Perhaps you’ve found yourself in this scenario: you’re doing a bit of gardening, or maybe you’ve relaxed to your favorite chair in the backyard and suddenly, you see the ground move ever so slightly. You shake it off as your imagination, but it happens again. Maybe you feel brave enough to move a little closer to see if your eyes are deceiving you. As you begin to move closer, the ground shifts again, and you begin to make out a form: a snake! You beat a hasty retreat to safety, shaken, but intact. If you’re lucky, what you’ve just seen is one of a number of non-venomous reptiles living in Nevada. The situation is a bit more serious if you’ve encountered one of the six species of “nope ropes” or rattlesnakes that make Nevada their home.
Generally identified by a wide triangular head and their rattling tails, an encounter with a rattlesnake can be frightening, and in the worst case, deadly. In southern Nevada, the most notorious of rattlesnakes is the Mojave Green rattlesnake. While rattlesnakes are dangerous, they are also important to the health of Nevada’s ecosystem and they are effective predators. It’s always best to give them wide berth to return the desert where they belong. Some snakes seem reluctant to do that, preferring to take up residence in sheds, garages, backyards, etc.
Still, most of us would prefer not cohabitate with poisonous snakes, and that’s where Tim Agnello comes in! He operates Tim’s Rattlesnake Removal and Relocation Service, a courtesy (read: free) animal rescue service for those who find themselves sharing space with rattlers. A quick call to Tim at (209) 938-7220 (put this number in your phone NOW!!!) and he will show up at your location, secure the critter in question, and take it back to the desert and release it safely. It’s a win-win for all parties involved!
He also does property assessments where he can tell you where snakes are likely accessing your property and why. He tells us snakes look for several things for a suitable habitat: shade or cover, rock areas, with access to water and food supply. Now that temperatures are warming up, snakes will be more prevalent around us and more active in seeking out comfortable places to hang out. They enjoy hiding to avoid detection from predators like humans, which is often why our encounters with them are unpleasant. No one likes to be surprised by a snake, and frankly, they don’t appreciate being surprised either. Snakes seek cool grass and landscaping in the summer where they can find shade and water. Sheds and other outbuildings are also favorite hideaways. To discourage snakes from taking up residence nearby, clear your yard of piles of wood or rocks, overgrown landscape, ponds of water, etc. Also, properties with rodents may find that snakes consider this an all-you-can-eat buffet that’s open for business.
For those who live in newly developed areas or areas with direct access to open desert, property owners may want to consider rattlesnake fencing. This is tightly woven, chicken wire like fencing that is erected as a barrier to snakes. Fencing should be embedded in the ground to prevent burrowing under and should reach at least 3 feet in height to prevent the snakes from penetrating the perimeter of your property. Snakes are wily and will look for gaps and burrows in the fencing so be sure to inspect it regularly and make repairs as necessary.
Tim is a lover of wildlife and has a special appreciation for snakes in general. When removing a snake from a yard, he is conscientious about relocating it to a suitable habitat where the snake can thrive away from human populations. Areas with washes where snakes can find water are some of the best areas for snake relocations. He realizes the importance of rattlesnakes to the local ecosystem and gives them a chance to be reintroduced to their natural environment.
To discover more about local snakes and how to protect yourself, loved ones, and pets, the Nevada Division of Wildlife maintains an information page HERE that contains a lot of helpful information for coexisting with these creatures safely. When you have a snake on your property, play it safe and smart, and give Tim a call. He doesn’t charge for his services, but a donation for gas money, relocations, etc is appreciated. Tim is dedicated to the safety of people and animals. He can be trusted to put the snakes in the best position to survive, while also creating safe areas for humans and house pets.
We are thankful for people like Tim who step up to meet a critical need our community. You can find his Facebook page HERE. You can contact him via Facebook Messenger to make arrangements to have Tim visit your property to assess its snake friendliness and offer suggestions about removing attractive hazards where they might want to take up residence. For immediate help in relocating a rattlesnake, please call him at (209) 938-7220. We hope everyone stays safe out there now that the weather is warming up and we spend more time outdoors, sharing our community with the area’s original inhabitants.