Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this



By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

April 9, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--We’ve all encountered them at one time or another, and never a pleasant experience “snakes!” (and I’m not referring to some of those ‘special’ people in your life).  “Though snake season usually doesn’t start until mid-March and really picks up steam between April and May, there have been an alarmingly high increase in snake sightings says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.”

If you live, hike or visit areas where snakes are, there’s nothing anyone can do to completely keep the slithery creatures away. But residents can take precautions. Yard debris, wood piles, gaps under homes, wooden decks and cement patios can attract snakes. Basically anything that attracts rodents will attract snakes. Even water sources, especially now as California is in a drought. Preventive tips include trimming shrubs, fill any ground gaps or holes, remove nearby wood or brush piles, etc. If you have outdoor water sources, like a pond or even a pool, be mindful, snakes need water too.”

It’s best to keep bushes and shrubs six inches or less off the ground. This will make the snake feel less secure when trying to hide. “As a general rule, if you can’t see where your hands and feet are, there is the potential to be bitten.”   If you are bitten, stay calm and dial 911. Lie down and keep the affected limb lower than the heart.

While it is important to be on the lookout for rattlesnakes, there are a number of local non-venomous snakes that mimic rattlers, but are completely harmless.  If you do come across a snake, do not antagonize the snake and call someone who is knowledgeable. Otherwise, leave the snake alone; they generally will leave the area on their own accord.

For additional snake safety information visit:

Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Note: The information in this article was compiled from various sources. These suggestions are not a complete list of every preventative or loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace additional safety manuals or the advice of another qualified professional(s). We make no guarantee of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.

Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.