How to avoid snakes now that rattlesnake season has arrived in California

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's spring and that means snakes are warming up and coming out.

Most snakes are harmless, but you might want to keep an eye out for rattlesnakes, which can be found across much of the state.

CDFW's Keep Me Wild program coordinator Lesa Johnston says "Like most wild animals, snakes prefer to keep to themselves and are not naturally aggressive. Taking the time to learn about safety precautions before going outdoors can make all the difference."

In case you thought Rattlesnakes were just in the desert, sorry! They aren't confined to rural areas.

RELATED: What to do if a rattlesnake bites you

They are widespread in California and have been found in cities, on riverbanks, parks and even golf courses.

Rattlesnakes adjust their behavior to the weather and tend to be more active at dawn, dusk or night.

They aren't usually aggressive, but they can be provoked if they feel threatened.

The chances of being bitten are small, but it does happen.

According to the CDFW, most bites occur when someone accidentally steps on or brushes up against a rattlesnake while walking or climbing.

Here's some tips from the CDFW on what you can do to reduce the likelihood of an encounter with a rattlesnake:

  • Be alert.

  • Wear sturdy boots and loose-fitting long pants.

  • When hiking, stick to well-used trails.

  • Do not step or put your hands where you cannot see.

  • Never grab "sticks" or "branches" while swimming in lakes and rivers.

  • Never hike alone.

  • Do not handle a freshly killed snake, it can still inject venom.

  • Leash your dog when hiking in snake country.
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