Ball pythons make fabulous pets for first-time snake owners.
These creatures are reputed for being calm, docile, and friendly.
Yet, it is mysterious for pet parents to find their snakes rubbing their faces after eating.
And, it makes sense for pet guardians to be a bit concerned if they find their snake rubbing its face, as you may not be aware of the reasons for their uncanny behavior.
So the question is – Why do snakes rub their face after eating?
There are multiple reasons why your snake may be rubbing its face; some are entirely harmless, whereas others might have associations with some serious underlying health problems.
So, without further ado, let’s take a deeper look at why snakes tend to rub their faces after eating.
Why Is Your Snake Rubbing Its Face After Eating?
It isn’t evident for most first-time snake owners to guess exactly what their pet is trying to do or the purpose behind their actions.
Needless to say, snakes are reptiles, and that makes everything about them differ from that of mammals.
Exploring The Habitat
If you place a snake into a new enclosure or place new objects into your snake’s enclosure, then it’s standard to witness a snake rubbing its face to explore and discover its new environment.
Moreover, adapting to a new habitat takes time.
When you put a snake into an unknown place, it is bound to feel stressed until it settles in.
Hence, first-time parents often see their snakey-babies rub their faces and feel concerned about their bizarre behavior.
Many snakes, particularly ball pythons, are highly intelligent creatures.
Once your pet becomes attuned to your presence, you can expect your pet snake to slither out of its enclosure to welcome you.
It is even common to find that your pet may rub its face to your hands or face to get your attention, especially if it has been neglected lately.
After-Food Face Rub
It’s very much possible that if your snake is rubbing its face to remove any leftover substrate after a meal.
Naturally, your snake will have to rub its face to clear away any residue of its meal as snakes lack limbs.
It is regular to find snakes rubbing their face in the wild to remove any unfamiliar or foreign articles that may get attached to their faces or even their bodies.
Because your pet has to catch its prey and swallow it whole may involve a struggle and can result in a bit of untidiness after a meal.
Yet, snakes don’t allow themselves to lounge about with filth or grime on their person.
Hence, you will eventually catch your snake rubbing its face after dinner or lunchtime.
Most snakes are susceptible to mites.
And, mites are a natural consequence of unhygienic surroundings.
Now, mites are tiny insects that stick to most animals and drink the blood of those animals to survive.
It is a very unhealthy prospect for your pet.
It is far easier to prevent a mite infestation than it is to get rid of these blood-sucking pests.
However, one of the most apparent signs of a mite infestation in your pet’s enclosure is face rubbing.
When these pests bite and suck the blood from the host that carries them, the bite is often painful and causes irritation.
Which is why your snake may rub its face to soothe the bite.
Nonetheless, face rubbing is only one aspect of a mite infestation, as many other apparent consequences exist.
- Prolonged soaking
- Loss of appetite
- Black dots all across the skin of your pet
- Ash dust on scales
And, the worst part is that a mite infestation does not limit itself to your pet; it multiplies.
So, you and your family or other pets in the house may also suffer from a mite infestation.
The only precaution you can take to prevent a mite infestation is to clean your snakes’ vivarium thoroughly.
It would help if you also disinfected everything in your pet’s tank – the tank, the hoodies, the water bowls, and any other accessories that you might place into your snake’s tank for its entertainment.
Unfortunately, snakes are also prone to respiratory infections.
An infection can make breathing difficult for your snake and cause loss of appetite.
Respiratory infections can result in face rubbing in your pet companion.
Respiratory infections are usually due to poor hygiene, incorrect enclosure temperatures, or excessive humidity.
The surest way to ensure that you maintain proper temperatures in the tank, use a digital thermometer and hygrometer.
Furthermore, it would help if you were extra careful about hygiene when it comes to maintaining your pet.
It would be best if you washed your hands before and after handling your pet.
And, it would be best if you disinfected your pet’s enclosure quite thoroughly every week, washed up the tank after every meal, and kept a close eye on the cleanliness of your snake’s habitat.
Stuck Shed And Eye Caps
You’ll often witness that if your snake is shedding skin, then it may revert to rubbing its face to shed any part of the skin that is stuck.
Low humidity and a lack of a water bowl for soaking do complicate the shedding process.
So, ensure that your snake has an ideal temperature in its vivarium and clean water bowls to soak in for at least thirty minutes.
As mentioned earlier, it isn’t uncommon to find snakes rubbing their faces.
However, face rubbing in snakes can also mean something more severe, like a mite infestation.
And, often, your pet may revert to rubbing its face as it might have some skin stuck or debris on its face.
So, it’s best to be vigilant about your pet’s well-being and always make sure that your snakey baby is living in the best living conditions to avoid any illnesses or diseases.
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