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Creepy Critters

April 27, 1998|Jon Steinman

Scientists and county officials are preparing for a flood of sorts--snakes, mosquitoes and bees, among others, by the creepy-crawly truckload. With warmer weather, these creatures emerge with a vengeance. They are, most likely, coming to a neighborhood near you.

Rattler Venom

Rattlesnake venom is potentially lethal. Glendale Park Ranger Bill Lutton, above, holding a gopher snake, warns that young rattlesnakes tend to inject more venom into their prey than adult snakes. "The most important thing to do is remain calm, then try and get a good look at the snake to identify it, then go the hospital," Lutton said. "But remain calm."

Mosquito Mess

Mosquitoes are expected in large numbers throughout the summer in Los Angeles County. "A good thing to do is empty all water from backyard toys, buckets, dishes, anything water collects in," said Robert Saviskas, a county director of the vector control department. "The young mosquitoes begin their lives in as little as an inch of water."

Buzzing Bees

Bees also benefit from the results of a wet winter and the bountiful vegetation that provides food and shelter. Anyone seeing Africanized honeybees, so-called "killer bees," should call 911 or run for cover. "A few bees might make it inside with you," Saviskas said, "but that's better than swatting at 2,000, which only makes them angrier."

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