Rattlesnake season safety information for SWFL

Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. FWC photo by Bradley O’Hanlon

Late August means it’s rattlesnake season in Southwest Florida.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, peak mating season for rattlesnakes starts in late summer and lasts through the fall.

The eastern diamondback rattlesnake are native to Florida. When seen, they are often in longleaf pine savannas. Although, they are also good swimmers and can be found on most of the barrier islands around Florida.

The snake’s rattle acts as a defense mechanism. Shaking the rattle is a warning for others to stay away. Be aware of your surroundings because if you hear the classic rattling sound in the wilderness, keep your distance.

Be mindful of large logs when hiking. These are relatively common places for snakes to hide. If there was a rattlesnake on the opposite underside of the log, it may not know you’re coming, and so the snake’s rattle wouldn’t alert you to where it is.

It’s therefore important to not directly step over the log, instead step on top of the log and then take a larger step forward. This can help prevent potential bites.

Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes are not typically aggressive animals. However, when feeling threatened, they may lunge and strike.

According to the Smithsonian National Zoo, these snakes pack a powerful hemotoxic venom that kills red blood cells and damages tissue.

Click here to learn more about Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes from FWC.

Click here to learn how to avoid getting bitten by snakes from FWC.

Click here to learn how to identify venomous snakes in Florida from the Florida Museum.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.