Do Ball Pythons Bite? – What You Should Do Next

Many ball pythons are often very docile snakes, but do ball pythons bite you?

Although ball pythons can get quite big in size, they are of little threat to a humans. Like all snakes, a bite every once in a while isn’t unheard of. However, usually a ball python will only ever attack its prey, or what they see as food. Ball python bites are generally not that serious and usually quite painless, on the scale of snake bites.

Ball pythons do however have very sharp teeth, but they seriously lack in jaw strength. Bites will typically feel like a series of pin pricks, which will feel like a scratch. The shock of a bite will be what causes your heart rate to raise. Once a ball python bites you and realises you’re not food, it will quickly let go. Try not to pull yourself away from the bite as this will cause you more harm, and possibly your snake.

Extra Information on Ball Python Bites

Ball pythons are generally very friendly towards humans and can be handled. Just make sure they are comfortable in your presence and completely stress free before trying to handle. Obviously snakes aren’t as playful and loving as a dog may be, however they will enjoy your touch. A ball python will enjoy using you as a climbing frame, and will even wrap itself around you arm or waist. If you are comfortable with that. It should be relatively easy to unwrap a ball put-on from your arm.

Ball pythons can actually go a very long time without a meal. It’s been known that in the wild ball pythons can go from six months, up to two years without having a meal. They are very well adapted to waiting. This is thought as to why they are able to live up to the ages the can. They tend to keep a very low profile until they want to eat.

So do ball pythons bite? No, not usually. Just always be a little cautious when handling them.

Do Ball Pythons Bite – What To Do Next?

Do not panic

Ball python bites are not serious or harmful and are generally thought to be painless. Your first instinct may be to pull away instantly. But you should NEVER do this. Pulling away from a ball python whilst they are latched on will only cause a tighter hold. Ball pythons have teeth specially designed to keep hold of wriggling prey, which actually get deeper into the prey as it struggles. This is no different with humans.

Usually a ball python will quickly release a human as it realises you’re not food, or a threat to its safety. It may just be that it’s a little stressed and doesn’t want to be handled, or simply that it’s hungry and has mistaken you (your hand) for food.

Removal of a latched ball python

Give your snake a minute to calm down. Once latched the initial shock is over. Ball pythons jaw aren’t that strong, so the pressure afterwards will be very minimal. Most commonly they will release you pretty quickly. 

If your ball python bites you and refuses to let go there are a couple of methods you can try to unlatch them. Firstly its recommend to try pouring some cold water over the latched area. The shock of cold water should usually be enough for the snake to unlatch itself.

If this doesn’t work, then option two is very similar. You just have to replace the cold water with something a little stronger. Vodka, Whisky, Gin. Any alcohol with a high concentrate. This is known as the most effective way to remove any snake from being latched, not just ball pythons. Alcohol is harmless to snakes, and they will definitely not enjoy it, so they will be quick to unleash themselves. 

Treating the bite

You will likely not have to worry about visiting a doctor after a ball python bite. They aren’t venomous so there’s no need to visit a specialist. That said, snakes can carry some potentially harmful bacteria, so you could visit a doctor if you’d like to be on the safe side.

Alternatively, a ball python bite should be pretty harmless. It’s best to quickly wash the latched area and treat with an antiseptic wipe. If antiseptic wipe aren’t available, then pouring vodka over the wound will also sterilise the area. However this may sting a little. 

Once treated, cover the wound with a bandage just to keep the wound safe from your day to day doings. This will decrease the chance of infections. After a day this can be removed. You shouldn’t be in any danger from infections after this point, once the wound has dried and healed. 

If on the very rare occasion the bite does become infected, then please seek advise from a doctor.

Symptoms of a Ball Python Bite

As we have stated before, ball pythons don’t usually bite. However it’s best to have all the relevant information you need, just in case. We have talked about what you should do in the event that a ball python bites you. So now we’ll take a look into some of the symptoms of a ball python bite.

There are 8 main symptoms to be cautious of if you get bitten by a ball python. These symptoms vary in seriousness, but you should be aware of all of these none the less. The list below is generated with the least serious symptoms at the top, with the most serious at the bottom.

