Ball pythons are popular pets among those who keep snakes as pets. They are generally docile, but they can bite you for a bunch of reasons. Since ball pythons aren’t venomous and don’t have fangs, their bites aren’t as painful as those of other snakes.
Ball pythons, also known as royal pythons, are originally from West Africa. Specifically from Ghana and Togo. They are known as ball pythons because they form a ball shape when they are stressed. They also use their bodies to catch prey by curling around them!
So, how many teeth do ball pythons actually have?
They have around thirty sharp little barb-like teeth. On the roof of their mouth, they have four rows and two rows of teeth on the bottom.
The number of teeth they have can also be affected by their age and height. Small ball pythons have fewer teeth than larger ones. They often lose teeth regularly but seem to have an endless supply of toothy surplus that can regrow fairly quick
Ball python teeth are small and bent backward in their mouth, similar to the shape of a comb. This is because their teeth serve no other purpose than to help them shuffle their already strangled prey into their stomach. It’s rare to see a snake chewing its food.
What to do if a ball python bites you
While ball pythons are not venomous, a bite from one may require treatment. A ball python bite can spread bacteria into your body. Call a doctor if a snake bites, no matter how minor the injury is.
If you get a minor snake bite from your ball python then you only need to wash the wound with some warm water and soap. After washing it, wrap the area with bandages to avoid infection and help it heal quickly.
If you get a more severe bite, seek medical attention immediately. A more intense bite can occur if your ball python snake remains latched onto your skin for more than a few seconds.
If you have a baby python, then it’s probably just testing out its new teeth by biting you. This is nothing to worry about since it can’t harm you with baby teeth. Learn more about ball python bite.
If a ball python does latch on to your skin here are a few ways you can make it let go of you:
- Wait until they let go: Sometimes when ball pythons bite humans, they might be stressed, hungry, or agitated. They will usually realize that you are not prey and that it is not worth their time to remain latched on to you.
- Put some cold water over the area it’s biting: If the snake is still latched on, take the coldest water you can find and pour it over the bite area. That should be enough to make the Ball Python uncomfortable enough to unlatch.
- Pour any kind of alcoholic beverage over the latched area: Vodka or any other alcoholic beverage will startle the snake, causing it to release its grip. Alcohol has an effect on snakes too, and the fumes are harmful to them, so I don’t recommend spraying the snake with it. Simply apply some to the bitten area and it should release.
If your pet python is not a baby and it keeps biting you, then they probably feel threatened by something. If you can figure out what’s threatening them, they should stop biting.
Do ball python bites hurt?
Many owners are concerned that their pet snake will bite them. But don’t worry, it’s usually not a big deal – especially if you keep ball pythons. Ball pythons are relatively small snakes, and their bites usually only leave minor wounds.
Is it painful to be bitten by a ball python? They might puncture your skin and cause light bleeding, but they aren’t usually that painful.
The speed of that ball python will likely startle you more than his or her teeth or pain. It’s less painful if you’ve ever been scratched by a cat or dog. However, if you have a large ball python, it might hurt slightly more since they have larger teeth.
Why a ball python might bite you
Whether your ball python just bit you or you’re trying to learn about bites before you get one, you’re probably wondering why your snake would bite you in the first place.
Fortunately, this is a simple question to answer because ball pythons bite for one of two reasons:
Your snake feels threatened:
When the temperature or humidity in their enclosure is not where it should be, ball pythons can become easily stressed. In other cases, if the ball python has recently been scared, he or she might become agitated and strike at you if you come near them.
Female ball pythons are typically aggressive after laying eggs, as they are hardwired, like most mothers, to protect their children from any possible threat. Read more on ball python handling.
Your snake might mistake your hand for a prey:
If you have recently cooked with meat, chicken stock, chicken broth, or something similar your hands might still smell like the meat you cooked with. If a ball python detects food on your skin, it would likely mistake your hand or arm for food and attack you. As soon as it figures out its not food, it will release its hold on your hand. Read more about ball python diet.
How to prevent a ball python from biting you
If your ball python keeps biting you, here are a few tips that should prevent the from doing so:
- Don’t let someone touch the snake if they are anxious or jittery. Nerves are picked up by Ball Pythons, which can make them defensive and violent.
- Handle your Ball Python on a regular basis so that they become used to human touch and smells.
- Don’t pick them up before or after they have been fed.
- Don’t take your ball python to places that are crowded, have a lot of noise, or vibration.
Ball python bites are uncommon and usually don’t pose a threat. In other words, there’s nothing to be concerned about! If you follow our advice, you should be able to keep yourself and your ball python safe, as well as learn how to avoid a bite in the future.