Below is a story that I received from a reader, about a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, which was removed from her property. She killed it.
The Western Diamondback is similar to the Eastern Diamondback. It's a bit smaller, on average, the venom is less potent, and this snake has a larger range. It lives in dry areas, most notably the desert areas of the Southeast US.
Hi David, I happened to run across your website and saw the pictures of the poor harmless snakes that were killed by people who didn't know what they were and who sent in the photo's for identification. But here is one case where the snake killed (by me) really was poisonous. But I didn't try to kill it until I saw that it really was a rattlesnake...
God really protected Big Baby Baron today. I leave my bedroom sliding door open to the backyard so he can go in and out as he pleases.
I was on the bed with Baron this afternoon when my sister came in to tell me something. Then she went out to the backyard. Usually Baron follows her but for some reason he didn't. She came back in and told me there was a snake in the yard and to come see if I could tell what kind it was. A few times over the years I have had king snakes in the yard so I wasn't especially concerned. We shut the slider behind us so Baron couldn't get out.
I saw the snake but couldn't tell what it was. I don't mind snakes as long as I know they're not poisonous. I used to have a pet snake. I have a preserved rattlesnake in lucite someone gave my Dad but it is more gray than the snake that was in the yard so I didn't think it was a rattlesnake. Lee Ann brought me out the camera so I could take pictures to try to identify it.
I called 911 to tell them there was a snake in my yard but I didn't know what kind it was. It started crawling towards the hill and my sister and I went closer to it to get a better look because we're nearsighted--it was a RATTLESNAKE--ONE OF MY WORST FEARS : ( !!! I have a terrible phobia of them!!!
I started I started screaming bloody murder to the 911 lady that it was a rattlesnake and to send someone fast!!! I was too freaked out to remember all she said but she told me to get away from the rattlesnake and asked if I could get into my house and close the door and I said yes but I couldn't because I had a dog and he would be in danger if the rattlesnake got onto the hill. It could crawl out again at any time and bite my dog!!!
I remember telling her that besides my dog there were children next door who would also be in danger. She said I had to call animal control but I was too afraid to take my eyes off the snake and remember screaming for her to connect me to them.
All I could think of was that my Baron would be in constant danger if the rattlesnake got onto the hill where it could hide and pop out again at any time. I was screaming that I had to kill the rattlesnake to protect my dog but the lady--at this point I don't know if it was 911 or animal control--said not to try it and to get into the house instead.
There were some concrete blocks in the yard. I grabbed one and threw it onto the rattlesnake. My sister later said she was shocked at my accuracy--she said I threw it about 7 feet. It landed flat on the rattlesnake--but bounced off!!! I didn't know concrete could bounce. The rattlesnake didn't die--it became very angry and started rattling like crazy.
I thought it would be at least be paralyzed but it wasn't--it crawled into the plants at the base of the hill--the last place I wanted it to go : (
I could hear it rattling but could not see it. The little squirrels who live under the stump were making terrified chirping sounds and there was a bird that must have had a nest in the bushes who was frantic because of the rattlesnake.
The animal control lady said the officer could not get over right away because he was on another call in another city and to keep my eye on the area the snake went into. I told my sister to bring me a step ladder to climb on to keep a better look out for the snake plus I didn't want to be on the ground in case it came out. I wanted to just scream and scream I was so scared. I sent my sister to check to make sure Baron hadn't been bitten previously because I did not know how long the rattlesnake had been in the yard and to let the officer in when he arrived.
The rattling finally stopped. The officer finally came and started searching for the rattlesnake. I kept screaming at my sister to stay away from the bushes--that the rattlesnake could strike out at her. I was hysterical with terror. My sister kept her head--unlike me she is excellent in crisis situations.
The officer asked if we were sure it was a rattlesnake and I showed him the pictures on the camera. He said it was a rattlesnake all right. Even just seeing the pictures made me scream and cry.
The officer searched and searched. I was so scared the rattlesnake had crawled away to a place he would not be able to find it.
But then good news--he found it and it was dead. I guess it had finally died from internal injuries from the concrete block I threw onto it. I took pictures of the officer getting it because I wanted to prove to my Mom's Trustee that there really was a horrible rattlesnake in my yard because I am thinking that maybe Baron ought to have rattlesnake bite vaccinations in case another one ever gets in.
This is the concrete block I threw onto the rattlesnake with amazing accuracy.
It really was a miracle that the rattlesnake did not bite my Baron. He had been in and out of the backyard all day. And it is a miracle that my sister went outside right when she did as the rattlesnake had apparently just come out of the plants along the back of the house so she was able to see him in the yard. A few minutes either way and we would not have known of the terrible danger to my Baron or to the children next door. And it was a miracle that I was able to throw that concrete block so accurately and that the animal control officer was actually able to find the body in all those plants so I don't have to be terrified the rattlesnake is still out there.
I feel very bad that I killed something--I hate to hurt or kill anything--but considering that the rattlesnake could have killed my Baron (a Rotweiller was killed by a rattlesnake bite a few years ago on the next street) or one of the darling children next door I am relieved it is dead.
My sister didn't want me to kill it--she wanted to try to catch it first in a plastic tub instead of my throwing the concrete on it but I screamed at her that she would have to get too close to it to try to catch it that way and she could be bitten plus it could escape onto the hill and come back out and kill Baron or the children.
Thank you David : ) Once a small king snake got in my house and I caught it and let it loose in a nature park so I really do like snakes and would never kill one unless it posed a danger like the one in my yard did. I am still traumatized from the rattlesnake. I admire your bravery in catching poisonous snakes--I could never do anything like that!
Many people want to know how to kill a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, but you don't need to. The best way to get rid of Diamondbacks is to simply leave them alone. You can also use a Diamondback trap to catch them - that's one of the best ways for how to remove Diamondback snakes. For more information, go to my Snake Removal - How to Get Rid of Snakes home page.