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Out enjoying Arizona's warm weather? Rattlesnakes are too

Out enjoying Arizona's warm weather? Rattlesnakes are too

While the busiest month for rattlesnake bites is almost over, Arizona officials are warning people who are out and about in the warm weather that rattlers are out there, too.

Thirty-nine people in Arizona have been bitten by rattlesnakes this year, the Arizona Game and Fish Department says.

While rattlesnakes are active from March through October, April is typically when most bites are reported. Nineteen of the state’s 39 bites were reported this month.

Arizona is home to 13 species of rattlesnakes — more than any other state — and residents should take precautions, Game and Fish officials say.

Here are some tips to avoid being bitten and some steps to take if you have been bitten:

  • Watch your step around your home, watch where you place your feet and hands as rattlesnakes can blend in with surroundings.
  • Use a flashlight at night.
  • Stay on marked trails. Chances of a rattlesnake encounter increase when people wander from heavily trafficked areas.

Some fire departments here will remove a rattlesnake from your property. If not, there are snake removal services that can be hired.

If bitten, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Do not cut into the bite area or try to suck out venom.

Do not use a tourniquet, put ice on the bite area, apply alcohol or medication, or attempt first aid.

Photo gallery: Southern Arizona photos that will make your skin crawl

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