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Snakes?

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Canada
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Snakes?

I'm planning to travel to Palm Springs in January or February this winter. I'm a bit worried because I'm very scared of snakes. I realize that there are snakes in the area and when I go to a preserve, canyon, national park, etc I may see one and I think I will be ok with that. But, I'm wondering if there are many snakes to be found in the more commercialized areas such as golf courses, at the resort hotels in the surrounding areas and in Palm Springs itself. I think it's one thing to be on a hike and see a snake, but it's another to be lounging by the pool and have one surprise you! I hope I'm just being paranoid here. If you could please give me an idea of how common snake sightings are that would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

San Diego
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1. Re: Snakes?

I have never seen a snake anywhere I've visited in the Palm Springs area. I am not sure why you think you are more likely to see one there than near your own home?

Snakes do not particularly like the idea of being on cement near pools so I don't think you have to worry about that at all!!

Anaheim, California
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2. Re: Snakes?

You are being a bit paranoid. Snakes are probably more afraid of humans than humans are of them, and there favorite way to deal with it is to avoid humans. You won't see them in town. Maybe on the edge of the mountains, but in more remote areas.

IF you come across one, most of them are non-poisonous . The best thing to do is remain calm and just slowly back away from them. Quick movements might spook the snake.

Canada
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3. Re: Snakes?

Thank you for your replies. We don't really have snakes where I live so I'm not used to the idea of them being around.

Park City, Utah
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for Utah, Winter Sports
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4. Re: Snakes?

Well, you DO have snakes where you live you just don't see them. It's really not that different in the desert. We spend a great deal of time in Utah's deserts and have around Palm Springs, as well. In 30 years, I've had a half dozen instances of seeing snakes. It would be extremely unusual for you to encounter one.

Around commercial properties, such as the pool, it would be extraordinarily unusual. On a golf course, maybe. When walking or hiking on trails, use a few simple precautions. Make yourself known and don't put your hands or feet into a place you can't see. For example, don't put your hand up on top of a rock you can't see, or step into a rock cave that you can't see, etc.

All in all, don't worry too much about it.

Have fun.

San Diego
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5. Re: Snakes?

Well, there ARE snakes in Alberta but I am guessing they are afraid of people so you don't see them in the cities.

cwf-fcf.org/en/discover-wildlife/resources/o…

Temecula, CA
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6. Re: Snakes?

Most snakes hibernate during the colder winter months. The exception to the rule here in SoCal is rattlesnakes, which are poisonous. Thus, if you see a snake in PS in Jan or Feb, assume its a rattlesnake.

Rattlesnakes are sluggish and slow when its colder. They tend to stay in their dens when its cold.

Rattlesnakes do frequent golf courses, my neighbor was bitten by one here in Temecula when golfing.

Snakes are cold blooded creatures, meaning they take on the temperature of their surroundings versus generating their own heat.

During winter months, in order to elevate their body heat, they will exit their dens and sunbath on rocks, asphalt, concrete, anything that transfers warmth.

If it is a hot day, they will hide under rocks, bushes, cars, etc. to escape overheating their bodies.

The odds of seeing a rattlesnake in commercialized areas of Palm Springs is very very low. Most have been killed by the local businesses. They don't reproduce as quickly as other breeds since they have live births versus eggs.

However, if you go hiking or walking off trail or through the desert - there's common sense rules to obey.

1. Never stick you hand somewhere where you can't see it (under rocks, down holes, in bushes, above your head, etc.).

2. Look before you move. Look where you are walking. Make sure there is sufficient visibility on both sides of the the trail you are walking on. If the trail is obscured by brush on either side, use a stick in front of you to move the bushes or find a path where brush isn't as dense. Rattlesnakes are designed to blend in with their surroundings - so look carefully.

3. Don't depend on your ears to find a rattlesnake. They don't always sound their rattle before striking. But do listen for their sound. Unfortunately, locusts mimic the sound of a rattlesnake, so it can be confusing for the novice hiker to differentiate between the two sounds.

4. If you encounter a snake, your initial instinct is to panic, scream, run, etc. DON'T make any sudden movements. Stop. Once you've regained your thought processes, move very very slowly away from the snake. Sudden movement will agitate them and increase your chances of harm. Its very important to remain as calm as possible.

5. Snakes do not hear - they feel vibrations and since vibrations are 'prey' to them, they will come out and investigate a potential meal. So if you sit and take a break while hiking, keep your eyes open for any curious snakes emerging from their dens.

6. Do not harass them - poke at them, or in anyway annoy them. It won't end well for you.

Here's a couple of Q&As for more info:

www.alongtheway.org/rattlesnakes/faq.html

sdnhm.org/archive/…temp.

The more you know, the less likely you'll get bit and the less you'll be afraid.

haines, alaska
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7. Re: Snakes?

Lots of good advice Meadowlark.......I, too was wondering about just that subject for our upcoming winter trip........

I don't think Traveldar is being paranoid......my son stepped on a rattlesnake in another part of California during a very dry summer, when he went out to turn off the water to the lawn sprinkler........fortunately he was unhurt and said that they seem to come out during the evening hours when it is cooler.......

Wearing good hiking boots and long pants while hiking can make you feel a little more confident......

PS....If you want to hike with absolutely no worries about snakes, come to Alaska.......just watch out for the bears, moose and devil's club !

Cathedral City...
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8. Re: Snakes?

I've lived here 30 years and only seen 2 snakes on the golf course. And I play a lot of golf.

Don't hike, but the friends I do never mention snakes to me.

Just stay to the trails and you will enjoy a beautiful area.

Los Angeles...
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9. Re: Snakes?

Florida is where I've seen LOTS of little snakes and lizards darting around the pool area, but never in Palm Springs.

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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10. Re: Snakes?

Rattlesnakes are like a lot of Canadians.... they hate the cold. They tend to go into their dens in Oct and don't reemerge until April usually.

Here is a good news story from March of this year.

kesq.com/kesq/…index.html