Rattlesnakes are an Effective Rodent Control

July 10, 2013

Rattlesnake from Deschutes River.
A local resident from along the Deschutes River.

The rattlesnake populations appear to be increasing in Central Oregon again this year. The main reason for the increase is the higher than normal rodent populations we’ve experienced in recent years. Rodent populations increased because the recent moist springs have resulted in abundant food (grasses, grains, etc) for rodents.

Rattlesnakes are one of our most effective predators for rodents, so we would expect to see their populations increase along with increasing rodent populations. I would also expect to see an increase of other predators like the hawks, owls, coyotes, skunks and other snake species.

It’s important to be aware of the potential danger caused by increasing rattlesnake populations in Central Oregon. You may be seeing more while hiking. Watch yourself and your pets.