Are Ball Pythons Poisonous? Do Ball Pythons Bite?

Understanding ball python bites is critical for all ball python owners. While it is uncommon that one will bite you, if they do, it might be a sign that you need to pay more attention to their care. There might have been something that went wrong that led to the bite. Fixing the root problem will make sure that the incident isn’t repeated.

Not only that, you should have all the information about ball python bites even if yours has never bitten you, just in case you ever land in that position. This will ensure that you don’t injure yourself or your snake while trying to break free.

In this post, we will be going over everything you need to know about ball python bites so you, and your pet can be safe in case of an emergency.

Do ball pythons bite?

Ball pythons are generally calm snakes, which is one of the many reasons they make such good pets. Their bites are pretty rare, but that doesn’t mean that they’d never bite.

Ball python’s bite for one of two reasons: hunger or defense. We’ll go over these causes in more detail later on, but for now, here are a few things to keep in mind…

If a ball python was hungry and bit you, it’s almost always an accident. It was probably just confused about what the foot was and mistook you as part of its meal.

If it bit you in defense, it’s either stressed or nervous. You can significantly reduce the likelihood of this happening by practicing safe handling and paying attention to the signs of stress your snake gives you. Anytime a ball python is stressed out, stay away from them.

Are ball pythons poisonous?

For starters, snakes are not poisonous. Saying this can be controversial, and it is likely to spark debate depending on who you are speaking with.

Snakes are technically ‘venomous’ because they ‘inject’ their lethal liquids. Poisonous creatures/plants have no way of injecting their venom. Instead, their poison is usually found on the surface of some protrusion or area.

In any case, neither Ball Pythons nor any other species of snake in the Pythonidae family are poisonous or venomous.

So, don’t be alarmed if you’ve been bitten.

There will be no muscle-debilitating side effects, and you will not need to go to the hospital for anti-venom. While not venomous, Ball Pythons can have harmful bacteria in their mouths at times.

So, if a bite occurs, it is still integral to wash and treat the wound — especially if a puncture has occurred and blood has been drawn.

Does a ball python bite hurt?

Snakes are venomous and have large fangs. Ball pythons, on the other hand, have up to 100 inward-facing teeth – four rows on top and two rows on the bottom.

This might sound scary, and many people think they would hurt more than fangs. But that’s not the case. Ball python’s teeth are extremely sharp. The teeth of your ball python may scratch, puncture, or bruise your skin. They are intended to capture and restrain their prey, but, the bite won’t hurt as much as one from a snake with fangs.

How to remove them if they latch onto you

A ball python will usually bite and then release right away. But, there are times when they will latch onto you.

It is essential that you remain calm if this happens. Your reaction will have an impact on your snake and how easy it will be to remove them from your hand. If your ball python wraps its body around your hand or arm, don’t be alarmed. When constricting prey, this is their natural behavior.

Even though it is a natural reaction to a bite, do not jerk your hand or arm away. Don’t even try to pry your ball python off your body. This can result in them ripping out some of their teeth, which can lead to major health problems. Attempting to pry your snake away from your body may result in further injury to you and the snake.

If your ball python bites you and latches on, give the snake a minute to release first. If you wait a minute, your snake will realize you are not prey and will most likely release you.

If it still won’t let you go, try pouring cold water or drinking alcohol on the bite area. Though it may sting a little, pouring alcohol over the bite area has been shown to effectively unlatch and release ball pythons.

Reasons why ball python may bite you

When your ball python is hungry, it may mistake your hand for food. This is why you’re supposed to feed them with tongs. It is also important to thoroughly wash your hands after handling your snake’s meals so that your hands do not smell like their prey. If you try to handle your snake while it is still digesting its food, it may still bite you.

Captive Ball Python bites are extremely rare. So it’s unlikely that these snakes will bite you or anyone else who is handling them. However, an error in the way they’re being fed or while they’re shedding, may end up with the handler getting bit by accident. 

Before or after it’s eaten:

When they are hungry and it is close to feeding time, most snakes become irritable. As a result, snakes and Ball Pythons in general, are often vulnerable and become defensive immediately after feeding. This is why it is best to avoid handling your Ball Python before and after eating.

Before handling the snake again, wait until it has had a bowel movement or until the lump from feeding is no longer visible. This reduces the likelihood of the snake becoming defensive and biting or latching onto a human.

While it’s shedding:

Snakes might also become defensive around the time they shed. There are a few key indicators that your Ball Python is ready to shed that you will notice. First, if they are spending more time than usual in their water bowl, they are preparing to shed.

