When a Snake is in a Residential Area

  • 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 or 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.

If the snake is determined to be poisonous and it is located inside your home or garage, or at the entrance to your home, call the fire department's non-emergency number at 480-312-8911. Be sure to watch the snake's movement, as it cannot be relocated if it cannot be found.

Take steps to help ensure your safety with our desert neighbors

Arizona 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.

For more information, please contact the Scottsdale Fire Department at 480-312-8000.

"A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Maricopa County" is available through the Arizona Game and Fish. Visit for more information.


Although they can be dangerous if provoked, bees are a critically important part of our ecosystem because they pollinate so many of the crops we eat.

Swarming is the process by which a new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees. Swarming is mainly a spring phenomenon, usually within a two- or three-week period depending on the locale, but occasional swarms can happen throughout the producing season.

Africanized bees are characterized by far greater defensiveness than European honey bees. Also, they have been known to pursue a perceived threat for a distance of well over 1640 feet. This aggressively protective behavior has earned them the nickname "killer bees.”

The venom of an Africanized bee is the same as that of a European honey bee, but since the former tends to sting in far greater numbers, the number of deaths from them is naturally greater than from European honey bees. While allergies to the European honey bee may cause death, death and complications from African bee stings are usually not caused from allergies to their venom. People who are stung many times by the African honey bees can exhibit serious side effects such as inflammation of the skin, dizziness, headaches, weakness, edema, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Some cases even progress to affect different body systems by causing increased heart rates, respiratory distress, and even renal failure.

How to escape a killer bee attack

Bee Removal

The City of Scottsdale recommends humane removal of bees which does not result in the destruction of the swarm or hive. Be forewarned that most commercial bee removal services that you call will kill the hive. While that might solve your short-term problem, it could create a long-term problem for our ecosystem.

Last Updated: Apr 22, 2024

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8401 E. Indian School Road Witzeman Public Safety Building Scottsdale, AZ 85251
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