Rattlesnakes appearing as mercury rises

By: Susan Belknap Gold country News Service
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KC Fuerstenberger is used to having animals at her house. But the rattlesnake that appeared last week just outside her garage door was not a welcomed guest for the Roseville resident. Even though Fuerstenberger’s home backs up to Dry Creek between Darling Way and Riverside Avenue, she said her neighborhood is densely populated. “I’ve lived here for 15 years and have never seen a rattlesnake on our property,” she said. “I found the snake last Saturday night about 8 p.m. and even though he didn’t seem to be aggressive, I destroyed it. I have chickens and I didn’t want to worry about threats to them.” Fuerstenberger also said she has several grandchildren who often visit and the thought of them finding a rattlesnake was disconcerting. According to Joe Spera, Placer County Animal Control officer II, he already had a few calls from residents who have also found rattlers on their property. “The heat brings them out,” Spera said. “ The season actually began the beginning of last month. We tell people to just leave the snakes alone unless they are blocking an entrance to a home or garage, then we can come get them.” According to Spera, rattlesnakes tend to prefer hiding places such as a cluttered garage or porch. They like warm weather but not too hot. “Rattlesnakes don’t like lush, green lawns,” he said. “They like it dry.” Spera said if homeowners find rattlesnakes in their yard and the snakes are not posing danger to the residents, he recommends calling a snake- removal service. Len Ramirez of Ramirez Rattlesnake Removal is one of Placer County’s business that has been removing snakes since 1985 in all areas of California. “We specialize in removal of poisonous snakes,” Ramirez said. His advice to homeowners is to make sure outdoor areas are inspected prior to children playing outdoors and to vaccinate family dogs against rattlesnakes. “We know of 37 dogs that were killed last year by rattlesnakes,” he said. For Ramirez, removal of the snakes involves relocation, not elimination. “I’ve never killed a snake,” he said. “Snakes help to regulate the rodent population.” Getting Rid of that rattlesnake Who: Ramirez Rattlesnake Removal Where: 2425 Bear Road, Auburn Info: (530) 886-5375 Who: Placer County Animal Control dispatch When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Info: For immediate danger, call (530) 886-5500