October may be the traditional spooky month, but many residents are frightened year-round by one of Las Vegas’ common pests: snakes. The good news: snakes in Las Vegas are rarely venomous. Most types commonly seen are completely harmless – but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful. Even if not venomous, wild snakes are likely to bite when they feel threatened. The bite may not kill you, but it’s still not pleasant. The best way to stay safe around wild snakes is to call a trusted pest control company and leave them alone until the experts arrive. Being educated in which snakes are actively dangerous (i.e. venomous) gives you knowledge on which are absolute no-gos and which are safe to be around. Here are the three most common venomous snakes in Las Vegas!
1. Mojave Rattlesnake
The Mojave rattlesnake is a venomous snake so named for its original location: the Mojave desert. These critters never left the desert and are seen regularly around Las Vegas. They have a distinctive green tint, which is why they’re sometimes called ‘green rattlesnakes’. Since they are venomous, it’s important to not get too close. You’ll spot them if you keep your eyes peeled for a green-tinted stout snake. They’re short, about 18 inches on average, and heavy-bodied (thick). If you’re close enough to see their head (which you should not be!), you’ll see it being unusually shovel-shaped. These snakes hang out in hot spots in the desert, such as on top of or under rocks. They’re commonly seen on hikes in Red Rock or Death Valley; while you’re unlikely to spot a venomous Mojave rattlesnake in your backyard, it’s not impossible. They’ll sometimes retreat to grassy areas on really hot days.
2. Desert Sidewinder
Anyone who had the pleasure of seeing a sidewinder (from a distance!) can appreciate their unique method of moving. The desert sidewinder is a venomous snake known to make its home in the Las Vegas desert. They move sideways by shifting their body weight in a unique way. Sidewinders are experts at camouflage; their bodies are small, flat, and light brown with darker brown spots. They’re hard to spot in sandy areas but stand out in grassy patches. Desert sidewinders have unique ‘horns’ above their eyes, but we don’t recommend getting up close and personal. If you suspect you have a sidewinder in the vicinity, step away and call a professional pest control team to safely remove them.
3. Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
The most famous of all Las Vegas venomous snakes is the Western Diamondback. So-named for its distinctive diamond pattern, the diamondback can be found in remote desert locations. They’re a medium brown with dark brown diamonds on their back and face. Diamondbacks have a similar shovel-shaped head to the Mojave rattlesnake, but they’re significantly larger (around 4’ maximum). Their sturdy bodies end with a vicious-looking rattle. If you come across a diamondback, do not engage with it! Trying to throw the snake or spray it with poison (please never do this!) will agitate it. They can move faster than you, so stay safe and stay away!
For more common pest-related pest tips, please contact Dr. Death Pest Control.