Corn Snakes

Can Corn Snakes Bite? – Level Of Pain & Treatments

Can Corn snakes bite? Yes, Corn snakes can bite, but very rarely, due to their very relaxed temper. Even when frightened, corn snakes early bite. The most common reason for a corn snake bite, is during feeding. Most corn snake bites happen through miss understanding of food. When hungry or during feeding, a corn snake may mistake your smell for prey/food.

A bite from a baby corn snake or hatchling will be pretty painless. Their teeth and bite will most likely not be strong enough to even pierce the skin, so you will just feel some instant pressure where your corn snake latches. A bite from an adult may feel a little stronger, and even had the capability to pierce the skin. However this will feel no more than a pin prick. It may just be enough to draw some blood, but more than likely it will just look like tiny blood blisters.

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Reducing the risk

The best way to reduce the chance of a corn snake bite, is for it to get used to your smell or scent. Once your snake realises that you are not a threat to its safety, nor are you a meal, it will become far more relaxed with your presence. This means that your presence and scent become the norm for them, thus having less of a chance to getting you confused for a threat or food.

You can do this by handling your corn snake for a couple of hours a week, being gentle and handing with care. Some people even like to put an item of clothing near to the snakes enclosure, so the scent quickly becomes more familiar to the snake, as its constantly in its surrounding.

Having the enclosure in a room which you commonly use, so they get used to you walking passband close to the cage, giving off a scent as you pass. These are all great ways to comfort your snake and familiarise your scent with it.

Lastly, not handling your corn snakes a few days prior to its feed. Corn snakes are most likely to bite before and meal, and after a meal. So give them a couple of days either side of eating before handling to reduce the chance of a bite. 

Why do corn snakes bite?

Corn snakes will rarely bite. They are not an aggressive specie of snake, and don’t like confrontation, specially with something bigger than they are. However, corn snakes have been known to bite, and here are some of the main reasons why this may occur.

Frightened or Scared

Although corn snakes don’t like confrontation, this doesn’t mean they won’t when they feel the need to. A scared or frightened snake will always defend itself, so a strike is always possible in a situation like this. Corn snakes need to feel safe with your presence. So before handling your snake, make sure they are used to your scent. Just sitting next to your enclosure for 15 mins whist your snake is active will be enough to familiarise your corn snake with your scent. You are much less likely to be bitten when your snake knows you are no threat to its safety. This will come over time. So let your corn snake adjust in its own time before handling them.

Could be hungry

Another reason could be because they’re hungry. Imagine you get out a pinkie to thaw and defrost before a feed. But whilst you wait for the pinkie to thaw, you want to handle your corn snake for a bit. You have the smell of the pinkie on your skin, which your corn snake will be able to detect. In all honesty, it can probably taste the pinkie thawing in the other room. Their taste and smell scenes are far superior to ours. So when you put your hand in the enclosure to pick your snake up, all they can smell is the food you’ve just handled. Their eyesight is poor, so would be able to tell the difference between a finger and a tiny mouse.

So always be careful when approached your corn snake to handle it. Ask yourself if your corn snake looks stressed or uncomfortable for any reason. Or have you been handling any food recently, which could lead them to believe they’re being fed. Just monitoring their actions will ensure you whether they want to be handled or not. Never force it, as this will just stress your snake out even more, which we don’t want. 

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