Pacific Rattlesnake (Cortalus Oreganus)

Most likely a Western Pacific Rattlesnake  In the wilderness, crossing paths with a rattlesnake can be a very memorable experience. Few sounds stick in the memory quite like the buzz of a rattler.  
Encountering rattlesnakes on trails has its minor complications, but finding one in your home, garage, or yard is an entirely different issue.
All too often, people resort to killing rattlesnakes to get rid of them. Not only does this lead to rodent problems and biodiversity loss, but attempting to kill a rattlesnake puts you at the highest risk of getting bitten. Studies show that the largest group of people who are bitten by rattlesnakes are those who try to engage with or handle them.  
As mesopredators (predators that, in turn, have their own predators), rattlesnakes are an important part of San Diego’s local food webs. Not only do rattlesnakes feed raptors, king snakes, and coyotes, but they also provide us with free, environmentally friendly pest control. That is, if we let them do their thing. Rattlesnakes mostly prey on rodents, which transmit all sorts of diseases like hantavirus and the plague. Without rattlers, we’d have a lot more than just a rodent problem on our hands.  
Thankfully, rattlesnakes do not like being discovered by people. They are sensitive, fearful creatures that only hang around our properties for a good reason. Yes, they can be deadly, but they don’t have to be dangerous. With a little knowledge and preparation, coexisting with these magnificent reptiles is possible.