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Why August is birthing season for mother rattlesnakes

The monsoon storms signal to mother snakes that now is the time to give birth to their babies.

CAVE CREEK, Ariz. — When the monsoon storms roll through – it’s a signal for rattlesnakes to have their babies, making August is peak season for rattlesnake births.

“The moisture itself is something that is a trigger for those mother snakes to say ‘Hey, it’s safe to give birth now,'” said Bryan Hughes, owner of Rattlesnake Solutions.

Rattlesnakes don’t lay eggs. When the time is right, the mom gives birth to her babies which can each be about half a foot long in length.

Sometimes those snake births can happen in people’s homes.

“Sometimes they get flooded out or they find something in a home that is a good emulation of where they would give birth in the wild,” said Hughes.

The company recently removed a family of snakes from a Scottsdale patio earlier this month. It was captured on a video that can be found here.

But don’t panic.

Hughes says it’s rare for a mother snake to have her babies at someone’s home. Out of the thousand snake calls he gets each year, only about a dozen involve snakes born at Valley homes. 

However, if you encounter a family of snakes, leave them alone and call a snake relocation company or group.

The babies can still bite, but is there bite more dangerous than an adult snake?

“The idea that babies are worse is false,” said Hughes. “But it is still an emergency situation, though - you know that it is typically less dangerous than an adult. You still want to go to a hospital.”

Hughes relocates the snakes to an ideal part of the desert where they’re safe and have a better chance at surviving.

“(Snakes are) an important part of the ecosystem and they’re really an iconic part of Arizona’s wildlife. So, we believe they should be preserved,” said Hughes.

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