When it Comes to Snakes - Play it Safe!

  • Published
  • By Edwards AFB Environmental Management
  • 412th Civil Engineer Group

Warmer temperatures mean an increase in encountering our legless friends going about their lives and providing natures pest control services.  Snakes, like most animals, have no desire for human contact and should be treated with respect and given the chance to go about their lives in peace.  However, as the temperatures get hot, we will often see snakes get into buildings or hang out under vehicles and other manmade places to cool off. 

Sometimes they become trapped or end up in locations that are not safe for them or the people around them.  In such cases, it is best to notify a trained professional to remove the animal safely.  Edwards AFB has over 15 species of snakes and of those, only 2 are venomous; however, many species have developed survival tactics that include mimicking venomous species.  Unless you have specialized training, approaching anything that may be venomous is hazardous.  While venomous bites are rare, they do require immediate and aggressive medical care and can cause permanent damage.  If left untreated or if treatment is delayed, a venomous bite can be deadly. 

So, what should you do if you encounter a snake?  Easy, leave it alone, move away, and if necessary for it to be moved, call a professional.  About half of all bites occur when people attempt to capture, harass, or kill a snake.  How can you avoid snakes?  Be cautious when working or recreating in dense brush or piled debris.  Use a stick or long handled tool to move brush, debris, or other materials.  Never put your hands in places you can’t see.  Remove their food source (aka rodents and other pests) by keeping areas clean, free of food, water, and shelter.  Commercial deterrents are not effective. 

If you need to contact a professional to remove a snake contact the following entities:  CE Helpdesk for pest control at (661) 277-3330, Environmental Management at (661) 277-1401 option 3, or if in base housing contact Mayroad Services at (661) 385-6060 option 1.