When a Snake is in a Residential AreaIf you or someone else is bitten by a poisonous snake, call 911 immediately.
- Observe the reptile at a distance (at least 6 feet) and try to identify what type of snake it is. Do not try to kill or capture the snake yourself.
- If you or your pet is not in danger, leave the snake alone and allow it to make its way back into the desert
- If the snake is in your yard, and you are not comfortable waiting for it to return to its normal habitat, the Phoenix (602-550-1090) and Arizona (480-894-1625) Herpetological Associations are volunteer organizations that can relocate the snake.
- If you are in an undeveloped area, such as the desert or a park, leave the animal alone. Restrain your pet until the snake moves on. Warn others in the area.
Take steps to help ensure your safety with our desert neighborsArizona is home to a wide variety of snakes. These animals serve an important and effective role in rodent control. Without such predators, the disease and destruction for which rodents are responsible would increase.
Because many homes are built on or near wild land, and with the number of desert parks available for recreational use, reptile encounters are highly likely.
Help keep snakes away from your home with the following tips:
- Eliminate rodents – a snake’s preferred food source – from around your home.
- Move woodpiles and throw out junk from your yard to remove potential homes for snakes and their prey.
- Erecting a wall will deter snakes from entering your yard. Solid walls 4 feet high with a 4-inch lip angling outward will discourage most snakes. Sink the bottom of the wall into the ground. Fill any tunnels burrowed by rodents.
- Install gates snugly against the ground.
- Keep walkways clear of brush.
- Light pathways around your home.
"A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Maricopa County" is available through the Arizona game and Fish. Visit www.azgfd.gov for more information.