Just a quick reminder, the West Texas winter has been very unusually warm. The warmer daytime temperatures mean that those slithery critters we call rattlesnakes have been more active than normal, and want to sun.

So, here are some facts I learned over the years attending and participating in the "Sweetwater Jaycee's Rattlesnake Roundup" which coincidently is coming up in Sweetwater in March.

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What I learned at the roundup is that, like most wild animals, rattlesnakes fear humans, as much as we fear them, and they do everything they can to avoid us. However, if you surprise a rattlesnake most of the time (but not always) they will hiss and rattle to alert you of their presence.

Rattlesnakes Are Deaf But Can Sense a 1/10th Degree Temperature Change In The Air

So, If you encounter a rattlesnake, very cautiously move away and give them their space, and let everyone know of the snake's presence. Rattlesnakes are deaf but they can see, smell, and can sense the slightest temperature change. The snake cannot hear you screaming but it will feel you jumping up and down and stomping around and will feel threatened.

Photo by: Sweetwater Jaycees/Karen Hunt
Photo by: Sweetwater Jaycees/Karen Hunt

Mr. Rattler would rather live in the hot-dry desert, however, they've come to the city to find their favorite food, rodents, mice, rats, small rabbits, gophers, and more. These pests can be found around our homes, in our garages, sheds, barns any place the tasty rodents can hide.

So, as the weather warms up and you start working around any of the above-mentioned places, be careful. Find a way to keep rodents away from where you live and/or work. Make it a place that's not inviting to snakes and vaccinate (for rattlesnakes) your pets.

Scientists say that rattlesnakes are the newest and most evolved snakes in the world, and the rattle is a highly evolved and sophisticated warning system and a snake can range from one to eight feet long and according to <a href="https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/rattlesnake" target="_blank">San Diego Zoo scientists</a>.
Photo by: Sweetwater Jaycees/Karen Hunt
Photo by: Sweetwater Jaycees/Karen Hunt

To cut down on the places snakes like to hide in. First clean up any brush, wood, and/or piles of junk lying around. Second, cut down on the rodent population by setting out traps and don't leave your pet's food outside. Third, bird water supply and feeders are the main items that draw rodents into yards, which attracts snakes.

You can learn a lot more on what to watch for, how to protect yourself, your family, and your pets from the Sweetwater Jaycees and their Annual Rattlesnake Round-Up coming in March this year.

LOOK: Photos From Past Roundups

WATCH OUT: These are the deadliest animals in the world

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