Friday, April 20, 2007

Snakes are Out

Take care out there.

Sunny days bring out hungry snakes in area
By Cathy Locke - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Friday, April 20, 2007

Folks living in the foothills and urban fringes have discovered they aren't the only ones enjoying sunny days in the yard and garden.

A relatively mild winter and spring have resulted in earlier-than-usual reports of snakes.

Susan Wallior, a resident of the town of El Dorado, west of Placerville, said a guest's 9-month-old Maltese puppy was bitten by a young rattlesnake about five feet from her back door on Easter, resulting in an emergency run to a veterinary clinic. The pup was treated and survived.

Then on Sunday night, Wallior said, her Great Pyrenees found a snake next to her back door. Though the dog wasn't bitten, Wallior said it was the fourth snake found in her yard in recent weeks. In one instance, she said, she and her granddaughter discovered a young snake by a garden path.

"We have lived here a long time and have found the occasional snake, but four snakes in this very short period is very concerning," she said in an e-mail.

Representatives of snake removal firms serving the Sacramento and foothills areas said calls for service began coming in about six weeks earlier than usual this year.

Sunny weather brings out snakes and the people who encounter them, said Mike Meissbach of Humane Rattlesnake Removal Service in Diamond Springs. Meissbach said he has been responding to calls in El Dorado and Placer counties since late March.

Heather Ramirez of Auburn-based Ramirez Rattlesnake Removal, serving several Northern California counties, said people usually start reporting snakes around Easter.