How Bad A Corn Snake Bite Really Is And How To Avoid It
Most people are scared of snakes. Even though most snakes are not dangerous at all, the majority of people just have this picture of a dangerous snake in their minds. A snake that is poisonous or a snake that can squash your complete body and swallow you in one go.
The truth is that most snakes won´t even try to bite you. Some will try to avoid you if they don´t want to be touched, some will do nothing at all and some will bite you. It depends on the snake. So what about corn snakes? How bad is a corn snake bite? Are they known for being aggressive? What can you do about it, if yes?
If you need an answer to all of these questions, you came to the right place. So let´s get started!
Do Corn Snakes Bite?
Let me guess, you are thinking about getting a corn snake or you might already have one and now you are a little bit scared of touching it? Don´t worry about it. Most snake keepers start like this. You might be afraid of the bite, but the snake is still fascinating to you and this is really awesome.
Corn snakes are know for being pretty relaxed when it comes to handling. Most people say that they are one of the best beginner snakes, not only because they are very hardy, they rarely bite and do not get too big.
Most baby corn snakes are a little bit more aggressive, but get calm as they grow up. So if your young corn snake is aggressive now and you might be worried that your snake can´t be "tamed", just give it some time. It is likely that your snake will get more relaxed.
It is a normal behavior in most snakes to be more aggressive as babys in order to survive in the wild. Further young snakes are not used to humans and they are not used to being touched by you.
So corn snakes rarely bite 🙂
How Bad Is It?
If you have a very young and small corn snake it doesn´t hurt at all. In fact I encourage you to get bitten by your snake. I will explain why later in this article.
Most of the time the snake does not really want to bite. It just wants to keep you away from it. So it hisses, rattles the tail and shows a couple of faint attacks if you get to close. If it touches you, you will feel that it is more a punch than a real bite. The snake doesn´t really bite your hand.
When it comes to a bite of an adult snake it can hurt a little bit, but to be honest, it is just a matter of getting used to it. If you get bitten and you truly ask yourself if it did hurt, the answer will be no. You might scream a little bit because you are shocked or surprised, but it is no real pain. So the bad thing about it is your shock, but not the bite itself - if the snake bites at all.
Your Corn Snake Bites? Here Is What You Should Do!
If you really are afraid of the bite, here is my recommendation. Stay calm, put your hand in the tank and let the snake bite you. Again, stay calm, don´t pull your hand away, just let it happen.
Why do I recommend such a nonsense?
Have you ever heard the saying "Fear - the best way out is through." ? This is what I am talking about here. If you do that you will realise that the bite isn´t really painful. If you have a baby snake you will see that it doesn´t hurt at all. Maybe you will even realise that your snake doesn´t want to bite.
The fear makes this whole situation worse, so go through it. Further you should know that this will even help your snake to get more relaxed with you. The snake will feel that you are not that nervous anymore when you lost your fear and therefore won´t be that nervous either.
How To Avoid Getting Bitten
No normal person wants to get bitten all the time. So here are some recommendations which will help you to not get bitten by your corn snake.
Get A Snake Hook
You will probably feel a little bit like the Crocodile Hunter when getting a snake hook, but trust me, this thing can really help. Most snakes will even be more calm when you get it out with a snake hook as they feel that the hook is not a living thing.
Further it is easier to keep your snake´s head away from you and make it impossible to get bitten. Of course this is not really needed if you have a baby corn snake, but if you have an aggressive adult corn snake, this will be a huge help. Get a snake hook here! Below is a short video of two guys using a snake hook properly.
Don´t Grab Your Corn Snake From Above
In the wild all the things that come from above are dangerous for snakes. If you grab it from above your snake might think that you are a huge bird that wants to attack.
Try to grab your snake near the head from the side.
Don´t Overthink It
If you want to get your snake out and fear kicks in, your snake will have time to realise what you are about to do. The longer you wait, the worse it gets. Just open the cage, lift up the hide, if your snake is in there, and grab the snake.
Try to grab as much snake as possible so that the snake can wrap around your fingers, hand or arm.
Don´t Squeeze It
Another reason why I recommend to get rid of your fear first. If you are nervous, it might happen that your grip is too tight and your snake gets nervous. A tight grip can even damage the corn snake´s organs.
Always make sure that your snake can move smoothly through your hands when handling. It will also show your snake that you don´t have bad intentions.
Fnova Collapsible Snake Tongs
Excellent for preventing your snake from biting you.
Get Some Gloves
This will help as well to get more relaxed when handling your snake as you know that the snake can´t really get through the glove. Further most snakes do not like to bite rubber gloves and won´t try again after the first bite. So I recommend to get rubber gloves here.
Just Fed Your Corn Snake? Do This!
If you just fed your corn snake it might be that your hands still smell like your corn snake´s prey. If you try to touch it now, your corn snake might try to bite and to eat your hand because it thinks your hand is food. Wash your hands after feeding your corn snake.
I recommend to not touch the food at all. Get some tweezers here and feed your corn snakes with tweezers only. Nevertheless you should still wash your hands after feeding.
See The Signs
Your corn snake will show you that it wants to bite you. Most of the time it will form an S with it´s body to attack. Further it will "pump" a lot when it is stressed. The "pump" means that it breathes heavily, which you can see. The body seems to get bigger and smaller over and over again.
I already told you about the hissing and the rattling above. All those signs will show you that you might get bitten.
Your Corn Snake Doesn´t Let Go - What Now?
It rarely happens, but it can happen, so I want to tell you what you should do if your corn snake tries to eat you.
First you should stay calm. It might be a weird feeling, but it doesn´t hurt that much. Don´t rip your snake off, you could seriously hurt it by doing so. To get it off you, water can help, so go to the kitchen sink and let the water run on your snake´s mouth.
If it doesn´t want to let go, try to get between your skin and your snake´s mouth with a pencil or with tweezers and carefully open your corn snake´s mouth.
The truth is that corn snakes rarely bite. If they bite, it doesn´t really hurt. They are not big snakes and they do not have big heads, no big jaws, no huge teeth. Read: how big corn snakes really get!
There are multiple ways to avoid getting bitten by your snake, but I really recommend to get bitten by your snake to get used to the situation. This way you will be more relaxed when handling and your snake will feel that and will be calmer as well.
If you have any further questions, please leave a comment below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
About the Author
Hey! I am Pierre. I own bearded dragons and many other reptiles for a very long time. I know from experience that it can be very hard to find the right information about a specific reptile, since there is so much misinformation out there.That´s why I created this website. To help other people to have the best time with their reptiles.