Corn Snake Pets Care: A Complete Guide to Caring for Pet Corn Snakes

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Last Updated on February 9, 2024 by Aftab Tariq

Corn snake pet ownership offers a rewarding experience, especially considering that a considerable number of these snakes available in the UK are bred in captivity.

Corn snake pets make fantastic companions due to their gentle temperament, straightforward care requirements, and manageable size.

Corn snake pet


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Whether you’re a novice snake enthusiast or a seasoned keeper, the appeal of Corn snake pets transcends experience levels.

Originating from the southeastern United States, these captivating reptiles, often referred to as red rat snakes, boast a spectrum of beautiful colors and patterns developed through selective breeding.

Their historical connection to corn granaries, where they preyed on mice, adds a fascinating layer to their name and story. Choosing a Corn snake as a pet promises not only a fascinating companion but also an engaging journey into the world of reptile care.

Overview of Corn Snake Pets

Common name: Wheat snake

Size: 3-6 ft. in length

Corn Snakes Lifespan: The average captive lifespan is 20 years, while the wild lifespan is only 6-8 years.

Behavior of Corn Snake

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Corn snakes, often celebrated for their captivating characteristics and vibrant patterns, exhibit a unique blend of behavior that sets them apart. From hatchlings to adults, these reptiles showcase a docile temperament, making them a suitable choice, especially for families with children.

Combined with their manageable size and distinctive markings, corn snakes stand out among other species. When exploring the factors influencing their behavior, it’s crucial to consider the acceptance of new environments and the responses these creatures might display.

One notable fact is that corn snakes communicate through subtle cues, often involving their eyes and tails. Understanding these aspects is critical to fostering a positive relationship with these remarkable reptiles.

Corn Snake Size

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The size of Corn snakes varies considerably as they progress through different stages of life. These serpents typically measure six to eight inches long as hatchlings, showcasing their diminutive yet charming bodies.

Over time, as they reach maturity, their size expands, with most adults growing to a moderate length of three to four feet. Compared to their counterparts like the ball python, Corn snakes are relatively more minor, making them more manageable for pet owners.

Most Corn snakes fall within the range of three to four feet, a size that strikes a balance between their captivating presence and the practical considerations of corn snake pet care.

Corn Snakes Humidity

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Fortunately, corn snakes are inclined towards the humidity typically found in a standard household. Maintaining an ambient air humidity ranging from 35 to 60 percent is recommended for the enclosure, with the higher end of this spectrum promoting healthy shedding.

It is crucial to monitor the humidity in the corn snake’s habitat using a hygrometer, especially during the dry winter months. There may be a need to mist the tank or replenish an evaporating water bowl more frequently.

Substrate for Corn Snake Pet

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These snakes love to burrow and hide, so it’s important to have a loose layer of substrate on the enclosure floor. You can use different materials for the bottom layer; inkless newspaper is practical for easy cleaning, but it might not look the best.

Another option is indoor/outdoor carpeting (“Astroturf“); using two pieces lets you swap them during cleaning, just make sure to wash and dry the soiled piece before reusing.

For the top layer, go for aspen shavings. When they get soiled with feces, simply scoop them out and replace as needed. During feeding, move the snake to a separate container to avoid them accidentally ingesting the shavings.

Stay away from pine or cedar shavings because their oils can irritate and cause respiratory issues in your pet snake. Also, substrates like sand, soil, and corncob are not good choices for corn snakes.

Provide Heat to Corn Snake 

Make sure your corn snake’s home is at the right temperature. Use an overhead incandescent heat lamp for heating, but remember, corn snakes don’t need tropical heat as they’re from temperate climates. Keep the overall temperature between 80 to 85°F, with a basking spot at 85 to 88°F.

At night, let it cool down, but not below 75°F. If you use under tank heating pads or heat tape, be cautious as they can make it tricky to check the enclosure’s temperature, so use thermometers inside.


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Corn snakes don’t demand expansive enclosures but thrive with sufficient space for exploration and rest. Ideally, the terrarium size should meet at least the dimensions of a 20-gallon aquarium or measure 12 inches x 30 inches x 12 inches.

More giant corn snakes, however, will benefit from more spacious accommodations. A good rule of thumb is to ensure the enclosure is at least 2/3 of the snake’s length, if not larger. Including a secure lid and a heat light in your corn snake’s habitat is advisable.

Maintain corn snake temperatures between 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit on the warm side, with the basking area reaching up to 88-90F.

What Do Corn Snakes Eat & Drink?

