Every summer, we’re put on alert about some seasonal danger lurking in the water, our yards, or in the general atmosphere. Now, depending on where you live, there is another one to be on the lookout for when you go outside: snakes.
This isn’t a general warning about snakes catching up with you when you’re mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, or digging through your garage to unearth last year’s slip-n-slide. This isn’t a warning about them being on planes either. Nope.
Read this in Samuel L. Jackson’s voice: snakes are in ___ pool noodles. Last week, an Arizona fire department issued an alert through Facebook about one family’s unfortunate discovery, sharing that the pool noodles were left leaning against a wall, were grabbed and walked to the pool, and a rattlesnake fell out.
It didn’t hurt anyone, but guess what else? There were also little rattlesnake babies found inside of it. The city of Buckeye’s fire department also wrote that incidents like this aren’t unheard of:
“After some research, we found that there have been reports of snakes (NOT RATTLESNAKES-they do not lay eggs) actually laying their eggs inside the pool noodle itself or around pool noodles that have been left outdoors near bushes or block fences.”
Think about that for a minute and all the ways we horse around with pool noodles. Pool noodle saber fights, pool noodle telescopes, and pool noodle sprinklers will all have to pass rigorous safety standards beforehand.
The department also advised the public about how to handle a snake encounter. Step one? Stay calm. Since snakes operate off of vibrations, don’t send it into a panic with your movements. They wrote:
“If you’ve seen the snake before you came across it, give it a lot of space. You can easily walk around it without frightening it. Just keep in mind that rattlesnakes can coil up and strike at great lengths, so give it as much space as possible.
If the first indication of a rattlesnake’s presence is the sound of its rattle, you’ve already startled it. Instead of running, stay still. Chances are, the snake will stop rattling and slither off after it has calmed down. Humans are much bigger than snakes, so they don’t see any benefit in biting if it doesn’t need to protect itself.”
In hotter temperatures, snakes try to find cool places to hang out, and damp pool noodles make an ideal spot. Summer means they want to seek shade during the day, so count on them hiding in places where you may not think to look.
Rattlesnakes are one of the few types to give birth to live young, but 70% of snakes lay eggs. If there are areas in your yard that provide shade, coolness, or water, be on watch for snakes and their babies. That includes under decks, leafy brush, and of course, pools.
Did this story surprise you? Can you relate to finding critters hiding in your pool noodles? Have you ever encountered a snake in your pool or back yard?