By LYNETTE HAALAND, MADISON PHARIS , Four Points News
With the warm weather this spring, snake sightings are frequent in the Four Points area including venomous types such as the rattlesnake and non-venomous ones, like the rat snake.
Steiner Ranch resident Carl Schuler and his dog encountered a rattlesnake recently, the first time in their two years of hiking on the Serrulata trail. Despite becoming separated by the snake, both him and his dog were able to reunite unharmed.
Another local hiker, Kirsten Saharek, states that she also encountered one during a dog walk recently.
Matthew Gregg said that snake catcher Rodney Reid helped protect his daughter and puppy when he captured a rattlesnake from his River Place yard a couple of days ago.
Terri Obermiller of Long Canyon posted on Nextdoor that they killed a sizable, 3-foot rattlesnake in their backyard last month “after coming within inches of stepping on it. It had just eaten a baby rabbit. This is the fourth rattlesnake we’ve killed in our backyard in four years. Please keep an eye out for them!”
Rat snakes are out too. Some describe them as helpful and harmless.
Last week, Ricky Biediger of Steiner happened upon at rat snake when he went out to use his grill.
“It was in my grill sitting next to propane tank. I opened the cabinet where the propane tank lives to turn it on. When I opened the door it was sitting there,” Biediger said.
His back deck is approximately six feet off the ground and next to trees. That’s how the snake climbed up to the deck and got to the grill. A little while later, he spotted it slithering back down the tree.
“Harmless but very aggressive,” is how Debbie Parmelee, of Steiner, describes the rat snake that she says was in her yard for hours. She had Reid relocate.
“I couldn’t get out my back door – it was circling an area of my patio and yard for four hours. Rodney said it weighed at least eight pounds,” Parmelee said.
Reid, who is also a local resident, said it’s important to remember that snakes move from dusk to dawn. “Always be looking where you’re stepping if you’re out and about during this time,” he said.
Some tips for keeping snakes away from property include:
- Eliminating debris that snakes may hide under such as wood or rock piles,
- Cut down heavy brush or trim back hedges,
- Use dark-colored mulch in gardens to spot snakes easier,
- Seal small gaps beneath doors or decks leading into the home or garage, especially corner of doors where they meet the floor.