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Rattlesnake Season in Arizona: Five Ways to Avoid Grim Death

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It's that special time of year in Arizona -- flowers blossoming, the sun's warming up, and as a result, rattlesnakes throughout the state are waking up from their winter naps

That is, the vicious monsters are ready to bite the shit out of anyone they see.

All right, rattlesnakes probably aren't on a mission to bite humans, but to an ophidiophobe, it certainly seems that way.

Last year, there were more than 200 poisonous snake bites reported in Arizona, and the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arizona has some tips to keep the fangs of a poisonous snake from entering your body.

Check out UACP's advice after the jump.

• Leave wild animals alone. Fifty to 70 percent of reptile bites managed by the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center were provoked by the person who was bitten -- that is, someone was trying to kill, capture, or harass the animal.

• Be aware of peak movement times. Reptiles in Arizona are most active in the warmer months of April through October. During the hottest months, they will be most active at night. They may be encountered during the day in spring and fall or during a warm day in winter.

• Watch where you put your hands and feet. Try to keep your hands and feet out of crevices in rocks, wood piles and deep grass. Always carry a flashlight and wear shoes or boots when walking after dark.

• Dead snakes can bite. Never handle a venomous reptile, even after it's dead. Reflex strikes with injected venom can occur for several hours after death.

• Install outdoor lighting for yards, porches, and sidewalks. If you see a venomous reptile in your yard, it is probably just "passing through." However, if you are concerned about a dangerous animal in your yard, seek professional assistance in removing it.

Should you get bitten by a poisonous snake, you don't necessarily have to go shopping for a shiny, new coffin -- UACP has a list of ways to treat a snake bite if you can't immediately get to a hospital.

Click here for more info on treatment.

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