WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - A Texas Game Warden told News Channel 6 on Tuesday he has seen a rise in rattlesnake sightings near homes this past month.
One of those sightings took place at Sandy Molock's home on Tanglewood. Her gardener was mowing her lawn when he scared a four-foot rattlesnake into a fence.
"When he told me we have a snake back here, I kind of panicked," Molock said. "I'm scared of snakes."
Molock's gardener killed the rattlesnake with her husband's shotgun.
"I'm glad we killed it," she said.
It's the third time she has encountered a rattlesnake. The other two times, her dog, Sarah, was bitten twice.
Texas Game Warden, Eddie Hood, says these poisonous snakes are showing up more and more on our doorsteps.
"You may have noticed around Wichita Falls more and more areas being cleared off," Hood said.
He said development of new homes and businesses is pushing the rattlesnakes out of their natural habitat. Hood says there has also been a decrease in rabbits and rodents the reptiles prey on.
"Now, they're possibly getting into houses looking for food and stuff," Hood said.
He advised anyone who encounters a rattlesnake or hears one to freeze, look around try to identify where that snake is, make sure there are not any others around and then slowly back up."
Hood said to be alert if they coil up and raise their head that is when rattlesnakes are ready to strike. He also said garages, underneath porches and sheds, are where they go for shade so be careful when entering them or walking by them.
Molock said she has become accustomed to not going outside but when she does she watches her every step.