A family planning on spending a leisurely hot day in their swimming pool encountered a surprise before ever hitting the water.
When the family in Buckeye, Ariz., grabbed their pool noodles, an adult rattlesnake popped out of one of the recreational floatation devices, according to City of Buckeye Fire Department.
"The snake did not attack, but was concerned about the pool noodles," the fire department posted on its Facebook page, "as there were a couple of young rattlesnakes who were still inside."
The noodles that the snakes had turned into their home were "left outside against a cinder block wall," abc15.com reported.
A man who works for a company that specializes in rattlesnake removal offered a theory as to why the snakes took up residence in the noodles.
"It's ungodly hot out and snakes are just looking for somewhere to hide," Greyson Getty said, according to fox19.com. "They're dehydrated, they haven't had a meal and there's a damp pool noodle in a dry desert. If I was a snake and I was dehydrated, I would go to the pool noodle too."
The fire department warned against panicking when coming into contact with rattlesnakes, because they "rely on vibrations in the ground to determine where you are. If you start moving fast and abruptly, you’ll only scare the snake more," which could lead to an attack.
Encounters with rattlesnakes are an issue on both sides of the U.S., among other areas. Residents of the Carolinas need to be aware of what to do should they come in contact with a snake, and certainly if they are bitten by one. Based on early statistics, this could be a record year for reported snake bites in South Carolina.
Through last week, the Palmetto Poison Center in Columbia had fielded 73 calls reporting snake bites across the state, according to Jill Michels, managing director.
"We're on track to have another 200," Michels said about 2018, after the poison center received at least 200 calls in each of the past two years, well above the average of 150.
For those who do encounter a snake, the fire department has two words of advice which will be hard for many to heed, but could prevent a bite — stay calm.
"Humans are much bigger than snakes, so they don’t see any benefit in biting if it doesn’t need to protect itself. They’ll more than likely slither away to safety on their own," the fire department wrote in its Facebook post.
In North Carolina, there are 37 species of snakes, but only six of them are venomous. A good way to identify venomous snakes is by the shape of their head -- most of them have a triangular or diamond-shaped head.