Second, if you notice their eyes turning blue, it’s a dead giveaway that they’re about to shed. This is a time you should leave them alone. Trying to get all up their business might agitate them and make them defensive instead. Read more on ball python shedding.

How to prevent a ball python from biting you

There are 3 key things you can do to keep your ball python from biting you.

  • Make sure to feed them on a regular basis and avoid handling your ball python before or after meals.
  • Never place your snake’s prey in their tank with your hand. Instead, use long-handled tongs.
  • After feeding your ball python, thoroughly wash your hands to remove the scent of their prey from your skin.

There are also some extra pointers to keep in mind when it comes to handling.

  • Handle your ball python on a regular basis so that it becomes accustomed to being handled as well as to your scent.
  • Snakes can sense your emotions, so always maintain a calm demeanor when handling your ball python. Your snake will pick up on your anxiety. If you are scared, your snake will sense it and become aggressive, making it more likely to bite.
  • Shedding can irritate your ball python. Handle them with caution while they are shedding. Additionally, avoid handling your snake in noisy or crowded areas.

How many teeth do ball pythons have?

Ball Pythons, believe it or not, have several teeth.

The exact amount is determined by the snake’s age and size. There is a distinction to be made between fangs and teeth. Bite and teeth of a ball python What is the number of teeth they have?

As we’ve discussed before, Ball Pythons, contrary to popular belief, don’t have fangs and are not venomous . But, on average, Ball Pythons have 25-35 teeth. Ball Pythons have four rows of teeth on the roof of their mouth and two rows on the bottom of their jaw.

Only venomous snakes have fangs that inject venom into their prey. However, many non-venomous snakes, including Ball Pythons, have teeth.

The teeth of a ball Python are small, barb-like, and extremely sharp. They are all facing backward toward the snake’s body. This helps them in two ways:

1: The direction assists them in latching on to prey and striking and constricting. Backward pointing teeth help Ball Pythons can hold their prey more tightly while constricting them.

2: When a Ball Python constricts and kills its prey, the teeth also aid in the swallowing and digestion of the food.

Are ball pythons dangerous for your pets?

Ball pythons are submissive and should not pose a threat to you or your other pets if kept in a suitable environment. Because these snakes are solitary creatures, they should not be kept in a cage with other pets.

Ball pythons require a tank that is twice as long as they are and three times as wide. Make certain that they cannot escape from this enclosure and that it is properly ventilated.

What to do if you’re bitten?

Because ball pythons are not venomous snakes, you will not require anti-venom if bitten. Having said that, there are a few things you should be aware of when it comes to treating the bite.

  • The severity of the bite determines how you treat it. To be safe, you should consult your doctor any time you are bitten, regardless of how minor or severe the bite is. While ball pythons are not venomous, bacteria can be found in their mouths. Your doctor might recommend an antibiotic just in case, to prevent and infection.
  • Minor bite wounds should be washed with soap and warm water right away. It is advised to use an antiseptic soap. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the bite with warm water.
  • Apply pressure to your wound to encourage clotting if it is bleeding. Once your wound is clean and no longer bleeding, apply a bandage to the injury site to help prevent infection. Stay on high alert for signs of infection in the injury.
  • If your bite is more severe, you may require more attention. If your snake latches onto you, a severe bite is very likely.
  • Wash more severe injuries with soap and warm water right away. If you are experiencing severe pain or discomfort around the bite wound, you should seek medical assistance.

When to go and see a doctor

Regardless of the severity of your snake bite, you should seek medical attention. They may advise you to take antibiotics to prevent a bacterial infection caused by the bite.

In addition, if your bite is severe, you should seek immediate medical attention. This can happen if the snake holds the bite for an extended period of time or if you are in severe pain or discomfort near the wound site.

A doctor may want to use an MRI to scan the bite site to determine underlying damage caused by the bite. This can provide the doctor with information about deeper wounds. To aid in the healing of the bite wound, a doctor may need to remove tissue or foreign objects.

Final thoughts

Pet ball snakes rarely bite, but this is not unheard of. Handling your ball snake will reduce the chance of a bite. If a ball python bites you, clean the wound with warm soap and water and contact your doctor. If the bite is severe, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

However, being a little more mindful when handling your snake can lower your chances of getting bit significantly.

I am the editor-in-chief at, a site that is devoted to reptiles and the people who love them. I have been keeping and breeding many pet reptiles such as bearded dragons, geckos, chameleons, etc. for over 10 years now.

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