Two of our baby ball pythons got out of their cage, after we thought we had sealed all the holes.Do you know how to make them come out of hiding?
Furnas County Nebraska
Thank you for your question. Escaped snakes can be very difficult to find. I have had a couple of snakes escape from their cages due to my mistakes, but most were large adults, and I found them hiding behind furniture and in closets. Juvenile snakes, because of their size, have many more hiding areas available to them.
Once a snake escapes it will generally try to find a secure hiding place. You should conduct a room by room search. Start with the room that you believe is most likely to contain your snake. Look everywhere! Even if you don't think it's possible for the snake to fit in an area or location. Look under and behind all the furniture in the room. Look inside shoes, clothing (I once found an escaped snake under clothes in a clothes basket), under pillows and cushions, behind books, inside boxes, inside drawers and cabinets, etc. Snakes are notorious for crawling under couch or chair cushions and then getting inside the couch or upholstered chair or recliner. Usually the only way to get the snake out is to take apart the furniture. Once you're sure you've thoroughly searched the room, close the door, tape crack under the door shut with duct tape, and move to the next room.
If your search fails to locate the snake, you can use the fact that many snakes are nocturnal and will tend to come out of hiding to wander around at night to possibly determine its location. It's likely that your snake will follow the wall as it crawls along. You can place small quantities of flour in different places along the wall and then check the following morning for signs that the snake has crawled through them during the night. This can at least help you narrow down potential locations. You can also get up periodically and quietly walk through your house with a flash light in the hopes of catching the snake out away from its hiding place.
Another technique involves putting mice with some strong smelling bedding in small cages and placing these around the house at night. Check these areas periodically, and you may find your snake coiled around the cage trying to figure out how to get inside the cage to get the mouse.
This information comes from my own experience and from the book, Ball Pythons - The History, Natural History, Care and Breeding, by David G. and Tracy M. Barker. This is an excellent reference book for anyone keeping ball pythons.
I hope this information helps and good luck finding your snakes. Thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.
Thank you, we found them on my counter.
Great news! Let us know if you have any additional questions.