What to Do If You Get a Corn Snake Bite (Handling)


Although it is remarkable as a pet, the corn snake bite still makes anyone worried. Regardless of the pain that appears, most will feel curious about how much impact it will cause.

It is normal to be afraid as this reptile is notoriously well-known as a type of animal that can kill with venom. But when facing a corn snake bite, you need to be calm.

If you know what to do, you will probably be fine. For those who love to keep it as a pet, here is some guide to follow when dealing with a corn snake bite

Identify the Corn Snake

Identify the Corn Snake

If you want to start as a snake breeder, this species is the right choice as a first step. It is because this type is docile and not aggressive. Also, the reptile has bright and catchy colors.

Most corn snakes have orange shades with a red or brownish motif. At the bottom, this snake also has a pattern with a shape similar to a chessboard.

However, some species also have albino colors, while others do not emit bright hues but are more muted. 

This type of snake is usually the result of crosses that allows the emergence of various patterns.

In the wild, its size ranges from 1-2 meters with a life span of 6-8 years. But if you take good care of it as a pet, the corn snake can reach the age of up to 23 years.

As a pet, the corn snake is not difficult to look after because this species usually eats any mouse. Setting the cage and cleaning the dirt is also simple as it is not too fussy with the environment.

Why Do They Bite?

Corn Snake, Snakes, Terraristik, Non Toxic, Scale

Most of them do not like to bite. No matter what the corn snake size, the reptile usually prefers to hide when frightened or injured.

Despite having a calm and friendly demeanor, it is not uncommon for the corn snake teeth to attack humans, including their owners. 

If that happens, the possible causes are as follows:

  • Corn snakes are a solitary type of snake. However, if they feel threatened and cannot find shelter, they may bite.
  • The corn snake still carries away their life habit in the wild. Thus, trying to hold and pet them regularly will calm him down. For starters, don’t forget to wear protection.
  • Snakes can be traumatized. The rude actions they have experienced will lead to an aggressive attitude.
  • A baby corn snake bite often happens because it does not know what to do with people. This young reptile maybe wants to play.
  • You need approximately 1-2 weeks to get them used to and comfortable with your handling. At that time, they will probably go on the defensive mode.
  • They are hungry.
  • The too-hot environmental temperatures usually also trigger more aggressive behavior.
  • They smell food from their hands or body parts that they think they are snatching their snacks.
  • Snakes that are in the ecdysis phase are also more aggressive because their eyes are blind. Thus, they bite anything that comes near as a means of self-defense.

The newborns tend to be more aggressive to get to know the environment. Luckily, baby corn snake bites will not hurt too much because of their small-sized teeth.

Although these reptiles tend to be calm, some do have an aggressive nature compared to others. Just be patient; the more often the snakes interact, they will slowly reduce their wild nature.

Is Corn Snake Bite Poisonous?

Is Corn Snake Bite Poisonous?

Are corn snakes venomous? When they bite you, this question will probably pop into your head. Then, what are the effects after being bitten?

Well, no need to worry because these animals are not venomous at all. Except in particular conditions, as we discussed above, the chances of them biting are also small.

Corn snake bites are generally harmless. Mature teeth may make you bleed, but they are not fatal. The pain that appears is usually just the effect of shock due to a sudden attack.

What to Do When They Bite?

What to Do When corn snake Bite?

These animals have small teeth and grow tilted backward. Not without reason, this helps them lock the prey that it’s impossible to escape.

But that will not apply to bigger creatures, such as a human. Considering the size of the teeth, plus they have no fangs, the corn snake bite will not leave a significant trace on your skin.

However, when getting a bite, most people will panic and force the reptile to pull. Thus, this incident might cause more injuries.

So, stay calm and remember that it will not hurt you badly. 

The corn snake bites in humans are usually only momentary or slowly go away on their own if you do not overreact.

If possible, you can remove the stuck teeth slowly by moving the reptile’s head. This method can minimize the corn snake bite mark that may appear.

