CALABASAS (CBSLA.com) — Those rattles you hear are snakes all over the Southland.
It’s also the sound of the cash register for one snake wrangler keeping very busy with all the crawling critters.
Art Barron, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, spent some time Saturday night with Bo Slyapich, in-demand rattlesnake wrangler.
The snakes are usually found in hiking trails. But lately they’re on sidewalks, they’re entering garages, homes, they’re everywhere. Calabasas, Malibu, Agoura Hills.
Slyapich says he’s gettng three times his normal call volume. Its turning out to be a record year. “I got people calling me, ‘Bo, I just went out to get the mail and I got a baby rattlesnake on my front porch.’”
His appointment book is packed.
The hot dry weather is forcing the snakes out of the wild, they’re looking for water. “And we’re getting the big ones now,” says Slyapich, “the 4 and 5-footers. But these babies are biting our dogs, our kids.”
People are taking precautions, like some snake fencing. But it’s not 100% effective.
David Markheim’s two dogs were bitten by a rattler Tuesday. “It was shocking to see that one snuck in.” He had to rush them to the vet. They’re doing okay now. But says Markheim, “Luckily it was just over the eye. And the other one got it in the neck area, and her neck was bigger than almost her head at that point.”
He’s worried about the high number of rattlers in his neighborhood, “You open the front door and you almost want to look right and left before you walk out the door.”
Slyapich says the bite can be painful. And it can also hurt the wallet, too. “Just wait until you get that hospital bill. A rattlesnake bite on a human? That can go from a cost of $100,000 to almost $1 million.”
Barron says you can protest yourself from attack.
Experts recommend two things:
• Keep all doors closed; front doors, garages, back doors
• Cut back growth, this way rattlers can be easily seen.