Rattlesnake Facts

How many bites a year?

More than 200 rattlesnake bites are reported to Arizona poison centers annually. Not all of those who are bitten seek care. Experts estimate 250-350 bites in Arizona each year.

What are the effects?

The effects of a snake bite can include internal bleeding, severe breathing difficulties and permanent tissue and nerve damage.

Do people die?

Though death is a rare outcome of a rattlesnake bite, records show that between one and ten Americans die each year as a result of being bitten, and Arizona has the highest per-capita death rate from snake bites.

What about treatment?

Medical care is the only effective treatment for rattlesnake envenomation and usually includes treatment with antivenin. So-called “first aid” such as using tourniquets, snake bite kits, and suction to remove venom from the strike site are not effective and can cause more damage.

What are the costs?

Treatment costs for snakebite are often in the mid-six figures.

UofA Health Sciences 

VIDEO COMPLIMENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA POISON AND DRUG INFORMATION CENTER

Video and/or written content used with permission of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center. Such permission does not represent an endorsement of any product or service. Visit their site HERE

  • Scientists have identified 36 species of rattlesnake worldwide.
  • 13 species live around and among us in Arizona.
  • The Mojave and the Tiger are particularly dangerous.
  • The Western Diamondback is the largest in the state and is responsible for more bites and deaths than any other.
  • Additionally, four of Arizona’s other species are protected.

Source

Frequently Asked Questions

Fence installers work in habitat right alongside rattlesnakes and scorpions. Much of the work is performed while kneeling. None of our staff want to be snakebit or stung anymore than you do. We are all highly trained and take all necessary safety precautions.
Please don’t try this at home.

Most anywhere that they feel safe and have a shot at a passing meal, a drink or shelter from the elements and predators.

About half their length is the accepted rule of thumb.

Like your yard, a wash is just more habitat. Rabbits, squirrels and rodents in general like it there too and rattlesnakes aren’t far behind.

They have about the same venom that an adult has, just less of it.

That’s camera or perspective trickery and sometimes just plain photo-shopped imagery. Arizona’s rattlers average between three and four feet with some around five. Many adults are about as big around as a man’s forearm.

Yes, up to a few hours after the snake’s death – even if decapitated.

No and there is a lot of discussion within the scientific and layman communities on that point.

No. Take a couple of steps and you are probably out of range. They don’t see things like we do. If they seem to be coming towards you, its because you are between them and where they want to go – like a bush or somewhere that they think they can hide.

Yes, but it isn’t common.

In Arizona, they are quite active from February through November and less active in our cooler, moderate winter months. Expect them most anytime, anywhere and year-round.