Why Does Your Snake Bite You?
The bite is not common in your snake, as long as you respect certain rules. The first is to leave your snake alone most of the time. You don’t buy a specimen of this type to have it around your neck all the time, or even every day. It should be placed in a terrarium where it will be happy to live, and where it will move around easily.
Secondly, it is important not to frighten your reptile, otherwise it will provoke a defensive reaction. In its cage, your snake has no way of escaping as it would in the wild from a human. As a result, it can only proceed by biting to defend itself. It can see you as a predator. In this case, it will also respond if you stress or disturb it during a moulting period or when it eats.
Finally, as with many animals, your snake may bite your hand if it smells something peculiar, such as a mouse you have just touched. In this case, it is more likely to be a clumsiness on its part, or a desire to eat. This is the usual kind of bite.
Read more: The Most Dangerous Snakes in The World
When does your snake bite you?
In the wheat snake, for example, there are 2 types of bites:
- The defensive bite, which is visible from its vertical “S” stance. It will not try to grab you but more to bite you in order to make you move back. This is a defensive attack.
- The attacking bite will be seen by its horizontal “S” posture. This time, your snake wants to eat and is hunting its prey. You will never get bitten like this unless your hands smell like mice and your reptile is a little hungry.
In the Boa Constrictor, the bite is even rarer than in the Wheat Snake. The Boa Constrictor likes to kill its victims by constriction before swallowing them. However, a bite from this species, like from the Wheat Snake or the Python, is not very serious.
A shallow bite, except for the Royal Python…
A snake bite (domestic and non venomous) usually results in a small wound. The wound is usually shallow because your pet’s teeth are not as large as those found in more dangerous wild specimens. In adults, bites can sting, while you won’t feel much in younger animals. Beware, the Royal Python has more teeth and a bite can quickly turn into a hemorrhage on your side.
What health insurance says
If you don’t have any vipers at home, don’t worry. Health insurance indicates that serious bites on French territory are caused by these venomous reptiles, as they are at large. Some exotic snakes can also bite, without your health being jeopardized.
Moreover, it is not because a venomous snake bites you that it transmits its venom to you. On average, it does so one time out of two. Without venom in your blood, you will only have classic bite symptoms, with a simple redness. Conversely, venom causes symptoms that, most often, remain mild, unless you suffer from an allergy. However, we advise you to call for help or go to the nearest emergency room with each bite (except for non-hazardous house snakes).
Read more: What Animals Can Keep Snakes Away?
What to do in case of a bite?
If it is your house snake of the type of the Wheat Snake, Boa Constrictor or Python, you simply have to disinfect the wound. The healing will take place afterwards. For a venomous snake of the viper type or in doubt, go to the hospital immediately.
How to avoid bites?
There are some simple things you can do (or not do) to avoid a snake bite:
- Never disturb it while it is eating, sleeping or moulting.
- Never catch it suddenly.
- Avoid approaching it with hands that smell like mice or rats.
- Use a hook if you are not yet used to grasping it in your hands.
It is important, even essential, to have tamed your snake before handling it. A good taming allows you to minimize the risks of biting which, once again, are quite rare.
A non venomous house snake of the Wheat Snake or Boa Constrictor type does not bite very often. Its bite is often benign, with no apparent after-effects. A small wound must be disinfected. A Royal Python bite is often more impressive, although harmless, because it is not venomous. Your snake never bites without reason (stress, insecurity, means of defence). You must avoid favouring these situations. Venomous snakes that are often found in the wild, such as vipers, cause more damage. One bite and you must go to the nearest hospital.