Snake Control and ID

If you have a rattlesnake in/around your home and wish to have it removed, we are experienced in snake removal, and do provide removal services.  We also provide snake trapping services. Please understand that we are a private business, and not a public entity.  Snake removal is not free.  We recognize the importance of snakes in our local region, and do not kill snakes, but rather release them to identical habitat in a safe place, away from humans. We do not collect or sell snakes, ever.   You may find videos of some releases on our YouTube Channel.   

The photos below are of species found locally.  To see a larger image, simply click on it.  (This photo section is incomplete, and is still under construction.)

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    Speckled Rattlesnake - VENOMOUS! Photo credit © Kevin Angelini
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    Speckled Rattlesnake VENOMOUS! © HDWC
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    Sidewinder - VENOMOUS! Photo credit © Kevin Angelini
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    Mohave "Green" Rattlesnake - VENOMOUS! Photo credit © Kevin Angelini
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    Mohave Green Rattlesnake (Darker phase) VENOMOUS! © HDWC
  • Great Basin Gopher Snake SAFE © HDWC
  • Desert Phase California Kingsnake (Kills and eats rattlesnakes!) SAFE © HDWC
  • Great Basin Gopher Snake SAFE © HDWC
  • Great Basin Gopher Snake -SAFE © HDWC
  • Great Basin Gopher Snake - SAFE © HDWC
  • Red Racer AKA Coachwhip - SAFE © HDWC
  • Coachwhip AKA Red Racer SAFE © HDWC
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    Southern Pacific Rattlesnake - VENOMOUS! © HDWC
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    Southern Pacific Rattlesnake - VENOMOUS! © HDWC
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    Southern Pacific Rattlesnake - VENOMOUS! © HDWC

Living in a desert region, many residents have encounters with snakes. While many species of local snakes cannot harm you, there are others that can be very dangerous to not only people, but pets and livestock.  Snakes are a crucial part of a desert ecosystem, and is part of what we accept when we choose to live here.

Increased human encounters with snakes are primarily caused by three issues.

  1.  People inexperienced with snakes encounter them when hiking, or find them around residences, and think they are fast enough to catch or kill a rattlesnake safely.   Snakes have reflexes that are far quicker than those of humans, and 2/3 of all rattlesnake bites in the United States yearly are directly due to intentional exposure to the snake, whether to catch it or to kill it.   Only 1/3 of bites are purely accidental, (the snake is not seen beforehand.)
  2. Removing predators that prey upon snakes in rural residential settings: This includes not only raptors, but other snakes, such as Kingsnakes, and birds like Roadrunners, which prey on rattlesnakes.  Loss of native habitat for both snake predators, and snakes themselves, leaves them with less areas in which to live.  A marked increase in snake encounters in expanding rural residential areas is the rule, not the exception.
  3. An overabundance of prey in residential areas:  Rodents lead snakes straight into areas they might only be seldom seen. High populations or infestations of rats, mice, ground squirrels, or rabbits is a clear and constant invitation to all snakes. What snake doesn’t want to easily find and catch prey at an ” all-you-can-eat rodent buffet?”  Snakes go where food sources are, and if one is being provided, they’ll eventually find it.  

Unfortunately, snakes suffer due to all of these human-caused issues, and people do as well.  A fear of snakes causes many people to take matters into their own hands, and snakes are often killed-regardless of species.   Failing to control rodents can cause property damage, and has the potential to spread serious illnesses to pets, livestock, and people.   With less snakes, rodent populations have less predators, and is a valid reason for population explosions.  Learning to recognize, and to allowing snakes time to pass through when appropriate, benefits the environment (and humans) in many ways.  

Snakes have evolved to survive in this harsh habitat, and provide a valuable service. Since their main food sources are rodents and/or insects, they do us a great service, and help to keep desert ecosystems in balance.  Snakes use their tongues to “smell,”  They pick up molecules of scent from the air or ground, and then use an organ inside of their mouths to process the odor.  This is why snakes flick their tongues.  They do not have an outer ear, and cannot “hear” you in a traditional sense.   Instead, they sense air and ground vibrations, which they’re sensitive to.   Vision varies from species to species.

Many species of snakes have holes on their faces called pit organs.  Pit organs contain a membrane within them. The membrane detects body heat, and gives the snake the “cue” that it has found something to eat.  Some snakes can sense body heat from up to 3 feet away.  All rattlesnakes (vipers) have pit organs, which assists them greatly during hunting, to find warm-blooded prey when the desert cools at night.  This is when rattlesnakes do most of their hunting.

When living in snake country, it is important to educate yourself, and your children on the basics of snake safety.  Be sure to get your dogs rattlesnake avoidance trained.Training a dog costs pennies when compared to the cost of veterinary treatment, and all but eliminates a chance encounter with a snake, and what is a very painful (and often fatal) experience!

By learning some basic identification techniques, you can alleviate your concerns, or know whether you should call for assistance, should you find a snake on your property.

Help is only a phone call away, should you find a snake in or around your home. 

If you do require assistance, be certain that you know the exact location of the snake, and if outdoors, do not take your eyes off of the snake until help arrives.  If the snake cannot be found after we dispatch someone to travel to your home to remove it, charges still apply, and for snakes outdoors, prepayment is required before we will respond.  It is unfortunate that we’ve had to take this step, but we have been left with the choice of either discontinuing snake removal services all together, or to institute a policy that addresses the (unfortunate)  issues we’ve experienced on several occasions.