MURRIETA: Southern California is entering the start of rattlesnake season. This means from April to September residents who live in suburban neighborhoods, canyons and low-lying desert regions need to watch their surroundings.
The four venomous types of snakes in Southern California are the northern Pacific, southern Pacific, western diamondback and the speckled. The southern Pacific is the most venomous in Riverside County according to Animal Friends of the Valley but all the rattlesnakes can cause neurological problems, swelling, tissue damage and blood toxicity.
Park rangers at Santa Rosa Plateau in Murrieta have warned hikers to keep to the middle of trails. Spotted near the edges, hiding in grass are rattlers of all sizes.
Baby rattlers have also been spotted bathing in the sun on the trails. The snakes blend in well with their surroundings. Rangers are urging hikers to watch their step, teach their children about the dangers of snakes and to train their pets.
In Murrieta on March 22, resident Christina Reed contacted Animal Friends of the Valley about a rattlesnake in her neighborhood. The six-foot long Diamondback, found on Desert Willow Street, was injured when AFV officials arrived with blood dripping from its underbelly.
AFV officials thanked Reed on their Facebook page and wrote, "These (snakes) are considered a public safety issue."
Menifee resident Kevin Pearson said he found a baby rattlesnake in his neighborhood and did not think AFV would come out because it was outside.
"Absolutely, we will respond 24/7 for rattle snakes. We simply ask that you keep a safe distance and keep an eye on the snake. Make sure you are within the jurisdiction of AFV as County of Riverside has different protocol," said a representative from AFV.
Animal Friends of the Valleys provides animal control services to the cities of Canyon Lake, Lake Elsinore, Murrieta, Temecula, Wildomar and Menifee.
Address: 33751 Mission Trail Road, Wildomar, California
Phone: 951-674-0618 X 222 or 223