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Hot weather brings out rattlesnakes across San Diego

"We had seven calls Sunday, five on Saturday. Today, I'm sure we'll have many," said snake wrangler Bruce Ireland.

SAN DIEGO — Parts of San Diego County are under an excessive heat warning, with a separate rattlesnake warning.

Bruce Ireland with ‘San Diego Snake Wranglers’ said last week's rain forced snakes out of their burrows. He's captured several rattlesnakes this week and expects the next few days to be even busier.

"We had seven calls Sunday, five on Saturday. Today, I'm sure we'll have many," said Ireland.

Nine of the 12 calls he responded to this past weekend involved rattlesnakes.

"They're cold-blooded, as you know. They come out to warm up in the morning. Then, when it gets super hot like this, they look for shade, they go down animal burrows, they hide under whatever they can find, including going into homes, and then at five, when that sun starts to come down, they come back out and start hunting again," said Ireland.

While summer marks snake season here in San Diego, Ireland says more will be coming out this week due to the scorching temperatures and the recent rain from tropical storm Hilary.

"We got rain that came, which spawns everything to grow and flourish. I also think the rain pushed snakes out of their burrows because they flooded, bringing them to the surface. So, the day after the storm, we had a lot of calls, and now that the sun is out and it's warm, our afternoons have been hectic," said Ireland. 

Ireland posts about his work on his Instagram page ‘Wrangler Bruce,’ where he has 145,000 followers.

He mostly sticks to North County but says snakes can be found anywhere along our coast.

And not just rattlesnakes.

This weather brings out all types.

On Saturday, Ireland captured a gopher snake near Tamarack Beach in Carlsbad.

Ireland says if you encounter a snake, particularly a rattlesnake, give it space so it doesn't feel threatened.

“I think snakes have a bad reputation they don't necessarily deserve.  They're not evil.  They're not out to get us, they're not going to chase you, they're not going to jump, they wanna be left alone, so usually if you give them space, they're going to reciprocate and give you space,” said Ireland.  

If it's in or around your home, call a professional.

And if you are bitten, seek medical attention immediately by going to a hospital you know has anti-venom.

“In California, the only snakes that we have that we truly have to be worried about as humans or our pets are rattlesnakes. All the other snakes are homeless and not venomous,” said Ireland. 

Ireland releases the snakes he captures back into the wild.

His services are donation-based.

Click here
to contact Ireland through Instagram. 

WATCH RELATED: Rattlesnake sightings on the rise in San Diego County

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