Season of the Rattlesnake Den

Most species of rattlesnakes enter underground dens after the first freeze in winter. The pests usually emerge around April, though they might also come out on warmer winter days. A rattlesnake den, or hibernaculum, may contain one snake or a group.

After emerging in spring and summer, rattlesnakes will spend most of their time:

  • Hunting
  • Mating
  • Basking in the sun.
If their den remains undisturbed, these snakes will return to the same location for years.

Rattlesnake Den Locations

As snakes are not capable of digging holes, it is common for rattlesnakes to make dens out of vacant rodent burrows. Snakes typically seek out locations on high hillsides with plenty of sun exposure.

Rattlesnakes can spend the winter under logs and piles of wood or rock as well. It is also possible to find a rattlesnake den under a house. Protected areas under porches or decks provide snakes with shelter and a hunting ground for rats and mice.

What Does a Rattlesnake Den Look Like?

Rattlesnake hibernacula look similar to rodent burrows. Only a small, circular hole in the ground may mark the entrance. The snakes could be close to the surface or deep underground depending on weather conditions.

Control of Rattlesnakes

Rattlesnake den removal can be a difficult and dangerous task, especially for dens that house dozens of snakes. It may seem smart to cover or disrupt the den when the pests leave for the summer so they don't return. However, rattlesnakes are likely to establish a new home nearby that is more difficult to find.

Fencing off the yard may help, but requires a careful hand to execute properly. Removing pests that make holes and burrows on the property can deter snakes as well. It is especially important to remove animals that double as prey, like prairie dogs, mice, and squirrels.

These and other exclusion tactics are safest and most effective when set in place by a professional. Trust the experts at Critter Control for rattlesnake den removal.