Snake-season safety

Simple tips to help avoid dangerous snakebites

More than 800 rattlesnake bites are reported annually nationwide, most of them when warm weather makes the serpents more active and drives humans outdoors. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife offers the following tips to avoid getting bitten:

Identification: California’s six rattlesnake species are heavy-bodied, blunt-tailed and have triangular heads. Not all have rattles—they may be lost or undeveloped.

Do: Wear hiking boots and loose-fitting pants, avoid tall grass and underbrush, and step on (not over) rocks and logs.

Do not: Disturb snakes, go barefoot or wear sandals in the wild, or reach into hidden spaces.