Rattlesnakes spotted in Dauphin County neighborhood

SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. - A venomous snake native to Pennsylvania is spotted in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County. While some people are concerned about the rattlesnake sightings, wildlife officials say it's really nothing to worry about.

“They’re one of three venomous snakes we have in the state," said Lt. Colonel Thomas Burrell, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Assistant Director. "And they are found normally in this area just not in the neighborhood where they were found recently.”

The rattlesnakes likely migrated from Blue Mountain. To make sure they don't take up residence near your home, there are a few things you can do.

“So if you can get rid of mice, bird feeders that are dropping food on the ground to attract chipmunks, squirrels, things like that," said Burrell. "Then the snakes will have no reason to stay there."

Although venomous, if you're bit by a rattlesnake you have a very slim chance of dying. About 8,000 people are bitten by the species each year, about five of those people die. Even though a rattlesnake bite isn't necessarily a death sentence, you should still go to the emergency room.

“Usually they give you anti-venom," said Burrell. "A couple hours in the emergency room and you’ll be fine but you shouldn’t just decide you’ll wait and see what happens.”

For people who live and  are outdoors in the area of Continental Drive and North Progress Avenue where one of the rattlesnakes were found. Sean Light, a dog walker isn't surprised to hear of the snakes since the neighborhood butts up to the mountain.

“I mean more cautious now," said Light. "I mean I’ve heard of them being around, especially when I’m walking dogs you want to look out for them cause that’s not good.”

Rattlesnakes are a protected species which means you can't just kill them when you see one. You can only kill them to protect your life. For any questions about snakes on your property call the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.