Rattlers Coming Out of Hiding

You might think it’s too early for prime rattlesnake season but you should watch your step now. Dozens have already been sighted this year and the numbers have spiked in April the last two years.

“We always say that every season is rattlesnake season because of the moderate climate in San Diego County,” said County Animal Services Director Daniel DeSousa. “But when the temperatures start rising in the spring, so do rattlesnake sightings, and calls come in from the coast to the mountains.”

So far, County Animal Services has responded to 82 rattlesnake calls between Jan. 1 and March 31. Those numbers are low compared to the same time frame in 2017 when calls rose to 188. In 2016, the first three months showed 165 calls.


DeSousa can’t account for why the number is low for this year but he can say that April has seen the highest number of rattlesnake calls in 2016 and 2017.

If you see a rattlesnake on your property, County Animal Services recommends keeping an eye on it from a safe distance and giving them a call. Animal control officers will impound the snake and remove it to an area where it doesn’t pose a risk to the public.

If you live in the County’s unincorporated areas or the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego, Santee or Solana Beach, call Animal Services at (619) 236-2341 for help removing rattlesnakes from your residence. Otherwise, call the animal control agency for your city.

Find out how to avoid rattlesnake encounters and what to do if you are bitten in these tips we put together several years ago. You can also visit County Animal Services website for more rattlesnake information.

Tracy DeFore is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact