A rare “Pool Noodle Alert” issued by the City of Buckeye (Arizona) Fire Department warns homeowners to check the colorful foam pool toys for rattlesnakes before they let their children swim with them.
The alert was prompted by reports of snakes – in one case, a mother rattlesnake and two babies - found hiding inside the popular pool and beach toys. According to a Buckeye resident, a pair of pool noodles were left in the pool area, up against their cinder-block wall, after being used.
“The next time they went to use the pool,” states the report posted at the Buckeye Fire Department's Facebook, “the pool noodles were picked up and brought to the swimming pool. Out popped a rattlesnake. The snake did not attack, but was concerned about the pool noodles as there were a couple of young rattlesnakes who were still inside the pool noodle.” Yeah, you really don't want a “concerned” rattler anywhere near, no matter how much you want to take a dip.
Greyson Getty, a reptile relocator with Rattlesnake Solutions, has found snakes inside pool toys before though the recent noodle incident was the first he's heard about.
"They're dehydrated - they haven't had a meal - and there's a damp pool noodle in a dry desert," explained Getty. "If I was a snake and I was dehydrated, I would go to the pool noodle too."
Now that summer's here and backyard pools are at their most alluring, homeowners really don't need snakes cramping their style. What to do? “The best thing you can do to prevent snakes - is prevent snakes,” states Getty, drawing upon years of experience.
“So prevent their food, prevent their water, and prevent them from even being able to getting in,” he adds. The latter is a cinch: store pool toys on high shelves where snakes can't get to them and, even better, store them in lidded plastic containers. (via WTNH TV News 8 and ABC 15 Arizona)