All of Northern California is rattlesnake county. And that may be especially true this season.
“This has been the busiest season that I remember,” said Len Ramirez of Ramirez Rattlesnake Removal. “And I’ve been in business since 1985.”
Ramirez is based out of Auburn. But more and more this season, his business is taking him and his coworkers into the flatlands, and all the way to the Napa Valley.
One theory for the increase in sightings is that rattlesnakes are expanding their territory looking for water in the drought. On top of that, they thrive in warm weather, which has been plentiful over the past few years in Northern California.
Ramirez makes house calls, catching the snakes and later releasing them in unpopulated areas.
“We’re finding them in garages, underneath houses, in back yards, front yards, in pools, barns, underneath cars,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez told FOX40 he has heard of 11 cases this season of people in Northern California getting bitten, and many more animals.
“Make sure you bring your pets in at night,” he advised. “If you have toddlers, make sure that you do a safety inspection prior to letting the kids go out to play. Be careful where you place your hands and your feet. Be alert.”
It is highly recommended that pet-owners have their dogs vaccinated against rattlesnake bites. That vaccination is available at many local veterinarian offices.
Ramirez also recommends making sure garages and crawl spaces are sealed up tightly.
A rattlesnake is identifiable by its spade-shaped head, elliptical pupils, thick body, and of course, the rattle at the end of the tail.