Do Ball Pythons Bite – 8 Main Symptoms;

  • Puncture holes at the bitten area
  • Sweating and raised heart rate
  • Redness and swelling to bitten are
  • Possible tingling feeling around the bitten area
  • Severe pain around the bitten area
  • Dizziness and vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blurry Vision

Ball Python bites are not life threatening, nor are they considered dangerous in any form. However, it can be a little frightening if you have any of these symptoms. It’s always best to keep in mind that a ball python bite CAN NOT kill you. The main reason for these more serious symptoms is due to your bodies reaction to the bite.

Blood will flow directly to the bitten area, and may swell to protect the surrounding area. This can cause the dizziness and blurry vision, simply due to the change in blood flow.

It is always recommended that if you get bitten by a ball python, to seek professional advise from a doctor. You’ll want to make sure if you need any treatments, that you get the best and most recent available.

Do Ball Pythons Have Teeth?

When people think about snakes having teeth, they automatically think of these massive fangs hanging down from the top jaw. Well, this isn’t quite true for ball pythons. Or many other snakes for that matter. Fangs are only found on venomous snakes. Fangs are the ejection mechanism used by venomous snakes to stun their prey.

Ball pythons on the other hand have very small, barb shaped teeth which are very sharp. Their teeth are slightly angled backwards, like the teeth on a wood saw. The reason for this is that ball pythons need to catch their prey before constricting it. And this can be difficult for an animal which can only use its mouth. 

Their angled teeth give them a greater chance of success when latching onto its prey. The reason for this is because their teeth actually dig in further the more the prey tries to escape. Imagine a fish hook, they are specifically made to dig in further with every movement of the fish. Ball pythons have developed the same mechanic method for their own mouths. Making it almost impossible for its prey to get away once the python is latched on.

Obviously, snakes are known to digest their prey whole. So again, unlike humans, they don’t need teeth that have evolved for different uses. Ball pythons don’t chew, or rip their food. They only need teeth for catching their prey. Therefore all their teeth look the same, as they only have one use. This being latch on, and dig in further.

If your ball python ever mistakes your hand for prey and latches on, follow this link to see how to effectively release its grip.

How Many Teeth Does a Ball Pythons Have?

How many teeth does a ball pythons have you may ask. Did you know that many people are afraid of a snakes teeth or fangs.

But in all honesty, a ball pythons teeth are nothing to be afraid of. The size of them are in fact very small for the size of the snake.

Ball pythons have on average thirty small teeth. We have read many misleading articles that state that ball pythons can have up to 150 teeth, but this simply isn’t true.

Pythons have sharp barb like teeth which mainly line the top jaw and constructed over four rows, whilst the bottom jaw only consists of two rows. The actual number of teeth a ball python has depends on how big they are. Unlike humans, ball pythons don’t have an exact amount of teeth they can have. It’s all relevant to their size and age. However the number of teeth averages out at roughly 30.

Smaller ball pythons tend to have less teeth compared to bigger pythons. However, they lose teeth quite frequently, but seem to have no end to its surplus, reproducing teeth through its whole life span.

How Big are Ball Python Teeth?

Humans have sets of teeth which all have different purposes. Some are to cutting through foods, whilst other teeth grind through food. For this reason we have teeth which are all different shapes and sizes.

Ball pythons swallow their foods whole, so they have no need for teeth which grind food. For this reason ball pythons have the same set of teeth throughout their mouths.

Interestingly, ball pythons teeth are only ever up to 1cm in length. They only need their teeth to latch onto their prey, as their method for killing prey is by constriction. With their teeth being so small, a ball pythons bite is relatively painless.


Hopefully this has given you all the information in relation to “do ball pythons bite”. Remember that you should NOT pull away, as much as you want to. Your natural reactions will be to pull away, but this will cause you more pain. If you have any doubts about your health ,then people do ring your doctor for their professional advise.

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Do Ball Pythons Bite? – What You Should Do Next

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