Local snake experts are warning resident of the Conejo Valley that baby rattlesnakes are everywhere, said a report in the Ventura County Star.
According to the Star, local animal control workers are reporting that baby baby rattlesnakes are overflowing into people's homes as the weather warms up. These babys bite and are considered poisonous, said the report.
"We're having a bumper crop of babies this year," Bo Slyapich, who refers to his snake-catching business as the Rattlesnake Wrangler, told the Star. "Ninety percent of calls in the last few weeks have all been baby rattlers."
Slyapich said that he removed 25 baby rattlesnakes just last week from homes throughout the Conejo Valley, said the report.
One of his calls involved a 2-year-old Calabasas child being bitten on the finger by a baby rattler on the back porch of her home as well as eight baby rattlers under a mobile home in Camarillo, said the Star.
Slyapich said that the current explosion of baby rattles is a domino effect from the ample rainfall from two years ago, he told the Star. The rain produced an abundance of plants and seeds, which increased the rodent population that feeds off them. According to the report, more rodents meant more food for female rattlesnakes last year which produced bigger litters, Slyapich said.
"And we are seeing that," he said. Most rattlesnake litters number four to 10 offspring, but recent litters were in the teens, Slyapich said.
Snake season began in April, and as warmer temperatures draw the cold-blooded reptiles into the sun, encounters with people are inevitable, Fish and Game told the Star.
Most of the calls occur in the afternoon, according to the report, and are from homeowners finding the reptiles in their yards.
Experts warn that homes and garages are appealing places for snakes to cool down after heating their bodies in the morning sun said the Star.
According to the Star, to keep the snakes out, experts suggest:
- Keeping garage and house doors closed at all times.
- Cutting back plants to be only 6 or so inches above ground to make it easy to spot snakes, which like to hide there.
- Removing clutter around doors so they can't hide before sneaking into a house.
- Keeping dogs contained.
- Remove any material piled in garages or around homes, keep hedges clipped and walk the property often.