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Feed your corn snake mostly mice, but you can also give them other options like appropriately sized quails or rats. Just make sure whatever you choose is fully thawed and not wider than 1.5 times the snake’s body width.

Corn snakes, from hatchlings to adults, are obligate carnivores, and understanding their dietary needs is crucial for their well-being. At a young age, these snakes primarily feed on smaller prey like pinkie mice, which provide essential nutrients for their growth.

As they grow, the size and frequency of their meals increase, with more giant mice and even rats becoming a potential part of their diet.

Offering access to water is vital, and a shallow bowl should be provided to ensure corn snakes remain adequately hydrated. For those wondering what corn snakes eat, the answer lies in a corn snake pet diet centered on mice, and other appropriately sized prey offered a few times a month.

Health Problems of Corn Snake Pets

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Maintaining the well-being of Corn snakes involves vigilance towards various health aspects. One of the primary concerns is the humidity levels within the enclosure, as imbalances can lead to shedding issues and skin infections.

Irritability or changes in behavior may indicate underlying problems, and issues such as retained eye caps or eye cap problems must be addressed promptly. Ensuring the tank environment promotes proper shedding, providing items like sphagnum moss or paper towels to aid the process.

Hydration is critical; therefore, having a water bowl in the enclosure is essential. Injuries resulting from falls or rough handling are also potential health risks, underscoring the importance of creating an environment that caters to the snake’s safety.

Regular check-ups with a knowledgeable veterinarian can address emerging health problems and offer advice on maintaining the optimal conditions for a Corn snake to thrive.

How to Handle a Corn Snake?

Corn snakes can become used to regular handling. Here are some tips:

  • Lift them gently with one hand near the head and the other closer to the tail—never grab them.
  • Keep handling sessions to around 10 to 15 minutes to avoid their core temperature dropping too low.
  • While all snakes may bite when stressed or if they sense food, remember that corn snakes are not venomous.
  • If a corn snake feels threatened, it may pull its head back and display an ‘S’-shaped neck. In such cases, avoid handling them.
  • After touching prey items, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before handling the snake to prevent potential biting.

Select Corn Snake

When picking a snake, it’s best to go for one that’s been bred in captivity – this is a good choice. Luckily, finding a captive-bred corn snake is usually pretty easy because they tend to reproduce well in captivity.

Look for a snake that doesn’t have leftover shed skin. Check for clear eyes, no cuts or scrapes, and no mites or ticks. A healthy snake will also have a clean vent, an alert head, and a mouth with a pink tongue and a little clear saliva.

Corn snakes are available at PetSmart for those interested in adopting them as pets.

Species Resembling the Corn Snake:

The corn snake is often confused with the venomous copperhead snake because of its brownish-orange color. However, besides their similar color, these two snakes have few things in common.

Copperheads have sideways hourglass markings on their back, making them look like a row of Hershey Kisses chocolates when seen from the side. The corn snake pet guide provides essential information on caring for these fascinating reptiles.

Corn snake pet prices vary, with some starting at $99.99, depending on factors like color morph, age, and breeder reputation. Enjoy the company of a corn snake pet at home, a unique and fascinating addition to your family. Corn snake pet for sale, perfect for adding warmth and charm to your home. If anyone wants to buy it, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Are Corn Snakes Venomous?

No, corn snake are not venomous .Snakes are an important part of our environment, keeping populations of pests such as rodents, slugs, and insects in check. Also, snakes provide food for animals like foxes, raccoons, bears, eagles, hawks, and owls.

Are Corn Snakes Friendly?

Corn snakes are generally considered to be friendly and docile towards humans. They are popular as pets due to their calm demeanor and ease of handling. However, individual temperament can vary, so it’s essential to handle them gently and respect their behavior.

What is the Best Corn Snake Pet?

Corn snakes are known for being friendly and non-venomous. They possess calm temperaments and are simple to manage. It’s best to keep handling sessions short, typically around 10-15 minutes, to ensure their comfort.

What are Some Popular Corn Snake Pet Names?

Some popular corn snake pet names include:

  • Apollo
  • Cleo
  • Jasper
  • Luna
  • Olive
  • Rex
  • Sable
  • Tango


National Wildlife Health Center

VCA Animal Hospitals


University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources “Snake Sick”

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals


Aftab Tariq

I am a dedicated content writer with more than five years of experience, particularly skilled in the art of storytelling. My writing journey commenced during my college years, where I pursued journalism and unearthed my talent for creating captivating narratives. Protection Status