All this nice warm weather has the snakes active, even with the scattered showers. Around the Bryan and College station area is very possible to encounter rattlesnakes. The local area is native habitat for the Western diamondback rattlesnake, the Timer rattlesnake, and the Western Pygmy rattlesnake. In fact, Brazos County is home to seven very venomous snakes.
Seasonality of Rattlesnakes
Rattlesnakes are poikilotherms meaning they are cold-blooded and as such they prefer the hotter times of year. That does not mean you will not encounter a rattlesnake in early spring or even late winter – especially if the weather is warmer. In fact, some areas around our homes may stay warm for most of the winter. The underside of the house, under outbuildings, the interiors of garages and old cars or trailers can hold heat. It is not too uncommon to have rattlesnakes under a home. The crawl space can stay significantly warmer than the outside temperature. With a few warm days, semi-active snakes can emerge and roost on doorsteps or patrol a yard looking for rodents.
Generally, expect snakes to emerge in Texas as early as February. They will stay active through the start of physical winter – the time when the temperature begins to drop and stay down. Usually in fall, they begin to seek out dens or return to their previous den. They prefer the outside temperature to be on average 60°F especially at night. Rattlesnakes mostly hunt at night to avoid predation by hawks and because that is also the time of “day” when rodents are most active too.
Snakes and Their Role
Snakes play a mostly positive role in our environment, though they do not need to be near homes and in yards. Without snakes we would be overrun by rodents. Their diet consists of rats, mice, gophers, ground squirrels, tree squirrels, birds, lizards and other snakes. They may also eat other things such as frogs, small mammals, etc.
Rattle Snakes have a lot of enemies most of which are birds of prey – owls and hawks. Larger mammals such as coyote and fox may also kill and consume rattlesnakes. One of the more surprising predators of rattlesnakes are wild turkeys. For this reason, rattlers are mostly active at night and spend their day basking.
Rattlesnakes are generally shy creatures, but they will and do strike and bite. They have a rattle to warn you and most bites occur due to chance encounters – accidently stepping on a snake or because of failure to heed their rattle-warning and provoking the snake.
What to Do About Rattlesnakes Around your Yard?
First, just leave the snake alone. They will leave rather than face you. You should also give our team a call. We have all of the tools needed to safely remove a snake, even from under your house. Rattlesnakes have a large territory and we will relocate them away from habitations so that they can continue to provide a benefit. We provide detailed, efficient, and honest pest control for the Bryan and College Station communities.