When Corn Snake Latching On

When Corn Snake Latching On

Instinctively, when it feels it has caught prey or an enemy, the snake will do everything possible to prevent the catch from escaping. In addition to biting, they will also tightly entangle.

If only for self-defense, a corn snake bite will be enough before they run away. But when thinking you are its prey, it will be more likely to latch on you while biting.

This condition can be dangerous if you panic and try to release the reptile violently. Instead of surviving the wound, you will get a more severe tear from the corn snake bite.

In addition, forcibly pulling will also injure the snake itself. Therefore, again, if the snake starts to twist and bite, you have to stay calm. 

However, if the condition persists, you can do the following:

  • Drop cold water on the snake coiled. Cold temperatures can make them calmer and begin to disengage.
  • Another thing that you can do if the first step does not work is using alcohol. Sprinkle it over the entangled area, and the snake will slowly come off.

For beginners, it is not easy to stay calm when facing a corn snake bite. Getting used to it takes more time, but trust that this reptile will not hurt you.

Treating the Wound

Treating the Wound corn snake

As we discussed throughout the review above, there is nothing to worry about the corn snake bite. The cute teeth will never penetrate your skin if you respond calmly.

However, if you get a corn snake bite, no matter how serious the wound, good care is still necessary to do. You never know what bacteria or dirt might invade your wound.

If the wound is not too severe, intensive care is not needed. In an unfortunate condition, you need to take the following steps as an anticipatory measure from infection.

  • Using Cold Water
Using Cold Water treat wound

Again, nothing serious with the corn snake bites. You may not even feel the pain so much and forget about it immediately.

However, there is the potential that snake teeth carry germs or bacteria that can cause problems in open wounds. Therefore, there is nothing wrong if you take anticipatory action.

The initial step to do is cleaning with water. Some people use warm water to prevent the proliferation of germs, but the cold one will be better.

Likewise, cold water will help reduce inflammation and prevent it from swelling. 

In addition, the sensation that sticks to the skin will also provide a sense of comfort and prevent the emergence of a burning feeling.

  • Clean with Soap
Clean with Soap

To get rid of germs and bacteria, use a bar of soap to clean the wound. Since the bite is generally small and harmless, you do not have to worry about causing a stinging sensation.

As a suggestion, you should use antiseptic soap with ingredients that can fight germs. It is better to have a mild formula so that it does not cause soreness and pain.

Clean the wound thoroughly, and then rinse with water until clean. Dry with a towel, and you can move on to the next stage of treatment.

  • Pouring Alcohol
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After cleaning the wound properly, you also need to take other anticipatory measures to ensure that the corn snake bite mark is free of germs. 

Take the medical alcohol with a content of approximately 70 percent.

By using a cotton swab, you can apply it to clean corn snake bite marks. This process may make it a little sore but not dangerous.

Alcohol will help eradicate germs and germs that may be in your wound. It is a trick that medical personnel always do when treating sores.

Otherwise, even if you believe that this can eradicate the disease, do it as necessary. 

Avoid overdoing it because the alcohol will dry out the skin around the wound and kill any good bacteria, which may help the healing process.

  • Wrap with Bandage if Necessary
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Another anticipatory action you can take is to use a bandage to prevent it from being touched by the outside world. 

Thus, the possibility of germs appearing and causing the infection will also be lower.

Skip this treatment if the wound is not too severe. The corn snake is usually insignificant. Hence, you only need to use medical tape to cover it.

If you use plaster or bandage, remember to take good care of the wound. 

Meanwhile, if the wound is dry, open it immediately and give the tissue has a chance to repair itself naturally.

Even with these wounds, you can still carry out activities as usual and do not need to avoid water. Then, you would be back to normal in a few days.

Tips for Handling 

There are times when they are more aggressive. Therefore, handle them safely at the right time to avoid the bite. Several tips are as follows.

