the bite site or try to suck out the venom. Leave the bite site alone!
- Don't use electric shock or stun guns of any kind.
- Don't try to capture the snake to bring to the hospital. Time spent capturing the snake delays arrival at the emergency department, and may result in additional bites
- Identification of the snake is not necessary for treatment. Physicians treat the symptoms as they occur and modify the antivenom/treatment as needed. Treatment is not snake specific