Before you hop to the local pool with your kids and a medley of assorted floaties, you may want to check your pool noodles for snakes. This is not a joke.
Now, if you're currently thinking, "Whatever, that's in the Arizona desert! We don't have to worry about rattlesnakes in Canada," then you are sadly mistaken. They're here too. In fact, there are four different kinds of rattlesnake that are native to the Great White North, and they live in parts of B.C., Saskatchewan, Alberta and southern Ontario.
Yes, they are venomous, but if you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone. Luckily, the Buckeye fire department explained what to do in case one of these long friends come slithering out of your foam noodle. Take a look:
Let us repeat that, stay calm. One thing you definitely don't want to do to check for snakes is smack the pool noodle with a pole. That's a surefire way to make the snake angry. If you suspect a snake may be hiding out in there, you can call the local animal control to come help.
If a snake does make an appearance, don't panic. A snake won't strike unless it feel threatened, so if you stay still or very slowly back away, it'll likely slither away to safety on its own (although you now have to deal with the knowledge that a snake lived in your pool noodle at one point and is currently somewhere in your backyard. Looks like summer is cancelled forever—we're never going outside again).
You can also decrease your chances of encountering a snake by preemptively storing pool noodles up and away from bushes. It makes sense that rattlesnakes—and any other snakes for that matter—would hide out in a long foam tube since it provides the perfectly shaped shelter and would help them feel secure (we're glad they feel secure because now we definitely don't). If you're worried about your kids' safety, keep the noodles inside your pool enclosure to make sure kids can never access the noodles without an adult around. (Your pool is fenced in, right? To avoid accidental drowning, pools that can't be drained should be fenced, with a self-latching gate that should never be propped open.)
Jokes aside, we know snakes can be scary, but like any wild animal, if you treat it with respect and keep a safe distance away, they'll more than likely leave you alone—except squirrels, those creatures are evil incarnate.
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