Corn snake care

Cleaning out your corn snake's vivarium

Corn snakes are generally very clean animals as they normally only toilet one or two days after feeding. Provided that the vivarium is spot-cleaned regularly, a full clean out and disinfect will only need to take place every three weeks or so.

Ensure all objects are clean and dry before returning them to the vivarium and ensure that you use a reptile-safe disinfectant.

Wash your hands after handling your reptile, any of its food, or any objects from the vivarium in order to maintain good hygiene.


Snakes shed or ‘slough’ their skin every two to three months, but they can do so more regularly when they are young and growing rapidly. The first sign that your snake is undergoing a shed of skin is a cloudiness over the eyes and a dullness on the scales.

During a shed, snakes will often lose their appetite and will spend longer in their water bowl or the damp hide in preparation. It’s important that there is always water available in a heavy bottomed bowl, particularly during shedding. A healthy snake will shed its skin in one piece, usually around a piece of the vivarium furniture. A skin that is shed in pieces often indicates that the humidity inside the vivarium needs altering.

Handling your corn snake

It is important to handle a corn snake carefully. The weight of their body should be supported by you but the snake should be allowed to move around in your hands and should never be firmly gripped as this can cause injury. Do not handle your snake during shedding. During this process their vision is impaired and being handled at this time can cause stress. Avoid handling your corn snake for two days after feeding as this may cause regurgitation.

Provided that your corn snake is handled regularly it should not find the process too stressful and the handling can also be good exercise for the snake. Remember to ensure you handle your snake in a safe area with doors and windows closed in case he gets loose.

Pet care advice