Your snake escaped its enclosure. Snakes are crafty, and if they see an opportunity to get loose, they will. It often happens when you’re cleaning out a snake’s cage. You need to find the missing pet snake.
Snakes will hide in warm, dark, and quiet spots. Search under furniture and behind warm appliances. Set up basking spots and hide boxes in your home to lure your snake out of its hiding place.
We’ll share advice on how to find a lost snake and luring them out of hiding. We’ll also cover what you should do if you fear that the snake may have found a way to escape your home.
How to Find an Escaped Pet Snake
We’ll guide you through a 4-step process to finding an escaped pet snake.
Thoroughly Check the Vivarium
It’s easy to panic when you can’t see your snake in its enclosure. However, there’s a chance that a small pet snake is hiding in its vivarium. Snakes have good camouflage and can squeeze themselves into very tight spots.
This may apply if your baby ball python or corn snake has gone missing. You should check the following locations:
- Hide boxes. Snakes spend a surprising amount of time curled up inside their hide boxes. You won’t harm your snake by lifting the hide box and checking whether the snake is inside.
- Substrate (bedding). Certain species of snake, such as hognose snakes, enjoy burrowing in their bedding and can cover themselves.
- Underneath and behind decorations. Check behind the water dish, and in and around any logs, branches, plants, stones or other decorations that your vivarium might house.
Search the Immediate Area
If your snake has escaped from its vivarium, there’s a good chance that it has sought out a hiding spot in the immediate area. It’s likely that it won’t have left the room where its vivarium is located.
Snakes usually remain on the floor. It takes energy to climb walls, stairs or furniture, so most of the time your snake will remain low to the ground.
Snakes also prefer to remain close to walls, as it helps them to feel safe from predators. So, search all around the edges of the room.
Look in, behind, and underneath everything. Snakes will search for quiet, dark, undisturbed places to hide. They can squeeze into tight spots, so even if you think your snake couldn’t possibly fit somewhere, still check it.
- In, behind and underneath furniture, particularly if it is pushed up against walls
- Inside cracks and folds in couches, beds, and chairs
- Underneath rugs
- Inside cabinets, storage boxes, bags, laundry baskets, and underneath piles of clothes
If there are any warm spots in the room, pay particular attention to them. As snakes are ectothermic, they seek out warm spots to bask in and heat themselves up in order to survive.
Searching the Rest of the House
It takes far more effort and energy for snakes to go upwards than downwards. This means that, if your snake escaped on the ground floor, it probably wouldn’t bother climbing up your staircase.
Start by looking in rooms on the same floor as the snake’s vivarium, and then check any lower floors before heading upstairs.
In each room, carry out the same examination (as above). The key is to look under, in, and behind everything in the room. Focus on warm areas such as behind fridges and freezers, dryers, cookers, and dishwashers.
If there are any cracks or holes in your walls or flooring, your snake may have crawled inside your drywall or underneath the floorboards.
How to Lure a Snake Out of Hiding
There are things you can do to help lure your snake out of its hiding place. There are also 2 types of harmless traps you can set.
- Hide Boxes: place these around the edges of rooms, up against walls, where your snake will be traveling. Because of their dark and cozy interiors, your snake may be lured inside. You can even place heat pads on top of the hides, to make them even more inviting.
- Water Bowls: you should place these throughout your house in any case so that your snake doesn’t dehydrate.
- Basking Spots: use heat lamps or heat pads to set up “basking spots” in various places around the home. As snakes use external heat to regulate their body temperature, they’re attracted to warm areas.
- Thawed Rodents: some people advocate using pre-killed thawed rodents to lure escaped snakes out of hiding. Bear in mind that your snake won’t smell the rodent unless it’s nearby.
After you set up your lures, check them periodically for your snake. Snakes are usually more active in darkness, so check during the night.
These methods will help you figure out where your snake has been:
- Scrunched-Up Plastic Bags: Place these around the edges of the room, behind and under furniture. When your snake slithers over them, you’ll be able to hear a crinkling noise.
- Flour Traps: Leave a thick line of all-purpose flour, or baby powder, across any doorways in your home. If your snake moves from one room to another, you’ll be able to see marks in the flour.
We would not recommend using “humane” traps as they use glue to prevent the snake from escaping. While these traps may not kill the snake, it can be distressing and could harm a snake that tries to escape.
I Can’t Find My Snake Anywhere
Snakes can survive for months without food, so there’s no need to start panicking. Keep topping up water bowls and checking your hides and flour traps periodically. The chances are you’ll find your snake eventually.
However, if you genuinely believe that your snake has managed to get out of your house, there are still some things that you can do:
- Search the immediate area around your house. If your snake hasn’t been missing for long, it might be in your yard. It may be a good idea to alert your neighbor(s) to inform them that your snake is loose. If they spot it around their property, they’ll know to contact you.
- File a police report. Give the police a description of your snake, your contact details, and your address.
- Phone veterinarians in your area. Provide a full description so that you can be alerted if anyone brings in your snake.
Don’t lose hope when you are trying to find a missing pet snake. Remember that snakes have turned up after months of going missing, and they’re not usually not far away from where you are right now.