Wild snakes keep our rodent population down and are a crucial part of a healthy ecosystem. During summer months watch for snakes on roadways since they sun themselves on hot rocks – or asphalt. Some non-venomous snakes include gopher snakes, striped racers, and grass snakes.
The only poisonous snake in the Santa Monica Mountains is the rattlesnake.
Rattlesnakes are vital to the functioning of our entire ecosystem, so we must learn to co-exist. Remember that the babies are just as poisonous as the adults, but may be more eager to bite. Young snakes are notorious for having a hard time unhinging once they start to bite, thereby pumping in more venom.
Victims should be calm and move as little as possible, preferably being flown or driven to treatment, as exercise circulates the venom rendering the impacts of the venom more serious.
- At home and work, keep screen doors shut so you do not wind up with a surprise visitor.
- In the garden, consider installing metal mesh underground and at fences.
- Do not kill rattlesnakes – they help keep rodent populations down.