NewsPinellas County


Neighbors on alert after second rattlesnake spotted in St. Pete's Shore Acres neighborhood

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Posted at 5:21 PM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 19:04:35-05

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — People in one St. Petersburg neighborhood are on high alert after two recent Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake sightings.

The latest was discovered Wednesday night on the side of a home on Tanglewood Drive Northeast in the Shore Acres neighborhood.

As a full-time rat trapper with a company called "Natural Born Killers," not much scares Steven Winger. Yet, he knows rattlesnakes aren’t something to mess with.

“I wouldn’t say scared as much as tactfully aware,” Winger said with a chuckle.

So when he got a call Wednesday night about a rattlesnake in one of his customer's yards, just a block from Shore Acres Elementary School, he immediately snapped a photo and posted it on Facebook to warn the neighbors.

“It was in between two houses and both houses have animals and children. I want people to be aware that they're out there,” he explained.

Winger says the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake was dead when the homeowner discovered it. It's the second rattlesnake found near Shore Acres.

In October, golfers spotted a very large rattlesnake slithering around Mangrove Bay Golf Course — less than a half mile away.

“That’s kinda scary actually!” Shore Acres homeowner Steven Regula said. Regula recently adopted a deaf 12-pound dog.

“I don’t think she would be able to fend off one of those snakes. I’ll walk the other way down the block if I see one of those!”

Florida snakes are most active between April and October, but wildlife experts say the warm and sunny weather may be enticing the reptiles to bask in the sun — even in the middle of a busy neighborhood.

That's concerning for father of two Mazen Erfan.

“Definitely something I wouldn’t want to have around my kids!” he exclaimed.

If you see one, experts say to keep your distance. Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes can strike up to 4 feet, but won’t usually chase people.