Rattlesnake expert gives tips to protect yourself from these reptiles

Rattlesnake mating season has officially begun

Rattlesnake expert gives tips to...

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - It's rattlesnake mating season and while that rattle may be romantic if you're a snake, for most it incites fear. Not for Dr. Emily Taylor however,a Biology professor at Cal Poly says a lot of those fears are unfounded. 

"There so many misconceptions about rattlesnakes. I like to tell people everything you've heard about rattlesnakes is a myth," Dr. Taylor says. 

One of those myths is that they want to attack you. "First of all rattlesnakes want nothing to do with you, they're scared of you and when a rattlesnake bites a person, it's always because they feel that their lives are in danger," she explains. 

Now with the weather becoming more temperate, the snakes are being drawn out of hiding and so are humans. But if you're looking to partake in a trail like the one at Poly Canyon, there are ways to protect yourself. 

"If you're out in the wild, walking around and you're looking where you're putting your feet and your hands, the chances of being bitten are really really tiny," Taylor says. 

The warmer temps also attract the snakes in and around people's homes. "They like ground squirrel burrows, they like crawl spaces under houses, and they like junk piles or wood piles. If you can clean up your yard and get rid of those things, then the snakes aren't gonna want to be there," Taylor explains. 

While seeing rattlesnake out in the wild or close to home might be scary for some, Taylor says to enjoy the uncommon experience, telling us "If you're lucky enough to see a rattlesnake, which I would say that you are if you see one - then what you want to do is just give it a wide girth - don't run away screaming, take the time to look at it and and check it out because it's a really unique and special animal."

Professor Taylor says that if you do see an increase in snakes around your home, sprays that they sell at hardware stores don't actually work; people should just call their local fire department and have them handle it.

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