This winter’s rains have led to a lot of vegetation growth, which attracts rattlesnake prey such as mice and other rodents. Residents should keep
their yard free of debris and keep shrubs trimmed.
Canyon Lake is a special draw to the snakes due to the lake, foliage and abundance of small animals that are food for the snakes. Rattlesnakes are active from spring to fall, but the period of greatest activity is from March to June. Early in the year, rattlesnakes are active during the day but as daytime temperatures increase, they become active later in the evening.
When walking your dog, keep them on a short leash, six-feet or shorter is the law.
Pet owners should discuss the use of the rattlesnake vaccine with their veterinarian. The Animal Friends of the Valleys Clinic has this vaccination for $15.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife offers these other tips for avoiding rattlesnakes:
Stay alert. After a cool night, rattlesnakes will try to warm up by basking in the sun. A startled rattlesnake may not rattle before striking.
Wear sturdy boots and loose-fitting pants. Never go barefoot or wear sandals when walking through brushy, wild areas.
Stick to well-used trails. Avoid tall grass, weeds and heavy underbrush where snakes may hide during warmer parts of the day.
Don’t put your hands or feet where you can’t see.
Never grab “sticks” or “branches” while swimming. Rattlesnakes can swim.
Leash your dog when hiking.
Talk to your veterinarian about canine rattlesnake vaccines and what to do if your pet is bitten.