RATTLESNAKES AND YOUR HOME
Watch your step:
Rattlesnakes are superbly cryptic animals. Their colors and patterns allow them to blend with their surroundings so that they often seem to be invisible. When in the desert it is always best to look where you place your feet. A flashlight should always be carried at night, especially on warm nights when rattlesnakes are very active. Around your home, walkways should be kept clear of brush, as rattlesnakes on barren earth or pavement are more visible. Walkways should be brightly lit.
Rattlesnakes are attracted to their vital resources. These include food, water, and a safe place to live. Rodents are not only destructive to your property but are a primary source of food for rattlesnakes. Rodents should be eliminated from around the home. There are effective products available for controlling rodents, such as snap traps and live traps. Sticky traps and poisons are also available, but they are often inhumane and indiscriminate as to their victims.
Because snakes utilize the burrows of other animals, rodent holes should be filled so that a snake does not take up residence. Wood piles or piles of junk are also very attractive to snakes. These should be cleaned up or moved away from the house. Care should be taken when rummaging through them in case you already have a resident!
Walls can be erected to discourage rattlesnakes from enclosed areas. A soild wall four feet high with a four inch lip at the top angling outward will discourage most snakes. The bottom of the wall should be sunk into the ground and have no tunnels under it. Rodents not only provide tunnels for access but also leave their scent. This is quite an attraction for a hungry snake on the move! Tunnels should be filled or covered with quarter inch hardware cloth. Gates should fit snugly against the ground since a one inch opening is an open door to a snake. Keep in mind that there is NO SUCH THING AS A 100% SNAKEPROOF FENCE. An athletic snake may climb virtually any wall, and a very tiny snake can move through the smallest of crevices.
Several products that claim to be snake repellents are on the market. Though fashionably marketed and high priced, there is currently NO SNAKE REPELLENT known to be effective. Be skeptical.