Summer is around the corner, and with it comes the return of some scaly unwanted visitors to the Lubbock area.

We're talking about snakes. Rattlers. Diamondbacks.

As snakes come out of hibernation after the West Texas winter, the number of sightings of these venomous vipers will only increase, which means that we all need to be aware of the fact that they could be hiding ANYWHERE. In the corner of your patio, in your tool shed, under your car -- there's no limit to the number of hiding spaces a snake can find in or near your home.

According to Everything Lubbock, the time when you are most likely to encounter a snake in West Texas is during the early morning, or evening hours. Dr. Lou Densmore, a Texas Tech University biology professor, told KAMC/KLBK that snakes usually hide during the heat of the day, saying: "When it gets really warm, they won't be out in the middle of the day because they have to keep their body temperature at a comparable temperature to what ours is."

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The most common snakes in our region are the Coachwhip Snake, which is non-poisonous and very fast, which gives a false impression of aggressiveness, and the Western (or Texas) Diamondback, a venomous predator of rodents and small game (i.e. prairie dogs and mice), which generally does not pose a threat to humans.

However, especially with the Diamondback, they can be aggressive and frightened when cornered, so humans are advised to proceed with caution when encountering one or, best bet, call animal control. Don't try this at home:

via GIPHY

The most important thing to do is to be alert when working outside, or in allowing children to play outdoors if you live near a wide open space. Remember, chances are the snake is more afraid of you, than you are of it. And, yes, they can get pretty nasty when they are afraid.

Be safe this summer.

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