Higher Amount of Rattlesnake Sightings Expected This Year - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Higher Amount of Rattlesnake Sightings Expected This Year

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The Nevada Department of Wildlife expects this to be a busy year for rattlesnakes because the dry winter and warm temperatures.

Many types of rattlesnakes can be found in every corner of the Silver State.

The Speckled Rattlesnake lives as close as Hawthorne, but others, like the Great Basin Rattlesnake, live here in the Truckee Meadows.

They usually come out during the morning and evening, when it's cooler outside.

"They don't usually like to rattle because that does bring attention to themselves," John Potash, Reptile Specialist said. "The only time they'll actually rattle and attack is when they feel imminently threatened."

Snake bites are rare for people.

They usually happen when someone is trying to catch or kill one.

"In most cases, they want to get away from you as quickly as you want to get away from them," Chris Healy, NDOW Spokesperson said.

Snakes are usually on the lookout for water and food, which could be right in your backyard.

"When people live in those outback areas or on the edge of the desert, it's something you're going to have to deal with," Healy said. 

"If you're gardening, it couldn't hurt to take a stick and move some things around and take a look first, especially if you're butting up against natural lands."

Dogs can also come face-to-face with potentially deadly snakes.

"Generally, when they see a rattlesnake, especially for the first time, are going to be very curious of it and they're going to go right up to it," Potash said. "The majority of bites happen to the face and front of their body because of that."

Keeping dogs on a leash and staying on a trail reduces that threat.

Some organizations also offer classes for dogs, teaching them to avoid snakes.

"They can see them, smell them, hear them, and they don't want any part of them because of that training," Healy said.

You can sign your dog up for a number of these classes throughout the year.

Potash recommends the class at least twice during the dog's life.

Viewers have also reported scorpions starting to show up, hiding under rocks or pieces of wood.

Potash says if you come across one, just scoop it up in a coffee can and release it in the desert.

For more safety information or on how to sign up for dog training go to http://facebook.com/getrattled and http://gspcofreno.com/ for Reno courses. Click on the snake for details.

Another site is http://getrattled.org/. Entry fees are $75 per dog for rattlesnake avoidance training. Check the site for dates and locations or call 775-234-8844.

For Elko residents, a training event will be held June 9th at 5th Street Park from 8am-12pm. It's sponsored by the Elko Veterinary Clinic.

Written by Paul Nelson
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