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LOS ANGELES COUNTY : Officials Issue Warning on Rattlesnake Season

Hikers and residents of hillside or canyon areas are being advised to take precautions because summer and fall are the height of rattlesnake season.

“As long as the weather is warm, the rattlesnakes get more active,” said Bob Ballenger, spokesman for the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control.

The agency has compiled a few suggestions for residents and hikers:

* Eliminate food sources that are likely to attract snakes and clean up piles of grass clippings where mice could live.

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* Reduce places where snakes can seek shelter by clearing shrubs and bushes and sealing any openings in or under structures.

* Build a snake-proof fence using heavy galvanized screening.

* Bury the screening at least three inches below the surface and have the fence at least three feet tall to seal off entry points.

* Wear loose trousers, not shorts, over hiking boots or high-topped shoes.

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* Be able to identify the rattlesnake by its broad, triangular head, narrow neck and rattle on the tail.

“A guy in Palmdale got bitten in the neck when he was going into his attic. That was a little freakish, but things like that happen,” Ballenger said.

“We wanted to remind people to take precautions and to keep an eye out in general,” he said.


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