What to Do If You Lose Your Pet Snake
Step 1: Don't panic.
What to Do If You Lose Your Pet Snake
If you're reading this, the odds are good that you fall into one of two categories. Either you clicked on this page because you were wondering how on Earth someone loses a pet snake, or you just lost yours.
It's funny until it happens to you, especially if the snake is your kid's pet and you're not a fan of reptiles in the first place. I know because it happened to me.
Either way, there's hope. Most lost snakes do turn up, and there are a few ways of increasing your odds of recovering your sneaky serpent. Before you or the neighbors have a heart attack.
Step 1: Don't Panic
First of all, don't panic, and don't feel bad. There's a saying among veteran reptile keepers: There are three types of snake owners. Those who have already lost a snake, those who will lose a snake, and liars.
When your body type is "rope," escaping enclosures is pretty easy. Snakes can squeeze through shockingly tiny spaces. Often, they get out by pushing through the spaces left for lighting and heat probe cords. If the lid or door of the enclosure isn't latched securely, they're likely to push their way out.
Snakes are also very quiet pets, so it's not impossible to take it out, set it down for a second, and then forget. Not that I would know or anything. Except, oh wait, I do. I was holding Rainbow, my jet black IMG boa constrictor, when the doorbell rang.
I didn't want to terrify the Amazon Fresh driver, so I set the snake down on a chair and answered the door. Carried in the groceries and got a phone call. As I put the sparkling water in the fridge, I thought, "I should make sure all the pets have water. Wait ... all the pets. Rainbow. Oh no."
It was 100 percent my fault, but it just goes to show that even an experienced reptile keeper can make a mistake now and again. Even if you do everything right, it's possible for your pet snake to escape.
If (when) it happens to you, don't start frantically yanking every drawer and cabinet open. That's an easy way to accidentally squish your snake.
Just stay calm and start planning your snake search.
Secure Every Exit to Avoid Losing Your Pet Snake for Good
Snakes can live for months without food, and that's a great thing if one is lost in the house. People have given up searching for their pet snake only for it to reappear weeks later, looking perfectly healthy. If they somehow get outside, however, you're out of luck.
Make sure every window and door is shut securely so that they can't make it into a garage, basement or yard.
Give Your Cold-Blooded Creature a Helping Hand
While snakes can live for ages without food, water is a different story. Put a bowl of water in each room so it's easy for them to find regardless of where they're hiding.
If they escaped from their enclosure, leave the door open. Many snakes return to their enclosure in search of heat, although this doesn't work as well if the ambient room temperature is already very warm.
If you have an idea of where your snake might be hiding, you can also place a hide box with a heat mat under it near your snake's hiding spot.
Think Like a Snake
Snakes aren't complex creatures. They like heat, darkness, food, and that's about it. When you're looking for a snake, try to think like one. Where would you go?
Most snakes travel along walls rather than out in the open. Is there a cupboard at floor level they could squeeze into? A dark, cozy spot behind the fridge?
Starting from the last place you saw your pet snake, methodically look in e
Leave no stone unturned, because that might be the stone your snake happened to hide under.
Search for Your Pet Snake After Dark
Most species of snakes are nocturnal. They're most likely to come out of hiding at night to search for food and water.
Wait until the sun has been down for a couple of hours before flipping on the lights in each room your snake might be in. That way, they won't have time to wriggle back into hiding before they hear you coming.
Use Household Items to Track the Snake
If you don't find your snake in the first day or two, consider designing a snake "trap." Placing plastic bags around doorways and in the cracks between furniture and walls is the least messy option. If the snake decides to move to a new spot, the sound of the bags crinkling will lead you to their location.
Another, messier option is leaving lines of flour in a similar manner. If they cross the line, they'll leave a trail of flour indicating which direction they moved.
If you have kids or other pets at home, however, stick with plastic bags. Otherwise, you'll just end up with flour footprints all over the house and still no snake.
Wait It Out
Not knowing if your pet snake is safe is the worst feeling, but take heart. Most lost snakes are found, but it doesn't always happen overnight.
Make sure that everyone in the house knows to tread carefully and keep their eyes peeled, and give it time. For more tips on finding your lost snake, watch the video below.
See? Even the pros lose snakes now and again, and the comment section is full of snake-finding success stories.