It is rattlesnake season in the State of Colorado and residents needs to begin preparing for their arrival. In Colorado we have many snakes we may share our space with and most are harmless. However, that does not include the prairie rattlesnake. The prairie rattlesnake is one of the few species of snake that is venomous. With it being snake season, it is important to know how to identify these potentially dangerous snakes and what you can do to help reduce your chances of encountering them. Effective Pest Services would like to share how you can prepare for prairie rattlesnakes.
Prairie Rattlesnake Identification; Do They Warn You?
During mid spring and through the fall, rattlesnakes will begin to wander onto people’s property and get very close to their homes. The prairie rattlesnake can also be seen wandering in parks and communities. As there are many other snake species in the state, it is important to know how to identify these venomous snakes. The prairie rattlesnake is a large and heavily bodied snake that can reach lengths up to 50 inches which is over four feet. The prairie rattlesnake has light gray or tan colored undertones with dark brown ring like blotches that are outlined in white. Their dark ringed blotches often lighten in color towards the tail of the snake. They will also have a distinct rattler at the end of their tail which they shake to warn predators to go away. Another unique marking prairie rattlesnakes have is the white stripes that run above and underneath the snake’s eyes and toward the side of their heads. Most venomous snake heads are big with a thin neck. The enlarged head of the snake is their venom glands which is on the side of the head. Their venom gland is why they have a big head and thin neck.
What Do Prairie Rattlesnakes Eat?
The prairie rattlesnake, like most reptiles, will hibernate during the winter and will go under rocks, buildings or underground. As the temperature rises the snake will begin to wake up and begin looking for food. Prairie rattlesnakes are an ambush hunter and are more active at night. They will look for dark shady places during the day to get out of the sun and hide from predators. This is why they often roam towards homes and communities. They can find places to hide and hunt. It is not surprising that rodents invade urban environments for both food and shelter and the prairie rattlesnake’s primary source of food is rodents. However, prairie rattlesnakes will eat other snakes, birds, eggs, and lizards.
How Do You Keep Prairie Rattlesnakes Off Your Property?
To help reduce your chance of encountering these snakes there are a few steps you can take. Avoid using large rocks or expanses in your landscaping. Especially in open sunny areas. Keep grass short and avoid tall weeds or vegetation around your home or on your property. Remove large rocks, boards, and debris on the property. Maintain tight rodent control measures on your property to prevent potential food sources. Seal all crawl spaces and basement entrance points that snakes will use to enter your home.
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Take these needed steps and you can keep you and your family safe from these potentially harmful snakes. If bitten by a prairie rattlesnake, seek medical attention quickly. For quality pest control services, contact Effective Pest Services today.