  • Hold them with care. For the first time, do not hand the snakes with your fingers. Instead, you can place them in your palms to let them move freely.
  • Corn snakes are aloof and do not like to socialize. Therefore, arrange the cage allowing them to live in peace that they do not get stressed and turn aggressive.
  • When holding a snake, avoid making too much noise because it can disturb their mood.
  • Under high temperatures, they will tend to be more aggressive. In this case, you should not touch the reptiles unless you need to.
  • Although tame, corn snakes love to run and explore. If this happens, and you have to catch them, it is better to give them cold water to calm them down.
  • Do not handle an angry or hungry snake.
  • Also, do not handle a snake that is full because it can trigger stress and cause death.
  • Before handling a snake, clean your hands to remove any food odor. It can prevent them from biting you for mistaking them for meals.
  • Snakes that feel scared, angry, or agitated will vibrate their tails and act more aggressively. In this condition, do not hold them directly.
  • Hissing or defecating means that they ask you to go away.
  • To avoid feeling threatened, do not hold them by the side.

Hence, pay attention to those points when handling these cute reptiles. Knowing the appropriate method and timing will save you from corn snake bites.


brown and white snake in close up photography

When treating them as a pet, it is necessary to interact by touching and handling them. It will decrease the defensive attitude and make the snakes believe that we will not interfere or hurt. 

Corn snakes are very calm reptiles and are tolerant of touch. In normal conditions, they will have no problem with a human touch. 

However, there are some conditions in which the snakes do not want to be disturbed. For various reasons, they sometimes also show aggressive behavior that gives you bites. 

However, corn snakes are not dangerous at all. Considering the structure of the teeth, they do not have fangs to inject poison. 

Therefore, to avoid the corn snake bite, you must be able to read their behavior. Understand when to handle and interact with them.

Why would my corn snake bite me?

The most common reason for a corn snake to bite is due to fear or aggression. If your corn snake feels threatened or cornered, it may bite in order to defend itself from perceived danger. Additionally, improper handling of your pet could cause them to be scared or uncomfortable and lead them to react in an aggressive way by biting you.

Furthermore, if you attempt to grab your corn snake while they are trying to eat or digest their food they will also feel threatened and may try to protect themselves by biting you.

Are corn snakes nippy?

While some may worry that these small constrictors could be nippy or aggressive, they are typically quite docile if they’re handled correctly.
Corn snakes make great pets for the right owner – one who is willing to learn about proper handling techniques and provide a safe environment for the animal. They have relatively calm dispositions compared to other types of pet snakes and respond well when touched in an appropriate manner.
Generally, they don’t show signs of aggression unless provoked or startled by loud noises or sudden movements. If you’re considering getting a corn snake as a pet, it’s important to know that these animals rarely bite without good reason.

Are corn snakes friendly?

Corn snakes are generally very calm and tolerant of human handling. They do not usually attempt to bite or otherwise harm their caregivers unless they feel threatened or unsafe in some way. If your corn snake has been handled regularly from a young age, it will tend to be more trusting and laid back than if it has not been handled often. To ensure your pet is comfortable with you and feels secure when being handled, always move slowly around it and talk softly to reassure it that no harm will come its way.

Do corn snakes have feelings?

While the answer to this question is largely unknown, there are some things we can learn from observing these reptiles in their natural habitats.
Corn snakes are solitary creatures that live alone in the wild. They spend most of their time basking in the sun and hunting for food, but they do show signs of reactivity when disturbed or threatened. These reactions may include hissing, rattling their tails, or striking at perceived predators with their mouths open wide. All of these behaviors indicate an emotional response to external stimuli — suggesting that corn snakes may indeed be capable of feeling some form of emotion.
In addition to observed behaviors, genetic evidence also suggests that corn snakes may feel emotions similar to those experienced by humans and other mammals.

Can corn snakes hear you?

Corn snakes do have ears, although they are much smaller than those found on humans and other larger animals. These ears are located behind the eyes and beneath the scales on the side of the head and contain small bones that vibrate in response to sound waves. This vibration passes along the auditory nerve to their brains where it is interpreted as sound. That means that yes – corn snakes can definitely hear you

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